Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


A slice of North Canterbury history on the market

A slice of North Canterbury history on the market for sale

The property once owned by a pioneering Rangiora mayor is on the market for sale. North Canterbury history enthusiast and real estate agent Debi Joynson spent a day at the Rangiora Museum, following the trail of history behind this fascinating family home.

By Debi Joynson

George Cones was born in Suffolk, England and came to North Canterbury on the ship ‘Bungalore’ in 1851, at age nine. His family were not wealthy, but they were pioneering and ambitious. George left school early to take up farming when his father died. He went on to become one of Rangiora’s earliest mayors and longest standing district councillors.

The history books paint Mr Cones as a popular and widely respected man, known for his service to Rangiora and the wider North Canterbury region. He was particularly celebrated for his success in campaigning for the original Ashley River Bridge to be built. This opened to traffic in October 1879 and connected the rural Ashley and Loburn areas with Rangiora and Christchurch City.

It and proved to be a key in developing the economy in the region, allowing farmers to more easily get their stock and produce to the weekly auctions, held every Tuesday at the site where the Rangiora Farmers car park now is.

In 1874, at age 32, Mr Cones bought the block of land at 132 Cones Rd for his family. It was then known as rural section 1293, and the road was not yet named after him.

He paid 274 pounds, around $231,000 in today’s terms, and lived there with his wife, Ellen Burt, and their four children.

Unable to afford a house built of timber, Mr Cones built a sod house from thick blocks of clay. Bullocks were driven around a pen to knead and pulp the clay mixed with manure, tussock or straw. This was then moulded into clay blocks to build the house which was then lined with a clay mixture, making it warm in winter and cool in summer.

There are several coincidences in life at the property in the 1800s, and today. Firstly, Mr Cones was a keen runner and chairman of the local athletics club. The current owners of the property have a teenager who was also an avid athlete, and cut a running track into the paddocks for him to practise on.

Furthermore, the current owners enjoy amateur equestrian events with the horses at the property, as did Mr Cones – in fact, one of his won the North Canterbury Cup in 1876. The local newspaper described ‘Jimmy’ as “a wonderful little horse, whose everyday occupation was to carry the butcher's basket but was certainly no disgrace to the business he assists in fostering”.

Although he started from modest means, Mr Cones was a natural businessman, and soon opened butchery on the corner of High St and Albert St in Rangiora - the site where the BNZ bank stands today.

He was also mayor of Rangiora in the 1890s, as well as an elected councillor for 20 consecutive years, until he died in 1898. On the day of his funeral, flags flew at half-mast in the town and businesses were closed for the day.

Newspaper archives show his funeral cortege was large, with representatives of all the organisations Mr Cones belonged to. The pall bearers included the mayor of the time, borough councillors and the town clerk. He was buried at the Rangiora Church of England Cemetery, where he lays today with his wife, who died 20 years later aged 79.

It is not known if Mr Cones’s sod house was demolished, or if nature was left to take its course. Records show the current house at 132 Cones Rd was built in the 1970s, by the then-owner. He originally built a single story residence, and extended it, when the children came along.

This owner established the orchard with his wife, and within two years the fruit trees producing enough to make an income. They sold peas, barley, apples and peaches at the gate for more than 20 years and were well known in Ashley as ‘the place to buy produce’.

The current family who own this property, the Bakers, modernised the house - adding new carpets, tiling, fixtures and fittings. With their children now grown-up, they are downsizing, and the time has come for the next family to move in and continue the history of this property.

Debi Joynson would like to thank the Rangiora Museum volunteers who helped her research this article.


The house then

Rural section 1293

Built in 1874

£274 pounds (around $231,000 in todays terms)

A sod house built from thick blocks of clay mixed with manure. Natural insulation made the house warm in winter and cool in summer.


The house today

132 Cones Road, Ashley

CV $385,000

To be sold at auction on February 28

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 1

Garage spaces: 2

Three acres of land with four fenced paddocks suitable for horses, stock or pets. The sunny house has approximately 212sqm of floor space over two levels. There is open plan living, kitchen, dining that opens up to outdoor entertainment areas, as well as separate formal dining. An opportunity to escape city life, with the convenience of Rangiora township just minutes away and Christchurch city a 30 minute commute. View it online at www.bayleys.co.nz/514578.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news