In 1872 the first Crown land grant was opened and the following year W A Brown took up land here and his farm Snapham and the district Chertsey after the town in England where his wife was born in and where he had lived.In1876 Thomas Wilkinson took up land in the district and the following year the village was surveyed and officialy named Chertsey, the Hotel was built and the Blacksmith shop and a Post Office opened.So now a village was taking shape and also in 1877 Peter Doig and James Copland took up land here so even today decendants of the Wilkinsons,Doigs and Coplands stll farm here .Now at this time here is a story taken from the Lyttelton Times on August the 17th 1877.

The town of Chertsey six miles from beyond the Rakaia South Station has sprung into existence and developed itself in a wonderfull short space of time.Three months ago it was a bleak and bare district with not a spade or a plough put in the land.When it was planned of into a Township many of the allotments were sold off by auction at a very good price,and immediatly afterwards  it began to rise into a flourishing though small town.Among the buildings is a Blacksmith shop ;a large Hotel(nearly completed)containing 21 rooms which will be one,which will be one of the finest in the District when completed;Butchers Shop;General store;and another store is about to be opened by Messrs KcKerrow and co of Rakaia.while Messrs Montgomery and Laurie are about to open a Coal and Timber yard,other signs of progress are visable on all hands.A convient RailwayStation has been opened in the township,and is in charge of Mr Kriby, late of the Christchurch Detetive Department.There is also a very large shed by the Station for storage of grain & C.A petition has numerously signed for the erection of a School ,and as nearly all of the town allotments are taken up and are rapidly builtupon there is every prospect of Chertsey becoming a very thriving place.Large tracts of land are fast being brought under cultivation outside of the town itself,and settlers are coming to reside in the district from many parts from many parts of New Zealand .  Mr Passmore late manager of the railways in the Northern Island has bought a large estate about four miles from Chertsey and purposes going to reside it very shortly.In the meantime he has made arrangments for the erection of a large house upon it.all things considered there will be a substantial backbone to maintain this newly created township.

 Here are some of the bits out of a  diary of a  Mr  Patrick Murphy from 1889 to 1891. He owned a holding just east of Chertsey now owned by the Bird family and also Bushy Park (a farm)which is now where the vineyard is and at one time owned the Chertsey General store   

Jan 5th 1889 Very warm here and blowing a strong northwest wind .I cut the clover at Bushy park .Feb 27th 1889 blew a strong North west wind very unpleasant, everything is burned up nothing is growing .March 20th 1889 Still dry trees gums are striking out  but are looking a little dull.April 26th 1889 Fine but blowing northwest Coplands could not thresh as it was to strong. Coal didnt come as i went up to see.May 17th 1889 Very cold and dry Noah and i were grubbing tussock at the 50 acre paddock.June 29th 1889 Dull and cold i was carting tussock and Noah was ploughing.July 23rd 1889 Fine and sunny evreything fine for the season i was plouging the stoney hollow.Aug 22nd 1889 Fine and warm and blew a strong north westerly .I took 23 sacks of wheat to Mr Turners to Rakaia sold at 2.3 per bushell. fetched home the flour and cream.Sept 27th 1889 Rained all day a fine warm easterly rain. done very little work. Either I or Noah.Oct 26th 1889 Slight frost but a fine warm day I and Hudmer finished cutting the fences and came home in the evening.Nov 7th 1889 Still very dry and warm i was cutting and grubbing gorse on the fence by road.Dec 27th 1889 Warm after rain and thunder i planted some cabbage plants. had to look at the reaper, had to cart  up casting up to Tom Childs to fix.

Jan 14th 1890 Reasonable fine day Dick Nash and I were cutting and finished the little oat paddock . He started on his own Rambler played up on us . Feb 6th 1890 Very warm and dry to . I was cutting the wheat in the stable paddock it was very badly damaged by small birds.Mar 20th 1890 Warm and sulty took sheep to Bushy to feed the stubble .Fetched up the horses from Bushy park Apr 20th 1890 Very fine and dry i was to see Sam Ross today,he will come on Tuesday to thresh.May 23rd 1890 Very fine and warm I was fixing land for the wheat in the lower paddock and carted a load of tussock to the stoney paddock.June 13th 1890 Fine and warm i was ploughing for wheat it rained a little in the evening.July 24th 1890 Cold and dry north wind I was ploughing in the stable paddock for oats.Aug 18th 1990 It was Mr Coplands childs funeral it was a fine warm day.Sept  21st 1890 Rained and snowed on the mountains ,had 7 lambs dropped had some thunder.Oct 31 1890 Still blowing Norwest in morning rain and drizzle in afternoon grubbed gorse in stable paddock.Nov 14th 1890 Fair , Fetched up the sheep and commenced to shear had two shearers at work.Dec 27th 1890 Blowing and warm everything burned up ,i cut the oats in the little paddock by the stable.

Jan 7th 1891 Blowing strong Norwest wind i was cutting oats on the section,had a breakage it set me idle .Feb 2nd 1891 Fine and dry I started to stack the wheat i engaged a man at 6 shillings a day to help me stack.March 14th 1891 Blew a strong norwest changed to a dry southwest,I ploughed in the 40 acre paddock by the fence.April 21st 1891.Very nice and calm day a south breeze blowing I and George Beckett began to plough with two ploughs for John ........ with two teams.May 26th 1891 Fine and autumn like George Beckett and I were ploughing for wheat in the grass padock at Chertsey.June 23rd 1891 Still very frosty we were ploughing for wheat at Bushy park.July 24th 1891A hard frost I was clearing up stack bottom of straw at the stable . Mr Todd paid me for a sack of wheat 2nds 10 Shillings took a sack of wheat 2nds to Dromore.Aug 27th 1891 Fine and cool i went to see the sheep they are very near to lambing.Sept 16th 1891 Dull and cool and rained in the evening i was sowing clover in the oats lot and rolling it. Oct 20th 1891 Fine and blowing a norwest wind i was rolling the wheat paddock 40 acres .Nov 5th 1891 fine and warm cleared up after rain .I was stacking stable at Bushy park with wheat.Dec 18th 1891 Very nice and temperate with some thunder.we held some sports for the children at the School grounds,it was a success everything went of very well .

 So this will give you an idea of what the early settlers had to go through with very few trees to give shelter and the strong norwest winds they must had had some very hard times .On some days with the winds blowing the lamps inside their homes had to be lit so as to see.

This is a photo of the first Chertsey School which was opened in 1879

Here is and early photo of what the area looked like in the 1870s

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