Historic cottage beyond saving

18:19, Jan 20 2014
Ferryman's Cottage
The Ferryman's Cottage roof being transported to Bushtown in December. However, the building is now being de-constructed after it was found to be too unstable, with the risk of it collapsing on itself.

Ferryman's Cottage at Morven will be de-constructed after the building was found to be at risk of collapsing on itself.

The cottage was to be relocated to Bushtown in Waimate, at a cost of almost $18,000, until it was recently discovered to be ''in grave danger'' of ''imploding''.

Bushtown Waimate chairman Allan Laurients said there had been a ''huge'' effort to undertake the shift with a large amount of time spent getting it prepared with additional bracing and supports.

''However, it became very obvious while the contractor was attempting to raise the building that all was not well in terms of structural integrity,'' he said. 

''Indeed the building was in grave danger of collapsing in on itself.''

The committee decided instead to de-construct the building by recovering all possible materials from it, including internal wall panels, which are clothed in 1890s newspapers, and old pit sawn totara timber.


Mr Laurie said there would be working bees on site during the next two weeks. 

The committee plans to store the materials until deciding how they will be displayed.

Ferryman's Cottage was originally the boundaryman's dwelling on the Waikakahi Estate at the northern boundary close to the Waihao River.

Alexander McPherson, a native of Thurso, Caithness, brought his wife to the cottage in 1870. They lived there for 20 years. The couple brought up their family of 14 in the cottage, eventually saving enough money to buy Braeval Run, at Cave, in 1890.

The Timaru Herald