Otahuao

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Otahuao.

Caption

002

Otahuao

 

Situated just a few miles east of Masterton on the Castlepoint Rd. at an area

Known as Bennett's Hill. The Property had been leased as a Maori block by Joseph Bennett in 1859, then purchased in 1860 with the Bennett family occupying it for three generations. In 1882 the 2183 acres were valued at $24,500. The property was leased to G.R. Drummond a brother in law, then after Bennett's death it was sold to Hugh Morrison, but almost immediately bought back by C.J. Bennett. When purchased in1860 a single story house was built, part of which still exists today on the eastern side, the walls still filled with the original straw for insulation. The "new" two storey house was built in1870 for an expanding family, on the land Bennett now farmed. The homestead has essentially remained unchanged, although a glass conservatory on the northern side has been replaced with an extension to the verandah. Totora shingles roof replaced with iron, and alterations to interior walls. The homestead is built of Totara and the walls are double-sided and 25cm thick. The cornices, now painted grey which imitate the stone buildings in England at that time, are a notable feature. Joseph Bennett planted English trees such as elms, oaks and several Wellingtonias, One of which is a feature of the garden. The house is category 2 with the Historic Places Trust and remains a family home.

  

NOTE: The information contained here is a result of Des De Stefano's own research and was current at the time he was working on the project.