Early Days of Ashburton Borough School

Ashburton Borough School was opened on 19 February, 1872, and was the first Government school in Ashburton. With an initial roll of 4 pupils, the school has since grown to accommodate 350 students this year, which is Ashburton Borough School's 150th jubilee. The story of Ashburton Borough School began at least 4 years earlier, in... Continue Reading →

Under the Big Top: An old metal toy story

When working with historical objects, few items evoke more excitement than those that represent childhood. It is hard not to feel a flood of nostalgia and wonder when coming across a faithful old bear loved from years of play, or when working to preserve the remnants of a game used over and over again for... Continue Reading →

Gallery: Historic houses big and small

Below you will find a selection of images from the Ashburton Museum & Historical Society Inc. collection, which showcase an interesting variety of houses from our District's past. The architectural styles, sizes, and shapes of these homes say something about the people who built them. Their ambitions, their self-perceptions, access to resources, and of course... Continue Reading →

History of the Circus in Ashburton

The people of Ashburton District have been keen circusgoers for over a hundred years. Despite all the tweaks and changes that have shaped the art of the circus, there is still nothing quite like the Greatest Show on Earth. Some readers may remember going to the circus to see dressed-up bears, parading elephants, and big... Continue Reading →

No-license: all eyes on Ashburton

In November 1902, a vote was carried that would have a huge effect on Ashburton both socially and economically. After much debate and support from groups such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Protestant church, a majority of voters in Ashburton had supported the town’s transition to ‘no-license’. From the time when existing... Continue Reading →

WW1: Local soldier’s P.O.W story

Personal diaries and letters, in many cases, provide us with some of the most interesting historic stories that have ever, or never, been told. Every memoir is special, but those that vividly recall events of war, adversity, triumph, failure, and hope through the eyes of someone we can easily relate to are perhaps the most... Continue Reading →

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