The installation of a donated bench seat marks the end of a Tauranga woman’s project to uncover a European goldmining settlement 10 minutes’ walk from Arrowtown.

Jan Morrison, who started uncovering the 1860s Cooper’s Terrace settlement several years ago, is grateful to Queenstown’s Nomad Safaris for donating the seat, overlooking the Arrow River — ‘‘the only proper seat in the Arrow gorge’’.

She’s pictured with heritage stonemason Keith Hinds, from St Bathans, Central Otago, who had the 1920s seat in his possession.

‘‘It was in real bad shape but he restored it,’’ she says.

Morrison, who has the archaeological authority over the site, has so far uncovered nine huts and a large garden enclosure, with an unusual entranceway, which contained the original hut.

The settlement was in place till the 1920s, when the road to Macetown was bulldozed through it, claiming the original hut, in particular.

Dunedin-raised Morrison, whose family had an Arrowtown crib, recalls playing among the ruins when she was about 9.

Over the past few summers, she’s headed a team of seven vollies, all from out of town, who’ve cleared the site — Hinds’ role was stabilising the walls.

‘‘We’re waiting on Heritage New Zealand to make a decision on assessing it as a Category 2 [structure],’’ she says.

‘‘If that happens, that will be huge and then it will start to get attention.’’

In the meantime, some of the vollies will continue regular spraying and weed-eating.

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