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 →

There's always a gripping last week of the Tour de France, that most famous cycle race of all, yet equally thrilling was an early classic of New Zealand road racing. The Timaru to Christchurch cycle race was established in 1899, four years before the famous Tour de France. It was regarded as the greatest cycling test of... Continue Reading →

Museums do many things – and amongst the things they do, collecting is central. Yet it’s not just museums that collect. Many people do. Estimates range from 30-70 percent of us being collectors, yet it’s possible that collecting is an almost universal passion. What makes a collection? While some may think a collection needs to... Continue Reading →

Gunpowder ripples

Finding items or subjects to write about for this blog isn’t always easy. As far as the objects go, I tend to write about things I like, or items that I know something about. Sometimes however I am drawn to feature an object not for its story but for what it means to me. Memory... Continue Reading →

Mr Toner’s Court Case

One of the amazing things about newspaper stories, is the unusual discoveries that can be made through them, telling of history that cannot easily be found elsewhere. One such story is the tangled web concerning Mr Toner of Alford Forest, as told through local newspapers. On 17 April 1886 the story broke of Mr James... Continue Reading →

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