Little River
Maori Pa, Little River
Of special interest to me is the name in the left hand corner of the postcard - my great great uncle would appear to have  organized the production of this postcard as it was taken by the next door neighbour, Mr. Lewthwaite. (original below)
It's amazing what some sharing will produce. I was recently asked for permission to use data about my Harris family from Little River for their little local paper  "Little River Informer" and a researcher to the area picked this up and after perusing it contacted me to say he had a photo of my great grandfather's store at Little River - (see photo below).  Whow - this was great but that's not all - he had heaps more photos of the area which he has kindly allowed me to share with you before he passed away. Thank you very much John L. Lewthwaite of Christchurch who grew up in Little River. I have added his family home at the bottom.
The General Store at the junction of Western Valley Road and the Akaroa Road (site of the present "Lodge" wine bar).This wine bar is in the building which is currently on the site of the Harris shop, and which formerly house the offices of the Banks Peninsula Electric Power Board.
The Little River Township photo is taken looking across to the township from the hill where Breitmeyers lived. If you zoom in on it, you can see the two-storied Harris home on the hill (about a quarter of the way from the right-hand side of the picture).

This picture is looking down Lake Forsyth towards Birdlings Flat. About a quarter of the way from the right-hand side is the cluster of buildings relating to the Little River Hotel.  If you look to the left past that you will see some land jutting out a bit into the lake which has two whitish buildings - that is where the original Lewthwaite homestead is. Unfortunately there are no dates on the photos, but from the look of the lake, it must have been taken towards the end of winter, when the water has built up enough to have to be let out into the sea at Birdlings Flat. The council used to do it annually (sometimes twice if the winter was very wet).
The next 2 are outside the Little River Railway Station. There was one train to Christchurch in the morning, which returned to Little River in the afternoon. I am not sure whether the train is facing to the left (ie. going to town in the morning) or to the right (returning in the afternoon) because you can't see the engine.  The coaches would meet the train and carry passengers to/from Akaroa and other parts of the Peninsula.
This picture is of a coach on the main road to Akaroa. It has not reached Cooptown yet. It looks like the bit of the road around about where the Western Valley road cuts across below the cemetery and the Anglican church. I think this junction is probably just a bit ahead of the coach, as would be the original Little River School.
The original Little River Primary School was accidentally burned down in August 1939. The nearby building is the school house. Both were beside the main Akaroa road just before you get to Cooptown, when travelling to Akaroa.
The Pa Road went past a number of Maori properties. At the time of this photo there was a 'Maori only' school and church not far from the house on the hill in the right hand side of the picture. They had their own teacher. It was before the days when the country had a single school system for all children. It closed when the education system became a unified one.
Original John Lewthwaite home beside Lake Forsyth. The John Lewthwaite family migrated to NZ in the "Tintern Abbey" in 1875. They had some land at Oxford (where they first settled) and a bigger area of land at Little River. The family house pictured was built by John Lewthwaite (a builder) on the main Chch. to Akaroa road and the family moved into it in June 1892. Lake Forsyth was just across this road and nearby railway line.
Lake Forsyth, the Little River to Chch. railway line, the Akaroa to Chch. road, and the original Lewthwaite family home - still in use 2004.
Harris home "Beaufort" Little River.
This page was last updated: May 13, 2016
Little River Valley about 1881.
Little River Hotel about 1885.
Main St. Little River.
The Little River Stage Coach 1895.