The Canterbury Association Store, Sumner.

Where Clifton Terrace meets Main Road, sits one of the loveliest reserves in Sumner. Clifton Bay/Hill was once viewed by the Canterbury Association as a possible landing port for goods being transported from Lyttelton to Christchurch by boats.

In view of this and as the surveyors and road making gangs – made up of both Europeans and Maori – were scattered around Sumner and Evans Pass at that time, a store was built in Clifton Bay, the first building in Sumner. The year was 1849.

Charles Crawford (Note: Moncks Bay next door was known to surveyors as Crawford’s Spur) was hired to do the job and once the store was built, Charles also ran it. Not only was it in the plans that it would be a store room for goods in transit for Christchurch but became where the surveyors ended their day, leaving their tools and valuables there to be locked up over night.

The position of the Sumner bar proved Clifton Bay too dangerous to use as a landing port so the store soon became redundant. In 1859 it was purchased by George Day who also owned the neighbouring land. He turned the store into the Day’s Hotel stables.

The Day’s Hotel was the first of its kind in Sumner. It was very popular in the heyday of the coach service between Sumner and Christchurch.

Tragically, this historic building and stables were destroyed by fire in 1892. Here this marker shows where the Canterbury Association store stood.

Arthur Dudley Dobson – from the Arthur’s Pass fame – grew up in Sumner with his parents and siblings. The Dobsons were one of the first families to settle in Sumner.

*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

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