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 →

Early Rakaia history digitised

Between 1899 and 1922, a professional photographer by the name of Harry Alexander Palmer took a variety of interesting photos around Rakaia and the surrounding area. The Ashburton Museum acquired a number of these photographic negatives several years ago, in the form of glass plates. This image shows an ornate mantle with the background scratched... 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 →

Ashburton Museum through the years

The Ashburton Museum has come a long way since the Ashburton Historical Society first met on 30 October 1958. Individuals with a mutual interest in this district’s history came together with a common goal: to preserve and display materials that were deemed important to Ashburton’s past. 63 years and several Museum buildings later, the Ashburton... Continue Reading →

Gallery: Enterprising Ashburton businesses

The Ashburton District has had a long history of thriving businesses, of which there have been an impressive number and variety. Coachbuilders, factories, agents, retail stores, and many more enterprises, big and small, have played their role in supporting our local economy and communities. Let's take a look back at a selection of photographs of... 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 →

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