SpringScapes (4)

During our drive from Dunedin to Wanaka two weeks ago, as we were approaching  Alexandra, we made a detour up a dirt-and-gravel road to a site that The Pebbler had visited with his dad as a child and wanted to share with us, a house that a locally-famous stonemason had built with his brother. The Mitchells were Scottish immigrant gold miners and Andrew started it in the mid-1880s using stonemasonry techniques he had learned from his father in the Shetlands Islands, and it took him and John some 20 years to complete. John lived in the house and, with his wife Jessie, raised ten children there. The cottage and its grounds were purchased for a historic reserve in 1980 and were restored to ensure preservation. It stands among large schist tors with a grand view over the Fruitlands Valley. The rainy weather seemed appropriate for this stark memorial.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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27 Responses to SpringScapes (4)

    • krikitarts says:

      Rather challenging conditions, but I do love a big softbox sky. I could have done without the spitting rain though, and I should have cleaned my lens between shots. Ah, well, it helps to remember the drama of the actual experience. Thanks, Cindy.

  1. Vicki says:

    I agree with Cindy. Superb Captures. From your photos, the restoration looks like a great job. Could you go inside the dwelling?

    • krikitarts says:

      Happily, yes, but none of the original furnishings were preserved. There was a mediocre table with a log for visitors, and the other cubicles were so dark that I didn’t try photographing them since I didn’t have a tripod. Actually, I can push my ISO up to 51,200, but I keep forgetting that, and I was more enchanted with the outside views.

  2. My eyes were drawn to all those lichened boulders.

  3. Ms. Liz says:

    Moody sky and patchy snow makes a perfect backdrop for this place and your photos look wonderful!

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    What a wonderful place! :)

  5. Meanderer says:

    What a fab place; wonderful atmosphere. How lovely that you visited it.

    • krikitarts says:

      It’s not very likely that I would ever have found this place on my own, and I have my son-in-law to thank for sharing his childhood memories with us. It’s so cool to have such a great relationship with all of the close family.

  6. Peter Klopp says:

    These places from the past are part of our history. I am so glad to hear that the area and the cottage have been preserved for future generations to see and to appreciate.

  7. seekraz says:

    I think the weather added to the natural beauty of the place. Nice photos Gary.

    • krikitarts says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I do have a secondary, waterproof camera, but didn’t quite have to resort to it. I don’t mind a few small squalls, so long as it’s not a roaring gale with a heavy downpour, and this was much more gentle than that. Glad you liked it, Scott.

  8. shoreacres says:

    The house is obvious, but are those outbuildings of some sort to the right? It looks as though there might have been a separate kitchen, or graineries, or some such. I’d love living in a place like that, but that might be the influence of my soddy-dwelling ancestors coming out (a Nebraska soddy, as a matter of fact).

    • krikitarts says:

      The structures to the right, in the slight foreground, were for laundry, cleaning of the gold-panning efforts, and storage. There was also a separate structure down the slope for a toilet and more storage. As it happens, we paid an unforgettable visit to a sod house in southwestern Minnesota, and a quick search showed that I neglected to do a post about it. Must rectify that deficiency.

  9. Pingback: Mitchells Cottage – Exploring Colour

  10. These are some fine images of such an historic place. 10 children! It seems roomy enough for a couple but all those kids. Love those rocks.

    • krikitarts says:

      I know–it’s so hard to imagine the obstacles they’d have had to overcome. And yes, those rock formations are, in my mind’s eye, the key factor that drew them to this desolate, formidably-challenging, and aesthetically-delightful site.

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