Topic: Russells Flat School

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Russell's Flat.

Embosomed in one of the valleys formed by the winding of the Malvern hills, which surround it on three sides, and opening into the Springfield district, which forms its north-eastern boundary, lies the beautiful and prosperous valley of Russell's Flat.

It is in the county of Selwyn, and is within three miles of Annat on the Christchurch-Springfield railway, and about the same distance from Springfield railway station.

In the early days of Canterbury, when the country was held in large runs, it was part of the Dalethorpe run, then owned by Mr. Watts Russell, after whom the district was named. A large portion of the flat is rich swamp land, through which the river Hawkins flows, and the evident capabilities of the soil early attracted the attenton of settlers. The first arrivals, in the early sixties, were Messrs Pitt and Morgan, who bought farms. These gentlemen were followed by Messrs Proctor and Sears, and, later on, by Messrs Robinson, Rutledge, Wallace, and the Craigheads.

Under the well directed energy of these pioneers, handsome residences, surrounded by well kept, prosperous farms, gradually replaced the old dreary waste of flax, raupo and tussock. The land produces large crops of oats, which often yield as much as seventy bushels per acre, and the river flats are well known for their fattening qualities. The higher portions of the land carry sheep. Good roads intersect the district, and well grown plantations add beauty to the place, and at the same time afford shelter from the nor'-west winds. There is a public school, with an attendance of about thirty, and there is also a church at which services are held once a week. Coal in the surrounding hills only awaits capital to become an important and flourishing industry.

(Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury district 1903 NZETC)


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