Cottage scheduled to arrive this week

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The journey to bring the Ferryman’s Cottage to Bushtown in Waimate has hit another snag, but this time will only face a day’s delay, Bushtown secretary Ann Dennison says.

The cottage was set to be loaded onto a transport truck yesterday and arrive at its new Waimate site this morning, but interruptions to the group transporting the cottage’s schedule meant the loading was pushed back.

The cottage would now be loaded onto the transport truck today, and it would head to Waimate tomorrow, she said.

Despite the delay, the help of a Waimate builder meant everything was ready to go.

“They’ve braced the cottage and if it all goes well it will be moved in one clean movement.”

Everyone involved with the move was “hopeful and positive” there would be no further interruptions to the schedule and there “might be a bottle of champagne” for everyone when the cottage finally arrives at its new site, she said.

The Bushtown Heritage Site is an ongoing project with the shift of the Ferryman’s Cottage only part of the plan.

Mrs Dennison said the site would eventually depict the settlement of New Zealand chronologically.

“It’s going to be a place to showcase what early settler life was like,” she said.

“The site aims to be a visitor attraction and a site for visitors to see.”

Eventually there would be examples of early Maori settlement, and a church currently on site would be renovated.

They have been granted consent to build bushman’s huts on site as well.

While no time frame was yet in place, a meeting at the end of the month would set further development plans in place.

The Ferryman’s Cottage was built in 1870.

It was originally the boundary man’s cottage for the Waikakahi Estate and was later used as a rest stop for people unable to traverse the Waihoa River when it was in flood.

The building was donated to the Bushtown Heritage Site by David and Faye Martin.

By DAVID DE LOREAN