News, Events and Culture


A fire brigade; a daily newspaper and a dairy company for Palmerston North.

First Fitzherbert Bridge

First Fitzherbert Bridge - 1880



  • Evening Standard is the first daily newspaper
  • Manawatū Racing Club formed



  • Population 1,366 (excludes Māori)
  • Councillor Alexander Ferguson provides the first fire-extinguishing water pump out of his own pocket



  • Frits Jenssen elected Mayor



  • George Matthew Snelson elected Mayor
  • Volunteer Fire Brigade to be funded by the Council



  • Te Peeti Te Awe Awe (c1820-1884) dies. He was a chief of the Rangitāne tribe
  • First Dairy Company opens in the Manawatū
  • James Linton is elected Mayor
  • Foresters' Lodge taken over and renamed Theatre Royal
  • Terrace End School opens on Main Street


22 July

  • Douglas Hastings MacArthur elected MP for Manawatū



  • Alexander Ferguson elected Mayor
  • Council considers Turitea stream for town water supply, the flow is assessed by a local engineer J P Armstrong and found to be sufficient



  • The Town Hall containing the Public Library burns down, all the stock is lost along with vital community records as the Librarian was also the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages



  • Population 2,606 (excludes Māori)
  • Ludolph Georg West elected Mayor
  • Convent School opens
  • Railway opens between Longburn and Wellington



  • Solomon Abrahams elected Mayor
  • Gas mains are installed in the town by J B Coates & Co, a Melbourne Company. The gas used is coal gas
  • Realignment of Kawau Stream improves drainage in the western portion of the town (continues in 1888)



  • Palmerston North Working Men's Club is formed
  • Work begins on the Turitea water supply
  • Volunteer Fire Brigade begins using a horse drawn hand operated pump cart
  • Volunteer Fire Brigade opens first building in Coleman Place (now Coleman Mall)



  • George Matthew Snelson elected Mayor
  • Gasworks built
  • Post Office building built on the corner of The Square and Main Street
  • J B Coates & Co offers to sell the Gasworks to the Council, when they cannot afford to buy it the Palmerston North Gas Company buys it
  • Primary School opens in Fitzherbert East (Aokautere area)
  • Primary School opens in Linton
  • 23 December - Palmerston North Bowling Club formed


12 August

  • Turitea Weir and Reservoir built, the 1,300 m3 reservoir is on the junction of Turitea and Aokautere Road

Most dates are taken from tertiary sources and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Researchers are strongly advised to check specific dates in other sources to confirm accuracy to their own satisfaction. All corrections or additional information and dates gratefully considered - please contact the Ian Matheson City Archives.