By PHILIP CHANDLER
Arrowtown’s historic Cooper’s Terrace might be in rack and ruins, but a former local’s determined to uncover its history.
Tauranga-based project manager Jan Morrison has archaeological authority to work on the rare European goldmining settlement on the banks of the Arrow River, about one kilometre from Arrowtown.
Cooper’s Terrace, comprising five or six stone huts, garden walls and an ostentatious stone ‘folly’, nicknamed the ‘German castle’, dates back to about 1900.
Late last year, Morrison, who first uncovered the ruins 11 years ago, announced she was keen to reconstruct the settlement.
She now intends coming to Arrowtown in February to work on the site and clear invasive vegetation for two months ‘‘with my trusty loppers and the odd volunteer’’.
She aims to ‘‘unearth as much evidence of the lives of the miners who lived there as I can’’.
‘‘This forgotten site will emerge as a truly golden nugget that Arrowtown can add to its historical treasure chest, on a par with the Chinese Settlement.
‘‘This is too important to Arrowtown to let go — there are stories buried there that are part of its history.’’
Morrison says in late March she’ll call a meeting onsite to update interested parties, like Heritage New Zealand and the local council, on what she’s found, and on what the next steps should be.
Morrison’s contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org