St James Station: shearing shed (2)
Clarence River Valley, Northern Canterbury.
St James Station, like many of the early larger Canterbury sheep runs, was an amalgamation of several smaller runs. The property had its beginnings when the 'Edwards Block' was taken up by G. Edwards in 1862.
In 1863 Edwards transferred the run to G. Willmer, who also ran St Mary's and Rockhouse in the Waiau Valley along with the Edwards block.
St James Station occupied the headwaters of the Waiau and Clarence Rivers, and had harsher climatic conditions to contend with. It was difficult farming with much of the area being snowbound in winter.
After being run for a time by the Ensor family, the farm was purchased in 1927 by the Stevenson family, who owned it until its purchase by the government in 2008.
Today at St.James Station are three historic buildings – the woolshed, cookhouse and the stable, all built around 1880. Because of the construction of the woolshed and stables and the integrity of the cookhouse, they have considerable historic value.
The St James homestead itself was burnt down in 1947.
Both Moleworth and St James Stations are now owned by the government and administered by the Department of Conservation as National Park and areas for public recreation.