Topic: Rhododendron Island

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Situated in the Avon River, between the Durham Street South Bridge and Montreal Street Bridge, the island marks the location of Christchurch's first public swimming baths, which opened in 1877.

The island, which has been known as Rhododendron Island since 1908, is situated in the Avon River, between the Durham Street South Bridge and Montreal Street Bridge.

When the need for public swimming baths was raised, it was eventually decided in 1876 to construct a public swimming bath in the Avon River downstream of the island. Tenders to construct the baths were first advertised in October.

The construction of the baths may have reduced the size of the island (see the comparison between an 1862 map and T.S. Lambert's 1877 map of Christchurch). The swimming baths opened in January 1877.

By 1885, the baths were in a state of disrepair and they closed in March 1886. Following the establishment of the Christchurch Beautifying Association in 1897, the organisation became responsible for the appearance and upkeep of the island.

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