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Old photos of Ashburton, Canterbury

Coat of arms Ashburton

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History of city Ashburton, Canterbury in photos

A small historical reference

Geography: Ashburton is a large town in the Canterbury Region, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The town is the seat of the Ashburton District, a territorial authority encompassing the town and a number of small settlements within its surrounding rural area, roughly coterminous with the subregion of Mid Canterbury. It is 85 kilometres (53 mi) south west of Christchurch and is sometimes regarded as a satellite town of Christchurch.

Ashburton township has a population of 20,200, with an additional 12,400 living in the wider district. The town is the 23rd largest urban area in New Zealand and the third-largest urban area in the Canterbury Region, after Christchurch and Timaru.

Date of foundation:

History:

Population: 19 600

Sights:

Ashburton. Bank of New South Wales, 1904
Bank of New South Wales, 1904
Ashburton. Baring Square
Baring Square
Ashburton. Burnett Street
Burnett Street
Ashburton. East Street, 1930s
East Street, 1930s
Ashburton. East Street, Somerset commercial family hotel, horses cabriolets
East Street, Somerset commercial family hotel, horses cabriolets
Ashburton. East Street, horses carts and cabriolet
East Street, horses carts and cabriolet
Ashburton. E. G. Church's traction engine
E. G. Church's traction engine hauling 15 tons of clover from Greenstreet to A.E. Small's dairy farm at Wakanui, 1919
Ashburton. Gardens
Gardens
Ashburton. High School, 1912
High School, 1912
Ashburton. Old men's home
Old men's home
Ashburton. Overhead bridge at Railway station, 1910
Overhead bridge at Railway station, 1910
Ashburton. Panorama of city street from railway, 1912
Panorama of city street from railway, 1912
Ashburton. Panorama of city, 1904
Panorama of city with Methodist Church from Post Office Tower, 1904
Ashburton. Panorama of city street, 1904
Panorama of city street, 1904
Ashburton. Panorama of city street, 1904
Panorama of city street, 1904
Ashburton. Public Library, 1904
Public Library, 1904
Ashburton. Post and Telegraph Office, 1901
Post and Telegraph Office, 1901
Ashburton. Post Office and Monument, 1906
Post Office and Monument, 1906
Ashburton. Railway station, 1959
Railway station, 1959
Ashburton. Somerset Hotel
Somerset Hotel
Ashburton. Somerset Corner, 1912
Somerset Corner, 1912
Ashburton. Somerset Corner
Somerset Corner
Ashburton. Traffic Bridge, 1912
Traffic Bridge, 1912
Ashburton. Traffic Bridge and Railway Bridge, 1912
Traffic Bridge and Railway Bridge, 1912

History of city Ashburton

The land on which the town of Ashburton stands was obtained from the Canterbury Association which held the land under the Wakefield Scheme. The river and the town were named after the Hon. William Baring (Lord Ashburton) a prominent member of the first New Zealand Land Association founded by Wakefield in 1837.

At this time Ashburton District was tussock-covered and swept periodically by gales from the north-west. There were no trees except a few cabbage trees and matagouri. The wide snow-fed braided rivers meant fords constantly changed and crossings could be difficult.

William Turton opened an accommodation house on the north bank of the Ashburton River in 1858. It was the first building in what would become Ashburton. The town was surveyed in 1863 by Robert Park and boundaries laid out.

Cobb and Company coaches began a service in 1864 and a roads board was set up to cover the area from the Rakaia to the Rangitata and from the Southern Alps to the sea.

John Grigg settled at Longbeach and began draining the swampy land, turning the estate into a model farm that attracted world-wide attention. Grigg later founded the Canterbury Frozen Meat Company, was chairman of the Farmers Insurance Company, a member of the Ashburton County Council and a Member of Parliament. After his death in 1901 a statue of Grigg was erected in Baring Square where it remains to this day.

Ashburton Borough School was built in 1872; the Canterbury Flour Mills opened and shortly after the Rakaia River was bridged.

In 1876 the Ashburton County Council was formed and council offices built, the 'Ashburton Mail began publication the following year and the Agricultural and Pastoral Association formed with John Grigg as first president.

In 1878 Ashburton was constituted a Borough and Thomas Bullock elected first Mayor. The district was growing steadily and before the turn of the century its first hospital opened, Ashburton High School was founded and E. G. Wright became the first Member of Parliament for the district.

Business grew, a woollen mill opened in 1880, a freezing works established at Fairton in 1899 and gas lighting came to Ashburton streets. The town's high pressure water supply was established in 1911 and a water tower built.

The Ashburton Electric Power Board was elected in 1921 and reticulation of the town and country began.

On the education front, Ashburton High School and Hakatere College amalgamated in 1965 to form Ashburton College, which has a roll today of about 1100 students.

In 1989 the Borough and County Councils amalgamated into Ashburton District Council. The former County Council building now houses our Council Chamber.

Source: www.ashburtondc.govt.nz





Photos posted on the website in accordance with Article 7, paragraph 1 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 9 September 1886, the term of protection which is fifty years after the author's death.

After this period photos it becomes public domain. The participants of the Berne Convention are 167 States.


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