Gallery: Eye on Methven

The Ashburton Museum’s archives and photograph collections, which are owned by the Ashburton Museum and Historical Society Inc, consist of over a century and a half’s worth of images depicting people, places and events. These collections are a treasure trove of local history. Some quite interesting photographs in our collection come from Methven, a township... Continue Reading →

The Horse and the Scotsman: Tales From Early Ashburton

The early days of European settlement were tough, but there was still the odd bit of fun to be had. Among all the hard work, tragedies and struggles for survival suffered by local European settler families, there was plenty of room for amusement as evidenced by the many stories and tall tales that survive from... 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 →

The Ruapuna Cemetery – Who is the Whiting Child?

An interesting comment on the early records of the Ashburton District is the information these original documents may reveal, or in some cases the paucity of information. The records (2 minute books, 3 incomplete receipt books and a Treasurer’s notebook/cashbook for 1895 - 1948) held by the Ashburton Museum for the Mayfield/Ruapuna Cemetery on Coskeries... Continue Reading →

Ashburton and the 1880 Irish Relief Fund

The Irish famine of 1879-1880, which has come to be known as the ‘Little Famine’ occurred as a consequence of poor successive harvests in the preceding years and spelled trouble once again for the general Irish population. Since the Great Famine, Ireland had recovered a great deal and had become increasingly urbanised, with a railway... Continue Reading →

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