Russell Heritage

Explore our archives of fascinating stories

Heritage Corners

Russell Museum enjoys telling some of the fascinating stories from the town’s history. Over the years, our local paper Russell Lights carries regular feature articles called Heritage Corner which feature these early gems about the town and our people. Some of our earlier articles are reproduced here for information.

A selection of them have been reproduced here. When you visit Russell, look out as you may well recognise some of the places and names from our past. Scroll back to view archived stories from our past. 

 

Flooding in Russell, Bay of Islands

Flooding in Russell, Bay of Islands

This winter has been notable for the rain, however floods have been a feature in our area for the past century particularly since urban development. Regular flooding is recorded throughout the 1930s on the Russell to Whangarei Road, with Russell being cut off on...

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New music, old instrument – #71

New music, old instrument – #71

For a brief time today, Russell Museum was filled with music of a “historical kind” as its Harmonium or American Parlour Organ was put through its paces by a young visitor from Brisbane.  This imposing cedar giant, seven foot high, with a width at keyboard of 3 feet 8...

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Cooks and Whale Tales  – #72

Cooks and Whale Tales – #72

In 1791, the British whaler William and Ann, under American Captain Bunker’s command, hunted whales in New Zealand waters.  News that whales were plentiful spread and British and American interests began developing the South Pacific whaling grounds, with the British...

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Weighing Up the Past  – #75

Weighing Up the Past – #75

In February 1996, Russell’s old crane was placed on Russell Museum grounds where it currently stands, retired, but still in the public eye. Replaced by the Northland Habour Board with a newer model, Russell’s old crane was restored in a joint effort, sandblasted by...

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S. S. Clansman’s Northern Run – #76

S. S. Clansman’s Northern Run – #76

For fourty-seven years the S. S. Clansman, owned by the Northern Steam Ship Company, ploughed through calm and stormy Northland waters, transporting passengers, and occasionally livestock, to coastal destinations further north.  In fog or fine weather the Clansman...

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The Northern Luminary – #77

The Northern Luminary – #77

At a time when newspapers ruled the world, the ‘Northern Luminary’ kept Russell people connected with the greater community, much like our Russell Lights does today. Printed in Kawakawa by owner/editor Mr Francis MacKenzie, the ‘Northern Luminary’ built up “a good...

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Let’s Restore Our Russell Cannon – #80

Let’s Restore Our Russell Cannon – #80

Russell Museum would like to lead the charge (so to speak) by launching a public appeal for funds and assistance to restore our Russell cannon and its carriage.  If you walk by our cannon today, you will notice it’s in poor condition.  Last time it was repaired was in...

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“The Big One” – #82

“The Big One” – #82

One of the great things about spending winter in Russell is that the cooler weather brings a welcome bonus for local fishermen; the return of hungry snapper.  While it’s always nice to land a snapper that fits the pan nicely, it’s the exhilarating experience of...

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