Death On The Bridle Path

“…unusual fatigue, to which, in his praiseworthy endeavors to find a suitable spot on which to locate his family, the deceased had exposed himself…”     The Lyttelton Times    January 1851 John Williams was painfully aware that he, his wife Isabella and their 7 children only had a few days of grace at their first Canterbury lodgings …

MRS. POPES

When Mrs. Maria Sophia Pope opened her shop on Colombo Street in 1862, the street that ran along the front of her door was nothing more than a muddy runty track that would fill with water every time it rained.  But I’m sure on those fine Christchurch days; Maria would take a breather on her …

The First Settler Spots

Over 700 settlers flooded into Lyttelton between the 16th and the 27th of December 1850 from our First Four Ships.  Although many public works had occurred to get the port as ready as it could be, the new immigration barracks would in no way be able to house everybody.  It was so bad, some took …

Golden Fleece Corner

By the time Dr. A.C Barker pulled out his hand-gun, he had been pushed to breaking point. As he focused the weapon on the swaying drunk that was taking a rest against the packing crates that made up his home, the Doctor repeated his previous ignored request that the intruder should move on… and at …

Memories of Elizabeth Hawdon nee Barker

Elizabeth Barker was the eldest daughter of Dr. A.C. Baker and his wife Emma. The Barkers arrived in Canterbury aboard the ‘Charlotte Jane’ on the 16th December 1850. Emma was pregnant with Elizabeth during the voyage. The couple already had three boys. Elizabeth was born on the morning of the 15th March 1851 under a …

PAPANUI

The Maori word ‘Papanui’ has two different meanings, no one knows for certain which one is correct as both seem to relate to the history of this area of Christchurch. Along with Riccarton Bush, there was also the Papanui Bush, both areas could be viewed easily from the Bridle Path in the sea of tussock …

Market Place – Victoria Square

Around 1500 years ago, a Maori village stretched from Victoria Square (pictured) to Bealey Ave and was known as Puari. Around the Waitaka Pa, 800 Maori had made Puari their home.Puari’s burial grounds – the sites of the old Library Chambers (demolished due to earthquake damage) and the Central Police Station (future unknown) each on …

MURDER ON COLOMBO STREET

Mrs. Rebecca Money couldn’t quite believe her ears. She had been wiping down table tops in the dining room of the Victoria Hotel she owned with her husband Charles when she heard the first scream from the street. Confused at first, Rebecca paused before glancing out into the night from the window. An eerie orange …