Photos needed for restoration effort

Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust member Bruce McMillan, of Bannockburn, and secretary Terry Davis,...
Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust member Bruce McMillan, of Bannockburn, and secretary Terry Davis, of Cromwell, want to restore a historic building at Stewart Town. Photo by Jono Edwards.

In order to restore a historic Bannockburn building, a better glimpse is needed into its past.

A group of locals wants to restore and stabilise an old stone house at Stewart Town, in the Bannockburn Sluicings.

The site is part of a short walking route.

Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust secretary Terry Davis said it had commissioned a conservation plan, which the Department of Conservation required before any work could take place.

As part of this, the trust needs old photos of the building to determine the rate at which it degraded.

If anyone had photos of the building from the 1950s to 1980s it would help the restoration process, he said.

"A lot of people come here. So I'm sure people will have pictures of it in their photo albums.''

The trust planned to restore the building's corrugated iron roof, which would also protect the structure for the future, he said.

It is also seeking to install a toilet and restore some of the collapsed stone at nearby Menzies Dam.

Neighbouring vineyard Mt Difficulty was interested in installing a chair and a metal view map pointing to surrounding landmarks, he said.

Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust member Bruce McMillan, of Bannockburn, said he and other locals wanted to see the building restored, as it was part of the area's heritage.

"If we don't put a roof on it, it will fall down, anyway.''

He believed Stewart Town was occupied until the late 1940s, he said.

"They took they corrugated iron roof when they left, as it was valuable back then.''

The area is named after David Stewart, who along with John Menzies built the Long Gully water race in the 1860s.

The area was mined from 1862 to the 1930s.

Pears and apricots still grow on the trees, which were planted in 1906.

Old photos of the building can be sent to goldfieldsinc@xtra.co.nz.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

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