The Somerset Hotel

Since the late 1800s, the same name has adorned each building that has occupied the corner of East and Burnett Streets on the northern side. Have you ever wondered how Somerset House, and the adjoining Somerset Grocer café got their unique names? It’s because the site was once home to the Somerset Hotel, built in... Continue Reading →

A brief history of fizzy drinks and Ashburton’s own bottlers

Pshhhhhhttttt. Click. Riiiiiiiiiiiip. There are many sounds of summer but the one I remember with childhood fondness is the treat of opening a cold can of soda on a blistering hot day. The history of beverages spans centuries, cultures and many ingredients. However, the advent of that fizzy carbonated sweet drink stored in a sealed bottle... Continue Reading →

Frederick Ferriman and the fantastic telescope

Frederick Zaccheus Duckett Ferriman was a remarkably stubborn and dedicated man who exemplified volunteerism and giving to a community. He was a well-known past real estate agent, philanthropist, benefactor, staunch temperance/prohibitionist, Anglican and Borough Councillor; indeed, Mr and Mrs Ferriman were together a formidable force in the social history of Ashburton. The Ferriman family, from... Continue Reading →

The McFarlane Shield

An interesting recent addition to the Museum and Historical Society’s object collection was the McFarlane Shield for Agricultural Science. Made in 1917, the shield first belonged to the Education Board and was then passed on to the Canterbury Horticultural Society in 1989 when the Education Board closed.

Kia ora Ashburton

While increasingly English became the dominant language of New Zealand, these new New Zealanders were also interested in what gave their new nation a unique identity.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑