Topic: Stony River Hotel, Okato

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2502 Surf Highway, Ōkato (corner of NZ State Highway 45 and Lower Kaihihi Road)

Stony River Hotel exterior July 2021

Source: Facebook (July 2021)

Okato's Stony River Hotel was built in 1875, just ten years after the establishment of the town, with 16 rooms and 30-40 acres of land opposite the saleyards. It is located a few hundred metres from the Hangatahua River, which was nicknamed the Stony River by early mailman Thomas Heale. The business has also been known as Stony River House, the Okato Hotel and the Okato Tavern under various owners and proprietors over the years:

1876-1907: owned by Robert Coulter Gray and his wife Ann (Robert came to Taranaki with the 65th Regiment during the Taranaki Wars)

1883-91: operated by Mr and Mrs William James Grey

c1900: operated by John Thomas Diamond

1915-16: Bertram Thomas Booker and his wife Ruby

1916-19: Alexander Sanson

1919: Edgar Owen Meredith

1919:  Frederick Charles Emeny

1983-95: Denzil and Jocelyn Hodson 

2005:  Sarah MacGregor

2012: Katie and Peter Simmonds

2013-19: Renate and Heimo Staudinger

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Stony River Hotel, Okato