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Home > Places > Lorneville/Wallacetown

The Lorneville Junction or “Whitehouse” Hotel has an interesting past.
For 40 years prior to 1944 Invercargill city hotels were “dry” with alcoholic liquor banned from sale. This prohibition resulted in hotels outside the city boundary becoming virtual goldmines. The “Whitehouse” was one of these.

Lorneville is wellknown for the stock sale held on Tuesday of each week. From Monday afternoon till early Tuesday morning stock trucks, farmers trucks and small utes from lifestyle blocks arrive at the Lorneville saleyards and unload sheep and cattle to be sold by auction. Farmers, stock agents, meat processors and others arrive early to select the line of stock they hope to buy. Many, especially retired farmers, come just to look and meet old friends and have a chat about farming and old times.

Tourists and visitors to the area are welcome to call in any Tuesday morning and experience this piece of the Southland farming scene.

Lorneville is also the home of the Alliance Groups Lorneville Freezing works. Opened in 1960 this plant processes lambs, cattle and deer for export. The Alliance group is owned and operated by a co-operative of Southland farmers which now owns and operates seven similar plants in the South Island and lower north island. It has offices in the U.K., North America and the Middle East. Tours through the plant are not available for safety reasons.
A few metres along from the Alliance entrance are a series of buildings housing a butchery, a fruit and vegetable stall and the Underwood Sunday Markets, a worthwhile stop on a Sunday morning. This site was for many years until 1960 the Nestles Highlander Condensed Milk Factory. It was here in 1912 that an employee, a Mr Sim, invented a machine to cap the lids on tins of food products. Until that invention, cans were soldered closed. Although greatly improved over the years, capping of cans by the Sim method is still used worldwide.

Wallacetown is one of the very early settlements in Southland, in fact it was near the site first thought of as being the main town for the province. Today
Wallacetown is a satellite town of Invercargill, with many residents employed in Invercargill and in the freezing industry including the Alliance Group’s Lorneville Freezing works.
The highway passes through the edge of the town, there being many streets and houses down behind the hotel and shops.

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