Crown Brewery: 1902

This brewery dates from the early days of Christchurch. Previous to 1875 it was an unpretentious concern, but in that year the late Mr W. White took over the business and formed it into a company known as the Crown Brewery Company. In the following year Messrs Louisson Bros. purchased a large number of shares, and ultimately acquired all the remaining interests in the company; and since then its history has been one of continued prosperity and expansion. From a very small beginning, with an output of a few hogsheads per week for local consumption, its extension under the able management of the Messrs Louisson Bros. since their acquisition of the property has been great, and it now ranks as one of the leading businesses, with a very large output, and a connection extending all over New Zealand. The plant, which is considered one of the best and most up-to-date in the colony, was erected without regard to cost, and is capable of working up to fifty hogsheads per day. Only the best and purest ingredients are used in the manufacture. The hops are obtained from Nelson and the barley from Canterbury; of the latter 30,000 bushels are annually used by the firm, and this consumption materially adds to the activity of the farming industry. The cellars, of which there are several, are very spacious, and have a stowage capacity of over 2500 hogsheads.

The Crown Brewery, The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District] 1903, NZETC

Burke’s manuscript – a bit on breweries.

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We have digitised a rather splendid 1902 publication Tourists’ guide to Canterbury.

I will share some of the interesting ads and pictures from it in a series of posts – there’s lots of information about local businesses and places in 1902.

We are history – How earthquakes have connected us with the past and future

Some of the destruction by earthquake at Cheviot, North Canterbury, 16 Nov. 1901

William Ellison Burke wrote a gossipy journal in the early days of Canterbury settlement. He has quite a bit in common with us:

An earthquake. My chums were asleep in a whare and I shook them up. The slab rafters were moving merrily. The shock was severe and probably the wet Swampy nature of the country, had something to do with it.

Jane Deans wrote in 1869:

It came as they usually do, without warning. A loud report like a cannon ball hitting the house, then a long rumbling noise like a long, heavy train passing over a wooden bridge, shaking violently all the time.

Her diaries and letters were mentioned in The Press article Quake sounds familiar, and her great-great-grandson Charles said:

It’s remarkable how emotive it is. It’s just so similar to what we are hearing time and time again now. We are living the same fear, worry and concern that she was back then … It is not just our generation that is going through this … The city has recovered before and it will again.

Since September 4 2010, we have learned about disasters, preparedness, geology and seismology. And loss. But we’ve also discovered that in sharing stories, a powerful link is made – one that cuts across time and place.

So think about writing your story – for now, but also for the future. We’d love you to share your stories and photos with us.

Other places to tell your story: