The stonemason team from Central Otago Polytechnic have been working on renovations to Ah Foo’s House on Misha’s Vineyard. The stone cottage is a re-creation of one of the original gold-miners houses built at Bendigo in the late 1800’s. It was in need of renovation to provide more protection from the strong Northerly winds when used by vineyard staff for “smoko” and lunch breaks, and to provide a spectacular venue for wine tastings.
The legend of Ah Foo is being reconstructed from historic information and will unfold over the next few months. It is known he came from Canton to the gold rush in Victoria, Australia where he was one of the more successful gold prospectors. He then made his way to Central Otago in 1862 to further his wealth establishing his claim on the gold rich deposits of Bendigo.
Steve Holmes and the team from Central Otago Polytech had no shortage of local material to work with given the abundance of schist rock that covers vast areas of the Bendigo Lakefront Terraces. Having recently done some reconstruction of the old Bakery on one of Bendigo’s historic sites, the team were well aware of the construction methods and the finish that was in keeping with the authentic historic buildings that remain in the area.