Content provided by the Ongaonga Historical Society
The history of Ongaonga village starts in 1865 when a gentleman named Henry Hamilton Bridge arrived from England and purchased Fairfield farm. Mr Bridge drew up the original plans for the village and would name it after the Ongaonga stream. The village served as a the social and commercial hub for the surrounding farms in Central Hawke's Bay. Ongaonga contributed greatly to the development of early Central Hawke's Bay and New Zealand. During its peak, Ongaonga was home to many businesses, one of which includes the Coles building and joinery firm. Ongaonga reached its peak in the early 1900s before motor vehicles contributed to its downfall.
The Ongaonga Historical Society began as a way of preserving the schoolhouse, and over time has grown to the larger collection of 13 buildings that stand on the museum grounds. A walking tour through the wider village includes a number of other historic sites and buildings, detailed on the downloadable map.