The Trials and Triumphs of Lake Coleridge Power Station

The idea to build a hydroelectric power station at Lake Coleridge came during a time when New Zealand was beginning to take electricity use seriously. During the 1880s and 1890s, growing interest in electric power led the Christchurch City Council to consider building a hydroelectric power station on the Waimakariri River. However, this never came... 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 →

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 →

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 →

Reduced to rubble: demolished buildings

Buildings come and go, this is something we are used to in Ashburton. Right now, we are going through a period of rapid change evidenced by projects such as the upcoming new Library & Civic Centre, the Kmart complex, as well as the numerous houses, outbuildings and businesses being altered and built all around the... Continue Reading →

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