Tell me by telegram: Ashburton joined telegraph system in 1871

Once upon a time, before texts, emails, and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat there was… talking to each other! Aside from sending letters, the telegraph system provided a relatively quick means of communication across Aotearoa. It developed first across the South Island and then up into the North. What was once a technological marvel... Continue Reading →

Quick history of Barrhill: J C Wason’s model village

What remains of the quaint model village of Barrhill is undeniably unique, the few original buildings standing as a reminder of what was once a thriving settlement and a dream-come-true. Barrhill was laid out in the 1870s by John Cathcart Wason, owner of the Corwar Estate, to accommodate his workers and their families. Parents and... Continue Reading →

Library and Council under one roof

Te Pātaka o kā Tuhituhi/Te Waharoa a Hine Paaka, Ashburton's new Library and Civic Centre, will unite the Ashburton Public Library and the Ashburton District Council under one roof - an idea that may give some of you a bit of déjà vu.

Knights of the Merope

Spending months at sea aboard merchant ships was an ordeal for many – death and sickness often marred such voyages, but the story of Henry Knight and his family’s journey aboard the clipper Merope in 1879 shows a more hopeful side of the nineteenth century immigrant experience.

Spreading the Word

As time went on, the world benefited from rapid advances in the typesetting and printing sectors – Ashburton included. In the early days of New Zealand’s European settlement, it was a sign of progress and advancement to have a local newspaper in your town – sometimes more than one!

Snow on the Alps

For many of us, winter is a time of shivering through our time spent outside, finding refuge in a cosy blanket and a hot drink whenever we have a minute to relax.

Feats of endurance – Early Ashburton District history

Once again I have found myself enthralled by tales of Ashburton’s past, as told by Alex Hewson in his Once again I have found myself enthralled by tales of Ashburton’s past, as told by Alex Hewson in his 1918 reminisces, as well as Mary Anne Barker’s brief description of crossing the Ashburton River.

No job too tough

While conducting some research for a member of the public, Senior Curator Maryann Cowan discovered the exciting legacy of yet another interesting Ashburtonian – that of Mr. James Russell Richardson.

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