Russell Heritage

Russell Museum enjoys telling some of the fascinating stories from the town’s history. Our local paper Russell Lights carries regular feature articles called Heritage Corner which feature these early gems about the town and our people.

A selection of them have been reproduced here. When you visit Russell, look out as you may well recognise some of the places and names from our past.

Heritage Corner articles:

Fire at the Duke of Marlborough

Whangamumu Windy Harbour
Russell Town Council
Winter Sports

Paradise Lost

Posted by on Apr 29, 2019 in Media | 0 comments

Paradise Lost

Russell Museum is presently preparing itself for the gala opening of a prestigious gallery exhibition which is transferring from Wellington direct to Russell Museum, opening on April 6th. The exhibition is called “Paradise Lost, Daniel Solander’s Legacy” and references the Swedish scientist Daniel Solander (1732 – 1782), who sailed into the Bay of Islands with Captain James Cook on the Endeavour 250 years ago. Solander is most famous as a botanist, but he was a man of many parts. Paradise Lost is a collection of stunning graphic images,...

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Russell School Reunion ~ celebrating 175 years of education in Russell 1839 – 2014

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Exhibitions | 0 comments

Russell School Reunion ~ celebrating 175 years of education in Russell 1839 – 2014

Russell Museum latest exhibition follows on from the Russell School Reunion held over the weekend 20 – 22 November 2015. Education began in Russell with classes held at Pompallier Mission for Maori students.  After a series of private schools and two public schools a purpose built school was erected on the present site, in Baker Street, in 1892. The exhibition features photos from the Russell Museum and Russell School collections and there will also be showing footage of the Reunion celebrations. Senior pupils of the school today are...

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Whakaata – Contemporary Maori Art Prints

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in Exhibitions | 0 comments

Whakaata – Contemporary Maori Art Prints

Whakaata looks to show a connection to a Maori print history.  It acknowledges this place, the proximity of Pompallier House with its historic printing press and its role in communication  during the time of early contact.  This exhibition presents numerous voices with some of the many Maori artists who have engaged in print and contributed to a Maori understanding of printmaking over the past 60 years.  Some of these include: Pauline Yearbury, Marilynn Webb, Cliff Whiting, Toi Te Rito Maihi and Clive Arlidge from this...

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Bye-bye Big Tree

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Bye-bye Big Tree

Big Tree – it’s an advertisement for benzine. You can only just make out the words on the roof of the wharf shed. They were on the other side too for a few years. This “new” Government wharf  opened in 1927. Several years later Lord Bledisloe, Governor General from 1930 to 35, visited Russell. Bledisloe is remembered for gifting the Waitangi National Trust land, and the Bledisloe Cup, to the nation. He was also known for giving voice to his social conscience – at his own instigation, his salary was reduced...

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Someone to Buttonhole

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Someone to Buttonhole

Russell Town Council 1956-9 Original photo © Russell Museum This photo shows the members of the Russell Town Council 1956-9 seated outside the entrance to the Russell Library. The room that the library now uses as a workroom was the Town Council room where meetings were held and the town clerk presided. Councillors in this photo are back row, left to right: Fred Gooder, Frank Dender, Merv Wallis, and in the front Huia (Birdie) King, Eric Gilmour and Ernie Tinkler town clerk. All resident in Russell, people with a query or complaint had...

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The High Place

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

The High Place

Original photo © Russell Museum Leo White’s Singer car on Maiki hill in 1930. This photo shows Leo White’s little Singer car believed to have been the first car to drive up to the flagstaff on Maiki hill in 1930. Leo worked for the Auckland Weekly News as a photographer and after the war took up aerial photography founding Whites Aviation selling wonderful hand coloured aerial views including the Bay of Islands. Maiki means the high place and the hill continues to be a focus for our town and popular with visitors who gain a greater...

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Summer by the Sea

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Summer by the Sea

Original photo © Russell Museum Phyllis Boucher congratulates Charlie Baker Long hot summer days draw locals and visitors to the beach whether Kororareka Bay, Oneroa or Tapeka. Locals too enjoy a swim, particularly our children who learn to swim as naturally as they learn to walk. This photo shows two locals in 1936. Phyllis Boucher was the first person to swim Russell to Paihia in 1929 aged 18. Here she congratulates Charlie Baker aged 15, the first boy to swim from Russell to Paihia and back. The Boucher family of six girls  and a boy grew...

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Summer Bounty

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Summer Bounty

Original photo © Russell Museum Percy Kydd with delicious bounty Here is Percy Kydd with the result of a summer dive in the Bay, a photo taken by Warkworth photographer Tudor Collins in the1950s. Percy was one of a family of 12 children whose parents were David Henry Kydd and his wife Bertha nee Hau. David’s mother Matilda had been the widow of George Cook, whaler, so David had Cook half brothers and cousins  who established the shore based whaling station at Whangamumu. In 1911 David and Bertha moved to Russell so their children were able to...

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Subdivision

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Subdivision

B&W photo postcard by Montagu. Russell no. R141. C. 1920s. From the earliest time the ‘S’ word has been part of Russell.  This old photo postcard shows a metalled track down to Long Beach.  Down below a bathing shed and long drop toilet stand on the foreshore.  In the distance is Wiggin’s small cottage (now replaced by a grandson’s contemporary bach.)  There is no road along the beach. Long Beach has a long history as a place to relax and enjoy sea, sun and sand. Possibly the first horse race in New Zealand was held there in 1839.  Louisa...

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Russell Wharf

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Russell Wharf

Clansman at Russell Wharf c1890 Original photo © Russell Museum Today, as in the past, most visitors approach Russell from the sea. Russell wharf is our front door. Old photos from the 1860s show two jetties, north of the present wharf, with tramlines into waterfront stores. A larger “government” wharf was built on the present site in 1879 and soon lengthened for larger vessels. Most supplies to the town came over it by coastal steamer. The wharf was rebuilt in 1927 with a large storage shed. Petrol bowsers, new jetties, and sheds for the...

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