Thames has a strong tradition of Sawmills in the town and surrounding area. It took a lot of wood to build a town in a matter of months!!! Below are some photos of the Gibbon's Sawmill at Kopu.
Built by "R.P. Gibbons, son of John Gibbons at Kopu, it was situated south of the Government wharf and backed on to the railway line." A fire destroyed the plant in January 1902, it was rebuilt and opened in the following April. " Robert Pearce Gibbons and his son Angus Newton Gibbons formed the firm Robert P. Gibbons Ltd on June 6th, 1906. They had sawmills at Kaipara, Hokianga, Hikurangi and Kopu...The company wound up October 22nd, 1940."
Description: 1901. Showing a view of the frontage at Gibbon's Sawmill, Kopu, Thames River, Auckland. The timber cut at this mill is all kahikatea (New Zealand white pine), which is unsurpassed for making butter cases, and which is largely used for this purpose in New Zealand. Large quantities have also been sent to Australia to supply the butter trade export there.
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19011031-4-1
Description: 1901 Group portrait of workmen at Gibbon's Sawmill at Kopu, Thames
Source: ' Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19011031-4-2 '