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Ophir, named after the biblical gold mine, is an 1863 gold-rush settlement known originally as Blacks. The railway was routed through Ōmakau in 1906, after which it thrived and Ophir waned.

Meaning of place name
Named by James Macandrew, superintendent of the Otago Provincial Council, in 1872. In the biblical story, gold was brought from Ophir to the temple at Jerusalem when it was being built by King Solomon. Earlier known as Blacks after the Ōmakau station owned by Charles F. Black and his brother.

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