1. Railway Memorial
Marks the end of the 35.6km Rakaia-Methven branch line. It operated for 96 years, the busiest period being the 1920s to 1940s. Construction began in 1878 and the line closed in 1976. (See plaque)
2. Centennial Oak
Planted during the district’s centennial celebrations in 1979. (Now cross to the Square)
3. Centennial Column
Designed by Christchurch architect Sir Miles Warren and unveiled November 2, 1979. It symbolises the importance of the plough for turning virgin land into productive pasture and crops.
4. Methven Hotel 1915
Known internationally as “The Blue Pub”. Robert Pattin, founder of Methven, purchased this section in 1878 and operated the first hotel (1880). The hotel was used as a temporary hospital during the 1918 influenza epidemic. (See plaque near the entrance)
5. Peace Tree & Early Business
One of six oak trees planted in twon during the peace celbrations in July 1919, marked by a plaque. (Also see 10) This plaque also marks the site of J.H. Stone’s first store which sold tobacco, fancy goods, men’s clothing and boots at city prices.
6. Holmes Bequest 1907
Originally part of John Holmes’ “Viewmount” farm, this two acre triangle of land where the hall stands was bequeathed to the people of Methven and district. Read the commemorative plaque on the plinth.
The Mount Hutt Memorial Hall, 1956, now being redeveloped (2010), was built as a war memorial project attracting a 50% government subsidy.
7. Site of First Business
Plaque in entrance to PGGW 2010. Morgan and Hibbs were butchers, bakers, drapers and general storekeepers. On January 13, 1879 they and their builder arrived with a dray load of building material, a spring trap loaded with swags, cooking utensils and tools. The following morning the building of Methven began.
8. Canterbury Hotel 1922
William Rowse, a former Rakaia policeman opened the original hotel on this site in January 1884. It was destroyed by fire in 1922, being replaced by the current corner section of the present building. On display inside are views of early Methven and photos of local people at work today. (Turn right into Forest Drive)
9. Brick Building with Veranda c 1911 (Steel Worx 2010)
Originally built by Crawford Bros and designed as two businesses, these premises were occupied in the past by butchers, bakers, tearooms and a plumber. Heritage listing.