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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]


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Fernside is in the Mandeville riding of the county of Ashley, and had (with its neighbourhood) a population of 550 at the census of 1901. There is a flag railway station, which is twenty-four miles distant from Christchurch, and 140 feet above sea level, on the Rangiora-Oxford branch line. Fernside has a public school, and a post office is conducted at the local store. There are carriage-building works and a blacksmith's shop in the township. The district is devoted chiefly to sheep farming.

The Post And Telegraph Office, Fernside, is carried on at the store of Mr. Donald McIntyre, and mails are received and despatched daily.

Mr. Donald McIntyre, Postmaster at Fernside, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1834. After arriving at Lyttelton in 1862, by the ship “Victoria,” he took up land in the Fernside district, and farmed it for about thirty years. Mr. McIntyre has served on local boards and committees, and has conducted the Fernside store since 1892. He has been twice married; firstly, in 1856, to Miss Robertson, of Perthshire, who died in 1873, leaving two sons and five daughters; and, secondly, in 1882, to the widow of the late Mr. Alfred Fennell, who founded the Fernside store.

Fernside Public School. This school was founded in the early sixties under the Provincial Government. The original cob building was replaced by more commodious premises in 1879, and these in turn gave way to the comfortable building and schoolhouse of 1902. The three class rooms have accommadation for 100 pupils, and there are sixty on the roll, with an average attendance of fifty-three. There is a school glebe of twenty acres. A fine concrete swimming bath, 75 feet by 30 feet, and increasing from 3 feet to 9 feet in depth, has lately been completed at a cost of over £90, which was subscribed almost wholly by the people of the district, as a result of the energy of the headmaster and the co-operation of the settlers of Fernside.

Mr. Richard Hay Ferguson, Headmaster of the Fernside School, was born at Carrickfergus, Antrim, Ireland. He was brought up as a teacher and trained at the Training College in Dublin, and served as such for twenty years in his native land. Mr. Ferguson arrived at Port Chalmers in January, 1880, with a guarantee of employment from Sir Julius Vogel, the colony's Agent-General in London, and was appointed to Blueskin. When, five years and a half later, he had to leave the district owing to Mrs Ferguson's ill-health, Mr. Ferguson was presented by the residents with a gold watch and chain, and an illuminated address. He removed to Canterbury, and after being two years at Ashley, he was transferred to Belfast, where he continued for ten years and a half. In 1898 Mr. Ferguson took up his duties at Fernside, and, on leaving Belfast, owing to ill-health, he and Mrs Ferguson were presented with oil paintings of themselves, a suite of dining room furniture, a set of carvers, and a handsome illuminated address, and other tokens of the friendship and goodwill of the settlers. Mr. Ferguson was married, in 1862, to a daughter of the late Mr. M. Arlow, merchant, of Belfast, and has five sons and one daughter surviving.

Opening of Fernside School Swimming Bath.

Opening of Fernside School Swimming Bath.

Standish and Preece, photo. Mr. and Mrs R. H. Ferguson.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. and Mrs R. H. Ferguson.

Cattermoor, William, Coachbuilder, Shoeing and General Smith. Fernside. Mr. Cattermoor established his business in 1883. He makes and repairs agricultural implements, and undertakes general coachbuilding. The premises stand on a section of four acres of freehold land, and comprise a wheelwright's shop, a smithy, a paint shop and an ironmongery store. Mr. Cattermoor was born at St. Albans, Christchurch, in 1857, and never attended school. He learned his trade at the trolly-way works, Papanui Road, Christchurch. Mr. Cattermoor was married, in 1878, to a daughter of the late Mr. R. Watkins, of Rangoria, and has two daughters and one son.

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Tolputt and Clarke, photo. Mr. and Mrs W. Cattermoor.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo.
Mr. and Mrs W. Cattermoor.

Parrott, Ernest Joseph, Fernside. Mr. Parrott was born in England, and came to New Zealand in 1883 by the ship “British Queen.” He was educated at the old grammar school at Brandon, in Suffolk, and was apprenticed to the grocery trade. In 1887 he paid a visit to the Old Country, and returned to Christchurch in December of the same year. After being in the employment of Messrs Blackett and Son for a time, he purchased Mr. J. Smith's business in High Street, Rangiora, and erected premises which were amongst the finest in Canterbury. Mr. Parrott has since sold the business.


Chapman, Robert William, Sheep-farmer, “Lowland Leas,” Fernside. Mr. Chapman is the third son of the late Mr. Robert Chapman, well known throughout Canterbury in the early days. He was born at Springbank, his father's station, in 1857, educated at Christ's College, Christchurch, and brought up to sheepfarming in the district. Since 1886 Mr. Chapman has farmed his estate, which is a portion of the old Springbank station, and consists of 3700 acres. He runs about 5000 sheep, and crops about 200 acres of turnips, besides 100 acres of rape, and 100 acres of cereals each year. Mr. Chapman's sheep are half-breds, and his special line is to raise for fattening purposes. He has been a successful prize-taker at many local shows. In public matters, he has served on the Eyreton Road Board for six years, on the Ashley-Waimakariri River Board for two years, and has been a member of the committees of the Canterbury and Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Associations. His services as a judge of Merino sheep have been frequently in request at local shows. Mr. Chapman was married, in 1885, to a daughter of Mr. S. Johnston, sometime postmaster at Kaiapoi, and has two sons and one daughter.

Mr. E. W. Chapman.

Mr. E. W. Chapman.

Dalziel, Gavin, Farmer, Merton's Road, Fernside. Mr. Dalziel was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1854, and accompanied his parents to Lyttelton in the ship “Huntress” in 1863. His father settled in Southland, and Mr. Dalziel was educated at Morton Mains estate. He came to Canterbury in 1871, and settled in the Rangiora district. For some time he was in partnership with his brother, Mr. R. Dalziel, but has, on his own account, been farming over 250 acres of freehold, and 240 acres of leasehold land since 1896. He was married, in 1890, to a daughter of the late Mr. A. Gow, of Fernside, and has one daughter.

Dalziel, Robert, Farmer, Fernside. Mr. Dalziel was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1858, and accompanied his parents to Lyttelton in the ship “Huntress,” when he was five years of age. The family settled in Southland, where Mr. Dalziel was educated. He has been a resident at Fernside since 1871, and he farms ninety-five acres in that district, and 510 acres in Swannanoa. Mr. Dalziel is also the proprietor of threshing and chaff-cutting machinery and a traction engine, which he has worked successfully for about twenty years. He was for three years and a half a member of the Waimakariri-Ashley Water Supply Board.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo. Mr. R. Dalziel.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo.
Mr. R. Dalziel.

Jackson, Joseph, Farmer, Fernside. Mr. Jackson was born in Sussex, England, in 1831, and has always been engaged in farming. He arrived in Lyttelton in 1855, by the ship “Cashmere,” and after being several years in Christchurch, he settled in Rangiora in 1862. Mr. Jackson has frequently served as a member of the local school committee. He was married, in 1862, to a daughter of the late Mr. W. Lovesay, of London, and has four sons and one daughter.

Palmer, Edwin John, Farmer, Fernside. Mr. Palmer was born in Worcester, England, in January, 1844. He came to Lytletton with his parents by the ship “Zealandia” in 1858. His father, Mr. T. Palmer, who is eighty-two years of age, still resides at New Brighton, where Mr. E. J. Palmer was brought up to farming; and he farmed 100 acres of land for about twenty years in Heathcote. In 1894 he settled at Fernside, where he has 200 acres of land. Mr. Palmer has taken great interest in local matters; he was formerly a member of the Heathcote Road Board, and has served on the Mandeville and Rangiora River Board since 1901. He has been for seven page 482 years on the Fernside school committee, and for five years of that period, chairman. Mr. Palmer was married, in 1865, to a daughter of the late Mr. Merry, one of the early settlers of Bromley, near Christchurch, and has six sons and five daughters. Eight of Mr. Palmer's family are married, and there are fully twenty grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs E. J. Palmer and Grandson.

Mr. and Mrs E. J. Palmer and Grandson.

Mr. Thomas Bruce was well known in Canterbury in the early days in connection with coaching. He was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1829, and arrived in Lyttelton about 1854. Mr. Bruce is said to have been the first to have established coaches between Lyttelton and Christchurch, in conjunction with Mr. Coe, and to have carried the mail over the hills before coaches were put on the road. For years subsequently Mr. Bruce ran coaches to the West Coast, via the Bealey. He afterwards owned a flour and biscuit mill in Colombo Street, which was conducted for some years under the style of Bruce and Coe. Mr. Bruce was married in Lyttelton in the early days, and at his death in 1885, he left four sons and one daughter.

Mr. Joseph Kelcher, sometime of “Hampton Farm,” Fernside, was born in Northamptonshire, England, and emigrated to Nelson in the ship “Amecohvila” in 1856. A year later he removed to Canterbury, and worked for four year with Mr. Robertson, afterwards taking up land at Fernside. He had several other properties in the district, amounting in all to nearly 300 acres. Two of his sons are farming in South Canterbury. Mr. Kelcher was one of the oldest members of the Rangiora Agricultural Society, and was also a member of the road board. He was married in 1867, and had four sons and one daughter. Mr. Kelcher died in 1898.

The Late Mr. J. Kelcher.

The Late Mr. J. Kelcher.