The First Hundred - 1887


Last Modified: 13-1-2023 11:25

Mayor: Mr W. Douslin

Councillors: Messrs R. McArtney, G. W. Riley, W. B. Parker, G. Houldsworth, J. J. Sinclair, W. Ching, H. Jellyman, E. Bythell, W. Cooke, J. B. Green, W. R. Clarke.


12: Council meets to consider the purchase of the Gasworks, but the meeting has to be adjourned as the gas lighting will not work.


24: One thousand people attend the opening meeting of the Marlborough Racing Club's new Riverlands racecourse. £1502 was put through the totalisator.


3: Harry Rore, Maori Chief of the Wairau Pa, makes a speech at the Wairau Regatta concert. He praises the good relation­ship of Pakeha and Maori in the Wairau.

29: A well-known make of pills is advertised as curing "trembling, flushings of heat, humors, scurvey and frightful dreams."

30: First meeting of the Chamber of Commerce in Council Chambers, with Messrs Douslin, Earll, Carr and Griffiths present. Mr T. Horton was subsequently elected first President. Council accepts 20 volunteers who will act as fire police.


Council grants £50 to the Fire Brigade.

16: A company of Blenheim City Rifles is formed.

Picton has seven Maoris on the voters' roll, Blenheim has none.

Tenders called for the new Catholic girls' school in Maxwell Road.


Council deducts a day's pay from one of its staff who took St. Patrick's day off.

A new by-law required residents to provide a watertight bucket in their closets, the contents of which could only be removed from the Borough between midnight and 5 am, and then only in a covered cart.


A deputation waits on Council to request a bridge over the Omaka River in High Street, the deputation guaranteeing to provide £260. Council refuses the offer.

Council has an overdraft of £2973.15.1.

21: Queen Victoria's Jubilee; Council sends a loyal address. Council goes into committee for any important issue, for example street widening, loans, purchases, etc.

30: The Criterion Hotel and 20 adjoining business premises burnt down. A local doctor, Dr Horne, lost his life, and pro­perty damage was £50,000.


Many small earthquakes are felt in Blenheim.

Council proposes to widen Market Street to 25 feet and to borrow £1500 for this purpose.

The Fire Brigade sells its manual fire engine to Palmerston North.

After much discussion and great division of opinion, and on the casting vote of the Mayor, the Council buys a new horse.


25: The Dog, & Poultry Association is formed. The first show Dog was held on October 5th, 1887.

Council raises £15,000 at 6% loan and buys the Gasworks for £12,000.

The South Star Hotel in Maxwell Road is burnt down.


6: Alfred Dobson, who surveyed Blenheim for subdivision, dies. Mr H. Dodson is re-elected Member for Wairau.

Footpaths in Market and Alfred Streets to be asphalted.


The Town Clerk's office is connected to the telephone exchange. 4: Ernest Rutherford (later Baron Rutherford) wins the Marl­borough Scholarship. He is described as being a credit to his master, Mr Reynolds, of the Havelock School.


Coke is 25/- per ton; gas for lighting 15/- and gas for cooking 10/- per 1000 cubic feet; coal 26/- per ton.

A citizen is prosecuted for igniting fireworks in a public place.

The cream of Blenheim Society is present at the opening of the Wairau Tennis Club at Alabama Gardens.


A labourer is charged with beating his wife and putting her three times down a well. He was fined 40/-, costs £1.10.0.

Land at St. Leonards, Middle Renwick Road, sells at an average of £22 per acre for 50-acre lots.

The Mayor goes to Wellington to press for an extension of the railway to the Awatere.

Government subsidy, £656.5.0; rates 9 1/2d in £; rates to produce £1419.7.0; estimates £2028.7.0; rateable value £28,387.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1887. Retrieved February, 28, 2024, from