History of Rangiora

Rangiora – A Short History

1849: First survey of North Canterbury area undertaken by Charles Obins Torlesse and John Cowell Boys
1851: First European settler – Mr Charles Obins Torlesse.
1853: Mr George John Leech and other early settlers – settled in the district. He and his wife had arrived from England on board the ship “Tasmania”.
1855: First Community sports meeting
1857: Opening of the Lion Hotel, later known as the Red Lion. An earlier hotel had operated for a few years.
1858:  First Store in Rangiora which later became the first post office. Then others stores, a bakery, a small brewery and a flour mill were established.
1859: First community Sports Meeting held on New Year’s Day in the Torlesse grounds. Later New Year sports meetings were held at the Rangiora Recreation Ground.
1859: By this year three congregations, Anglican, Baptist and Methodist, were holding weekly services.
1859: Rangiora Cricket Club formed.
1866: Northern A & P Association formed.
1872: Mechanics Institute Hall built.
1872: Sunday 3 November – Opening of broad gauge (63 inch) railway line from Addington to Rangiora. Previously the line had opened to Kaiapoi, then to Southbook. Later it was extended to Amberley.
1874: Opening of Rangiora District School.
1874: Rangiora Fire Brigade established.
1875: Rugby Club formed in Rangiora.
1877: Railway line converted to narrow gauge (42 inch), the New Zealand standard.
1878: Rangiora acquired status as a Borough.
1878: Masonic lodge re-formed.
1884: Opening of Rangiora High School.
1898: Telephone Exchange established at the Post Office.
1907: Gas Works opened.
1919: Reticulated electricity supply established.
1925: Mechanics Institute Hall destroyed by fire.
1925: Dudley Park – Purchase of a 13.5 acre block from Archdeacon Dudley’s estate to provide a new sports ground, Dudley Park.
1967: Opening of the Rangiora Museum

For further reading and information we have provided a PDF to download or you can contact us with any specific questions you may have.

Other Museums in our District and Surrounding Districts

Kaiapoi – kaiapoimuseum.co.nz/
Cust – www.nzmuseums.co.nz/account/3123
Oxford – oxfordmuseum.weebly.com/
Kowai Archives – www.hurunui.govt.nz/our-district/history-and-heritage/kowai-archives/