The Deans’ Cottage vs The Pollard Shanty

One can easily imagine the hard decision it was for Jane Deans to approve the demolition of the old Deans/Manson/Gebbie’s barn in 1897.  It was after all, the very roof where her dearly departed husband and his late brother had laid their heads to rest over 50 years earlier, when the Riccarton she so loved …

St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

On the last Sunday of October 1853, in a small carpentry shop in Cashel Street, owned by James Johnston, a small group of Scottish Presbyterian settlers gathered together.  Among them were John and Jane Deans.  Not only was this an historic day for the Anglican based Canterbury but it was a day of reflection and …

Jane Manson (1846 – 1901)

Jane Manson was the wife of John Manson, son of Samuel and Jean Manson who had accompanied William Deans to New Zealand from Scotland in 1840. After two years as employees of the Deans brothers at Riccarton (the first 3 years were in Wellington), the Mansons and another family named the Gebbies, moved onto their …

TEDDINGTON – William Flower Blatchford (1827 – 1897)

William Flower Blatchford (pictured on the right)arrived in Canterbury on the 1st March 1851 aboard the ‘Isabella Hercus’, the Canterbury Association’s 6th emigrant ship. From all accounts and from where he put down his roots, he seemed very fond of Lyttelton Harbour. The bay of Te Rapu – named after a stream that flows through …

Pioneer Names In Land Ledger

There would have been no hope for this old ledger if it hadn’t been behind glass at the Canterbury Museum. A ledger of land purchased up to the 30th April 1868 – section numbers, purchaser’s surnames, where and what acreage. Some names just jumped out of the page at me, I was so buzzing that …

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 …

The Hay Family – Annadale – Pigeon Bay

Ebenezer Hay upset an entire family when he fell in love with Agnes Orr. Anges lived just two miles away from the Deans and McIlraith’s families at Annadale Farm in Ayrshire, Scotland. No one suffered more from this union of Ebe and Agnes than her father who was alarmed to learn that his favourite daughter …

Canterbury’s Oldest Stone House Was Built – 1848

After surviving the three month voyage from Scotland and completing his two year work contract with the Deans brothers of Putaringamotu (Riccarton), Samuel Manson, Canterbury’s first carpenter and father of the first European child born on the plains, must have felt a great pride when he built his own staff quarters on his own land. …