Moa Bones Find Puts Canterbury On The World Map – 2nd December 1866

The discovery of Moa bones on 2 December 1866 not only put Canterbury on the world map but also helped Julius von Haast with the expansion of what would become the Canterbury Museum’s historic collection.

With the discovery of Moa bones at Glenmark Swamp, Julius was able to trade some of the remains with overseas museums and our future museum’s collection grew in leaps and bounds. A year later – almost to the day – Julius put his collection on display in an upstairs room in the Canterbury Provincial Chambers.

Architect Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort was hired to design a new building to house Julius’ collection and a site was chosen in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens where this heritage gem still remains today. The Museum made the move to this specially designed building in 1870.

For a more in depth look at Julius von Haast, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/sir-julius-von-haast-1824-1887/

*image courtesy of The Alexander Turnbull Library – Creator unknown : Photograph of moa skeletons, Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. Ref: PAColl-9484. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22820086

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