Stephen, his brother James (pictured) and James’ wife, Harriet, arrived in Canterbury on the Charlotte Jane, the first of the first four ships in December 1850.
When James married Harriet, her father brought the pair 100 acres of the new Canterbury settlement. Stephen followed suit by purchasing a further 100 acres neighbouring his brother’s land and he called his farm Beckenham after their hometown in Kent. The area soon became known as Fisherton. The site of Stephen’s farmstead is now Fisher Ave in Beckenham. As the area was very swampy, the brothers had to drain it, afterward being able to grow wheat and then branching into cattle farming.
The land that was known as Beckingham was brought and subdivided after the death of Stephen in the late 1890’s. It was one of the first areas of Christchurch to get the tramway and this led to an increase in the building of housing there. In 1907, Beckenham was officially linked as a part of Christchurch.
*image of James Fisher courtesy of http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/ *
*photo of Beckenham Mural taken by Annette Bulovic*