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 →

Agates: A Blast from the Past

In February, 2022 the Ashburton Museum team was hard at work developing a new exhibition on agates with the help of Malcolm Luxton from The Agate Orphanage in Tinwald. Agates are categorised as a form of chalcedony, which is a type of quartz comprised of microscopic crystals. These precious formations take shape over the course... Continue Reading →

Photography through the ages

Isn't it amazing that in the span of 60 seconds you can take a photograph on your cellphone and post it on social media for your friends and family from all over the world to see, like and comment on? Just 30 years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Nowadays it can be easy to... 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 →

Mourning: once an art and an industry

Mourning is typically a very personal and complicated process. We often confide in others and tell them we are grieving, but in many cases it can be hard to tell at first glance whether a person is in mourning. Apart from people wearing black during funerals and the use of black remembrance armbands by sports... Continue Reading →

School groups from days gone by: Recognise anyone?

The Ashburton Museum & Historical Society Inc. collection, which is cared for by the Museum staff of the Ashburton Art Gallery & Museum, contains a vast number of photographs covering various topics relating to Ashburton District's social history. Businesses, farms, celebrations, portraiture, family groups, services, buildings, disasters... if it happened, chances are people took photographs... Continue Reading →

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