Life at Riccarton before the Deans

Banks Peninsula whaler Edward Weller must have smiled to himself that October day in 1839.  Maybe he even waved goodbye to those members of the Ngai Tahu who had foolishly sold him Banks Peninsula and the greater part of the Port Cooper (Canterbury) Plains for an old whaler’s boat and a few items of clothing.  …

Deans Head

I’m sure as the schooner ‘Ballet’ sailed down the east coast of the Middle (South) Island, William Deans leaned against the deck railing and watched the passing coastline with great interest. He was aboard Captain Edward Daniell’s schooner as an approved stow-away and he held great hopes for what he might find down on the …

Ngai Tahu Resting Spot

This name-less reserve sits above the Cashmere Hills Presbyterian Church on Dyers Pass Road. It was once used as a resting place – first for the Ngati Mamoe and then the Ngai Tahu. Above this reserve is Sherwood Lane which is the location of Matuku-takotako – a cave that was used for shelter. From leaving …

Jane Deans (1823 – 1911)

It wasn’t love at first sight for either John or Jane Deans…unbelievable concerning the history they made together. Jane was born at Auchenflower Farm, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 21st April 1823. She was eldest child of farmer/gentleman James McIlraith and his first wife Agnes. When her mother died, Jane became the mother hen of her …