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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.

 
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Greenstone. June 2013
 
http://www.thenotownproject.org/files/gimgs/th-23_G1_04_1306_06_01c_Greenstone SM.jpg
Memorial stone, Greenstone, June 2013
 
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Tailings, Greenstone, June 2013
 
http://www.thenotownproject.org/files/gimgs/th-23_G1_03_1306_07_12 001_Greenstone SM.jpg
Greenstone cemetery, June 2013
 
http://www.thenotownproject.org/files/gimgs/th-23_1306_07_03 001_Greenstone.jpg
Greenstone cemetery, June 2013