Robert Brownlee and Janet Walker in Carluke
There were Brownlees in the Carluke district of Lanarkshire for many generations. Most of them worked on the land, some on the farms of Lee, Braidwood and Mauldslie, others in the orchards that clothe the banks of the Clyde in that part of the valley. Occasionally a member of the family left the soil to learn a trade or set up a business of his own. Such was William Brownlee who, in 1695, had a smithy in Carluke where succeeding generations were trained to follow him. The next member of the family of whom anything is known was Robert Brownlee, also a blacksmith, who was born in 1742. When his son James, assumed control there is no likelihood that he ever thought of himself as an industrial pioneer, even though he belonged to the generation of blacksmiths who extended their scope of operations to become iron-founders and engineers. His motives appear to have been simple and self centered. He was a successful tradesman who owned a place where he could repair the growing number of farm implements coming into use in that part of Scotland.
All charts pertaining to this family will be uploaded shortly so that work can commence in combining charts.
Brownlee Collection of Photographs http://exhibits1.museums.org.nz/collection10MHS3/exhibit3/vexmain3.htm
In 1864 Brownlee and Co established its business at Mahakipawa for five years, followed by 18 years at Kaituna then on to Blackball in 1885.
The mill in Pelorus Sound was originally owned by the Pelorus Sawmill Company but was purchased by the Brownlees in the early 1880s. The mill owned a locomotive to transport wood from the bush to the mill and ships to take the milled timber to Canterbury and Wanganui.
The locomotive now forms part of the Havelock Museum collection. You can view photographs and read the story by clicking the "Miscellaneous Havelock Museum items" from our home page.
A wide range of native timber was milled including rimu, matai, white pine and totara. In 1906 the mill employed 35 men and a gang of about 20 men worked in the bush.
Source: The Cyclopeadia of New Zealand: Nelson, Marlborough and Westland. 1906 vol. 5
These photographs of the men, the mill and the associated operations are from the collection held at Marlborough Museum.
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