Home' Northern Outlook : March 9th 2013 Contents 6 March, 2013
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
We class ourselves as one of the major handlers of all types of wools.
We purchase wools and sell on behalf for Farmers throughout the
South Island. We are also a strong advocate for the 'Campaign for Wool'
and know that this is creating a better demand for all NZ wool.
We are dedicated to the wool fibre and have an excellent rapport
with the New Zealand exporter to obtain the best price for you.
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This business has grown considerably and we are sending
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Visit our website: www.nzwool.com
Phone: 03 342 6223
Fax: 03 342 6234
BLUE WING HONDA
for 40 years
+GST TR X
while stocks last
10 Albert St. Rangiora • Ph: 313-4593
A/H Kevin (03) 312-0238 Mobile (0274) 361-974
No trace of original sod cottage
A PROPERTY once owned by a pioneering Rangiora
mayor is on the market. North Canterbury history
enthusiast and real estate agent Debi Joynson
spent a day at the Rangiora Museum, following the
trail of history behind this fascinating family home.
HISTORICAL SITE: The Cones Rd property for sale is on the site once owned by former Rangiora Mayor George Cones.
NO SOD: The open plan living, kitchen and dining area of the Cones Rd
property was once occupied by a sod house built by George Cones in
1874 using thick blocks of clay.
GEORGE CONES was born in
Suffolk, England, and came to
North Canterbury on the ship
Bungalore in 1851, aged 9.
His family were not wealthy,
but they were pioneering and
George left school early to take
up farming when his father died.
He went on to become one of Ran-
giora s earliest mayors and
longest standing district council-
The history books paint Mr
Cones as a popular and widely
respected man, known for his ser-
vice to Rangiora and the wider
North Canterbury region.
He was particularly celebrated
for his success in campaigning for
the original Ashley River Bridge
to be built. This opened to traffic
in October 1879 and connected the
rural Ashley and Loburn areas
with Rangiora and Christchurch.
It proved vital to developing the
economy in the region, allowing
farmers to more easily get their
stock and produce to the weekly
auctions, held every Tuesday at
the site where the Rangiora Far-
mers car park is now.
In 1874, at age 32, Mr Cones
bought the block of land at 132
Cones Rd for his family. It was
then known as rural section 1293
and the road was not yet named
He paid £274, about $231,000 in
today s terms, and lived there
with his wife, Ellen Burt, and
their four children.
Unable to afford a house built
from timber, Mr Cones built a sod
house from thick blocks of clay.
Bullocks were driven around a
pen to knead and pulp the clay
mixed with manure, tussock or
straw. This was moulded into clay
blocks to build the house, which
was then lined with a clay mix-
ture, making it warm in winter
and cool in summer.
There are several similarities
between life at the property in the
1800s and today.
Firstly, Mr Cones was a keen
runner and chairman of the local
athletics club. The current owners
of the property have a teenager
who was also an avid athlete and
they cut a running track into the
paddocks for him to practice on.
Furthermore, the current
owners enjoy amateur equestrian
events with the horses at the
property, as did Mr Cones. In fact,
one of his won the North Canter-
bury Cup in 1876.
The local newspaper described
Jimmy as a wonderful little
horse, whose everyday occupation
was to carry the butcher s basket,
but was certainly no disgrace to
the business he assists in foster-
Although he started from
modest means, Mr Cones was a
natural businessman and soon
opened a butchery on the corner of
High St and Albert St in Rangiora
-- the site where the BNZ bank
He was also mayor of Rangiora
in the 1890s, as well as an elected
councillor for 20 consecutive
years, until he died in 1898.
On the day of his funeral, flags
flew at half-mast in the town and
businesses were closed for the
Newspaper archives show his
funeral cortege was large, with
representatives of all the organis-
ations Mr Cones belonged to. The
pall bearers included the mayor of
the time, borough councillors and
the town clerk. He is buried at the
Rangiora Church of England
Cemetery, beside his wife, who
died 20 years later, aged 79.
It is not known if Mr Cones sod
house was demolished, or if
nature was left to take its course.
Records show the current house
at 132 Cones Rd was built in the
1970s. The owner originally built
a single-story residence and
extended it when the children
This owner established the
orchard with his wife, and within
two years, the fruit trees were
producing enough to make an
income. They sold peas, barley,
apples and peaches at the gate for
more than 20 years, and were well
known in Ashley as the place to
buy produce .
The Baker family now own the
property and have modernised the
house, adding new carpets, tiling,
fixtures and fittings.
With their children now grown-
up, they are downsizing and the
time has come for the next family
to move in.
Debi Joynson would like to
thank the Rangiora Museum
volunteers who helped her
research this article.
The house then:
Rural section 1293
Built in 1874 For £274 pounds
(around $231,000 in todays
The house today:
132 Cones Road, Ashley
CV $385,000. Asking $599,000
Garage spaces: 2
For more information, contact
Debi Joynson at Bayleys Real
Estate Rangiora on 03 311 8020
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