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This work by Caroline McQuarrie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
When gold was discovered in Sept 1864, Greenstone (named for a large pounamu bolder used as a landmark) became the site of the beginning of the gold rush in ‘West Canterbury’ (south of the Grey river). While never one of the largest gold rush towns (the population is estimated to never have gone over 700), Greenstone was significant for being the first. Not a great deal of information about life in Greenstone is available, but we do know that at one stage it had twenty hotels, a smithy, a surgeon, two banks, a school and a Post Office. Two houses now stand at Greenstone, one of which was the original courthouse.