Up Forest Creek Without a Chimney

Samuel Butler (1835 – 1902) was by no means a simple character. At the age of 24 he left his relatively cosy life in England behind and moved to New Zealand in order to increase his wealth through farming, and to get away from his Reverend father with whom he constantly argued. Samuel Butler did... Continue Reading →

Early Urban Ashburton

Ashburton as we know it has been constantly evolving ever since the construction of William Turton’s first accommodation house along the Hakatere Ashburton River in 1858. Rural has become urban, paddocks have become suburbs and buildings have been built, moved, modified and demolished. Postcard image showing early view of Ashburton west side, looking along Cameron... Continue Reading →

Havelock Street: a century ago

Have you ever come across an original story or poem written by a friend, relative or partner? If you answered yes to my question, then here’s a follow-up: were they embarrassed? Such things are usually closely guarded and private, so I consider myself lucky to be able to share a poem from the archives of... Continue Reading →

Early Ashburton History: Alex Hewson’s Stories

Alexander and Mary Hewson, no date. (Photo reference 01.1976.0413). In 1918, an early European settler by the name of Alexander Hewson published a series of reminiscences regarding the early days of the Ashburton District in the Ashburton Guardian newspaper. These included many interesting stories about the hardships and triumphs shared by the Europeans who settled... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

History of the Tinwald Domain

Continuing on from our last post about Tinwald, let’s now take a look at Tinwald’s popular and beloved Domain. The Tinwald Domain began as a mere suggestion made by John Grigg to the Ashburton County Council, to apply to the Government for a fifty acre recreation reserve in 1878. Fifty acres were not acquired, instead... Continue Reading →

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