HistoryMurdoch Maclennan established a farm, known as the Cadon, at the top of the Tahakopa Valley in the late 1880s. Other settlers soon followed included the Martin family. In 1915 Tahakopa became the terminus of the Catlins Branch Line and prospered as the hub of the central Catlins area. At its peak, the population reached roughly 800 people. The area was surrounded by sawmills and boasted a proliferation of shops to service the community incuding moving pictures which were shown twice a week. The school had four teachers with 120 pupils. The branch line was closed on 27 February 1971, with passenger services having ceased over a decade prior. With the closure of the sawmills and railway station, the Tahakopa population has significantly declined and little remains to indicate that such a large population once lived in the area. The Tahakopa School, which celebreated its centenary in 1997, still operates as a sole-principal primary school with an average of less than 10 pupils a year.