The Firth Tower Museum outside Matamata is on land that was once the centre of the huge estate of Josiah Clifton Firth, known locally as ‘the Duke of Matamata’. Firth poured money into clearing land, introducing the latest agricultural machinery and opening the Waihou River for navigation so he could send farm produce to Auckland markets. In 1882 he built a reinforced concrete tower as a lookout and fortification.
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