The Components of the Humble Kiwi Villa

Throughout the closing decades of the nineteenth century, New Zealand was undergoing rapid population growth and huge urban development. Factors such as improved transportation and an influx of steam-powered woodworking equipment gave rise to a new kind of house: the iconic villa. A family sitting on the veranda of their lonely rural villa, somewhere in... Continue Reading →

Waterton: a township lost to time

When you come across the scant remains of a place like Waterton, you start to wonder what led to such a fate. The old cemetery on Grahams Road is the last inkling of this once a popular township, which fell prey to issues caused by a need for labourers elsewhere, as well as that classic... Continue Reading →

Another Look at the Ashburton Arms

As the principal pioneer of the area that came to be Ashburton, William Turton held a lot of responsibility. From 1858, he established himself as the ferryman of the Hakatere/Ashburton River, and soon enough he was granted a license to operate an accommodation house, which became the hub of the area during the early days.... Continue Reading →

Reserves have played an important part in the history of Ashburton District and were some of the first areas defined for use in early surveys. Today they are governed through the Reserves Act 1977 and continue to play an important part in land use in the Ashburton District. The establishment and management of reserves has... Continue Reading →

Our last post focused on the establishment of Ashburton’s first hospital, and the other smaller nursing homes and private hospitals that existed in Ashburton district. This week the focus is on the illnesses and treatments that occurred at Ashburton’s first hospital. Much of the data for these articles comes from the original Ashburton Hospital Admission... Continue Reading →

Among the extensive archive collections at Ashburton Museum is the original Ashburton Hospital Admission Register. Covering the period 1882 to 1908, it contains over 3500 entries that shed light on patients, treatments, lives (and deaths) of many people from Ashburton. A major project has been to transcribe these records, now that enough time has passed... Continue Reading →

Deciphering stories from certificates

Since the 1840s New Zealand’s land transfer and title records have been paper or parchment based. It was not until 2002 that records of land transfers and titles were electronically managed. In Ashburton Museum’s archive, local land transfer records date back to the 1860s. There are also some land title documents, usually associated with personal... Continue Reading →

Ashburton Museum is home to thousands of individual maps and plans of various sorts, carefully kept in 100 large and purpose-designed map drawers. An ongoing project for the museum is the cataloguing of these maps and plans so that they can be more accessible and useful for researchers. An important type of map in the... Continue Reading →

One of the big ongoing projects at Ashburton Museum is a growing portrait wall of newcomers to the district. Its a reminder of how many people have travelled to be here, and a great introduction to some of our newer – and not so new – members of our diverse community. It’s been a great... Continue Reading →

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