Mystery Creek is best known now as the usual home of Fieldays which has its last day today.
But as it turns out how the area got its name is a mystery in itself.
One of the least spooky tales is one of gold robbery in 1867. Waikato War veteran Christian Hansen lived on a farm on the main section of the main route to Hamilton via Ōhaupō to Te Rore. It was remote and at night, very dark.
He was used to travellers knocking on his door to ask directions. But when two men entered his home, threatened him and took his savings of 21 gold sovereigns (a huge sum back then!) he reached for his rifle.
It all went wrong when one of the robbers grabbed it and instead shot him in the left wrist. They took off and Hansen was left to make his way to Orum’s Hotel where they sent for the doctor. The hand had to be amputated (without anesthesia!).
The robbery itself was a mystery, made even more so when a few months later when another settler, looking for a lost cow, found the body of a man that had been strangled. The working theory was one of the thieves killed the other and took off with the money.
But it's not the only story.
Another was the sudden disappearance of a soldier, seen crossing the gully, only to disappear, never to be seen again.
Yet another is about a murder committed nearby and the fugitive hid nearby. When a police constable went to find him, neither one of them was ever seen again.
A saddled horse apparently called Mystery found wandering in the gully is another one. No rider was ever found.
There is also an intriguing story about the attempted murder of a bank clerk but that was much later and we’ll have more about that in another post.
What we can say is that since the records of newspapers began Mystery Creek was already called that. One of the earliest news stories in which the name was used was from 1870.
One more little mystery is what happened to Mr Hansen. There are no records of his death or where he is buried.
Do you know another story about Mystery Creek?
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