The Timaru Herald

A ‘New’ Panoramic Album of Timaru

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The museum team has been working hard behind the scenes to develop the concepts and potential content for the “permanent” galleries for the new Theatre and Heritage Hub.

While doing so and assisting the architects with some of their research, we once again came across EAC Jackson’s “New

Panoramic album of Timaru’’, from c.18901891, that overlooks the existing theatre’s neighbourh­ood.

The small album comprises six single prints on a continuous linen backing forming a rough panoramic, folding up behind a card cover.

The views all appear to have been taken taken from on top of the Evans Atlas Flour Mill, forming a 180-degree panorama of

Timaru from the harbour to South Beach.

Close inspection of this snapshot of early Timaru reveals numerous intriguing details.

In the north, the harbour shows the beginnings of the North Mole (started in 1890) and the presence of the tug Titan (sold in 1891), which helped date the album.

The Post Office clock (now on the Timaru District Council buildings) and the bell tower of the George St fire station jut out above the intervenin­g trees.

Behind these St Mary's Church – without its now-iconic tower – appears in the background.

In the southern half of the panorama, the Market Square (now Alexandra Square), the old bluestone police station in North St and the courthouse next to it all appear (though they are small).

In the centre foreground, shop-fronts along the CBD remain recognisab­le today – including the old Criterion Hotel, which will be part of the new Theatre and Heritage Hub.

In the background are other recognisab­le features – the convent and Timaru Main School (both now gone) can just be made out.

More striking though is the relative lack of developmen­t and sparsity of houses in areas that are now heavily built up.

In the adjacent residentia­l suburbs. Around this time, a writer to TheTimaru Herald commented that ... “quarter acre sections will soon be all but unobtainab­le within an easy walking distance of the business centre of the town”.

What can you see that might be the same – or indeed is very different from today?

 ?? ?? EAC Jacksons “New Panoramic album of Timaru”, from c.1890-1891. South Canterbury Museum 2007/096.011
EAC Jacksons “New Panoramic album of Timaru”, from c.1890-1891. South Canterbury Museum 2007/096.011

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