Late 1851, in the middle of a sea of tussock, the Hart family stopped from their trek from Lyttelton and laid all their worldly belongings at their feet. A tent was soon erected and there the Hart family remained. By November 1851, a wooden building with stables was opened as the first hotel in Christchurch – The White Hart Hotel.
The location was at the intersection of Cashel and High (Sumner) Streets where the Westpac building once stood…which was demolished due to the 2011 earthquakes.
Michael Branman Hart, the head of the family later took an interest in politics but failed to become a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council. However, in 1874 he had more success – he became Mayor!
For a more in depth look at the White Hart Hotel, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/the-white-hart-hotel/