Stewart Town wasn’t formally named as such. It was an outpost of historic Bannockburn and close to the gold mining activity. David Stewart began the stone cottage in 1873. In the first photo you can see an isolated corner of cob wall that once was part of a cob wall extension to the cottage.
David with his miner buddy John Menzies (both Scots) had already built a small water race and a large storage dam. David had arrived with the first gold miners so he’d likely have been in the area since late 1862 when there was a big gold discovery near Cromwell. The two bachelors lived in the cottage. Another bachelor friend mined with them and lived by the orchard, William Roy. David died 1883, John in 1894 and William lived till 1923.
A couple of families are mentioned but I don’t know if their time overlapped with David and John.. the Aitken and Lind families. The Aitkens had a sod wall garden enclosure. The orchard is a remnant and would’ve been bigger in the early 1900s and I’ve read “many other similar small orchards were scattered around the area.”
Most of this information is from:
Peter Petchey (April 2016) Heritage Assessment Bannockburn Sluicings Historic Reserve
Central Otago, New Zealand
~ these days the productive land around the sluicings reserve is mostly vineyards
~ second photo taken by Nigel
The light dots below the window cavity are an interesting visual addition caused by holes in the recycled roofing iron that protects the ruin from further deterioration.
Text by Liz, photos by Liz and Nigel; Exploring Colour (2022)