Council staff discover historic foundation stone

​Council staff are celebrating an exciting discovery for the community following the chance find of a historic foundation stone laid in the early 1900's.

Museum Director Tanya Robinson says the Ashburton Technical School foundation stone was a lucky discovery after Council Property Maintenance Officer David Hampton reported he had seen the stone laying in a Council work yard.

"Our Museum Archivist Kathleen Stringer had published an article a few months ago on the life of former Ashburton Mayor Henry Davis. In one of the photos included, Mr Davis is seen laying the Ashburton Technical School foundation stone in 1912. As luck would have it, David Hampton read the article and reported to us that he thought he had seen the stone while out working."

The Ashburton Technical School was located on what is now Digby Park on Chalmers Avenue. The school was opened in 1912 by Henry Davis and was used until 1972. It then served as the Borough Council offices and later as the Ashburton Museum until 1995. The building was demolished in 2006.

"The foundation stone is such a wonderful find. The letters have faded quite a bit, but amazingly, moss has grown in the letter grooves, so the words 'Davis' and 'stone' are clearly visible. This has been a terrific unearthing of Ashburton's local history."

Council staff are working to clean and restore the Technical School foundation stone, and a final location to house it will be decided in coming weeks.

Page reviewed: 15 Aug 2016 10:20am