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. 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. It was administered (2007 - 2013) 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 2020, repairs due to earthquake damage to the house, cottage and museum buildings were completed, with the house and cottage to again be leased, but no mention was made of the future of the museum.
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. The timber will be dumped before the end of 2022!
Publications - The "Books" page lists books we have for sale via this website (including two that are out-of-print, but each is available on CD as a .pdf file). Prices had remained unchanged for many years, but current postal rates and the cost of "padded mailing bags" means there was no alternative but to increase prices. With cheques having been discontinued, payments will need to be cash (pick-up) or bank transfer for posted items. The 8th Styx Book, "The Styx Mill - Myths & Mysteries" went on sale in 2015, and the 9th ("Radcliffe & Beyond") in 2018. 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. The 10th (last!) SHG book, with 16 chapters outlining the author's experiences with many rivers & waterways over the past 80 years, was printed in July 2020!
Tours - We can no longer offer groups "source-to-sea" historical tours of the Styx River, but noted (in the past) the WEA offering bus tours of the Styx River; we suggest you contact them.
Genealogy - 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, but please do not expect miracles. We often receive requests for information from people who believe their family history is somewhere "out there" just waiting to be "grabbed"! Sorry, if it was there, you would have found it already. For NZ information, we regularly refer people to "Papers Past" which is ideal to search for DIY genealogy.
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!