Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

07 January 2012

New Zealand Odyssey: Two Buildings in Old Cromwell - Before the Flooding

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

In the late 1980s, when I painted these two buildings, they stood on the old main street of Cromwell and had done so since the beginnings of the town back in the gold mining days of the late nineteenth century. The street then sloped downwards to where the Clutha and Kawarau rivers met at 'the junction' before flowing swiftly though the Cromwell Gorge below.

The buildings still stand although since the Clutha Dam was filled and Lake Dunstan formed - after 1993 - their inclined highway became a traffic-less back street that disappears under water - a fate the buildings just escaped. 

The upper illustration is of the Masonic Lodge; the lower, a simple schist structure, is Hanson's Cottage, variously owned by a brewer, watchmaker and 'toothpuller'.


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By Don Donovan