Cheltenham House has strong links to the pioneer farmers of New Zealand's South Island.

Duncan_1.JPGIn 1859, George Rutherford arrived from Scotland to take up land in North Canterbury. His son, Duncan Rutherford, succeeded his father as a renowned sheep baron in the Amuri district.

Duncan Rutherford was a major benefactor of Hanmer Springs in the early 20th century. And it was Duncan's daughter Mary who built Cheltenham House with her husband Percy Morse in the 1930s.

The site had originally hosted a hostel for local nursing staff. The hostel was known as Windsor House and later renamed Clarence House.

Sometime prior to 1930, the nursing hostel burned down.

Mary Morse had four children, two sons and two daughters. The two surviving daughters often visit us. Each visit gives us more insight into the history of the property.

One of Mary's daughters, Janet Holm, is an historian. She has written Nothing But Grass and Wind - the history of the Rutherford family - and Caught Mapping, which documents the history of early surveyors in New Zealand.