Styx History Group
Welcome to our website, formerly shared with the Belfast District Museum Trust! The Museum was closed in 2011 because of earthquake damage. It was administered on behalf of the community by BDMT, but with no indication of possible Museum re-opening (by Council), the Trust had no function to perform and was wound up in June 2013. Also, when community interference deprived BDMT of Council funding, the Styx History Group had kept it in operation for a time, by injecting considerable (private) funding by purchasing image files. We heard in 2011 that the Museum building would be repaired at the same time as other buildings on Kapuatohe Historic Reserve, but a newspaper item in February 2018 stated that both the house and cottage were still to be repaired! Other than in our role of promoting local history/heritage, SHG no longer has any connection with the Museum nor any knowledge of its status!
Our New Image
The front door of SHG's authors. During the building of the house in 1989, a totara log carbon-dated as dying 1100 years ago, was uncovered! The glass panels were designed to represent the Styx River, a totara tree, a redwood tree (after which the suburb was named) and the mountains include Mt Grey. The door symbolises 1100 years of "Styx History"!
Historic Totara AVAILABLE - The carbon-dated totara log has been milled (50 mm thick) and is available FREE in one lot or piece by piece, to anyone interested in using it for carvings, etc. Contact Dennis on (03) 352-5545 to arrange a look at the timber and the carbon-dating report.
Publications - The "Books" page lists books we have for sale via this website. "The Pub at the Seven-Mile Peg" was published in 2013 after an earthquake delay, and the next book (on Waikuku/Saltwater Creek) has sold out (but see below). "Remembering The Styx" was published in October 2014. The 8th Styx Book, "The Styx Mill - Myths & Mysteries" went on sale in October 2015. Published in 2016 is a "bucket list" item for our two authors - a history of an Australian family (with a convict, an Irish Potato Famine orphan, and a Swedish sailor who jumped ship!), which is being offered for sale to family members, libraries & historical societies in Australia. Also, the 2007 book "Thomas Hills & His Family" and the 2013 book "At The Ashley River Mouth"(both out-of-print and not to be reprinted) are each now available on CD as a .pdf file. The 9th Styx book,"Radcliffe & Beyond", is now available.
Tours - We used to offer groups "source-to-sea" historical tours of the Styx River on the basis of "You provide the bus and patrons and we provide the itinerary, commentary and books". We note that the WEA now offers bus tours of the Styx River, and suggest that groups or individuals contact them.
Genealogy - Are you working on your family history? We may be able to advise. SHG has purchased many photographs that may include your ancestors if they lived in the Styx/Belfast area prior to 1900. Also, nine of our books may contain information that you are seeking. We can be contacted via this website.
Did You Know . .?
.. that there are at least four Styx Rivers in the South Island, or that our Styx River was previously known by the name "Sticks" in reference to flax sticks (either as rafts or markers of the North Road crossing point), later changed to "Styx". In Greek mythology, that river separated the world of the living from the realm of the dead. In 2013, the name "Styx" was approved for one of Pluto's smallest moons - a bit of modern history!