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Timaru. Nicely painted shops and stores from the late 19th century in the main shopping street. | by denisbin
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Timaru. Nicely painted shops and stores from the late 19th century in the main shopping street.

Timaru.This spot was a Maori pa as it had a good sheltered harbour suitable for Maori canoes. When white settlers arrived this was still the main asset of the place. It became the main port between Christchurch and Dunedin handling wool and supplies for the Canterbury Plains. It became an industrial centre processing lamb for frozen shipments to England in the 1880s. In the 20th century it has hardly progressed so it has many well preserved late 19th century buildings. Today it has over 27,000 inhabitants. A freezing works still operates at nearby Pareora which the Bowmans in SA used as a property name. Edmund Bowman visited this area in the early 1850s looking for land but he stayed put in SA. Brothers William and George Rhodes established the first white run near Timaru in 1851. They subdivided a small town in 1853 and the government added an official town in 1856. Around 500 British settlers arrived here between 1859 and 1863. A new artificial harbour was created between 1878 and 1906. Its best known historic building is the Timaru Basilica which was consecrated in 1911 on the main highway. The main street Stafford Street has some fine old banks, hotels, the Theatre Royal 1877 and a T & G insurance building etc.

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Taken on October 15, 2016