Trust seeks funding for restoration project
A TRUST is forging ahead with $180,000 plans to restore a historic stone cottage and dam on a Bannockburn walking track.
The Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust has submitted funding applications for its revamp project at Stewart Town in the Bannockburn Sluicings and says work could begin this year.
Last year it commissioned a report which outlined reno vation options, ranging from minor to significant.
Trust president Martin Anderson said it decided to pursue significant work due to the support received from the people of Bannockburn and Cromwell.
Estimates were it would take four to six months.
The project involves stone work on Stewart’s Cottage, erecting a roof over it and adding the support of a steel portal frame.
The metal roof would be designed so water could be caught and used to irrigate nearby heritage fruit trees.
Menzies dam would also be partly restored and stabilised.
The final part of the project was installing a toilet.
‘‘Doc figures for January and February show over 5000 visitors, so it gets a lot of use,’’ Mr Anderson said.
The site was a ‘‘very special area’’ for many people in Cromwell and Bannockburn.
‘‘It has very significant historic value. The dam itself is one of the few structures like that in New Zealand. We haven’t done a big project like this in a while.’’
The trust was investigating opening a bank account so people could donate to the project.
The area is named after David Stewart, who built the Long Gully water race with John Menzies in the 1860s. The area was mined from 1862 to the 1930s.