1 koonoona merricks road merricks north front view homestead
Statement of Significance
Last updated on - June 28, 1999
Koonoona, a small cottage on the Merricks road, Merricks north, is a building of considerable state importance on both architectural and historical grounds.
1. The four central rooms display interesting building techniques; the pole frame is faced both inside and outside with close-set horizontal saplings of Melaleuca ericafolia and packed with pug.
2. The earliest part of the cottage, which is thought to date from the 1860s, has important associations with the selection era. The selector, John Caldwell, was lessee of the site in crown allotments 34 and 35, parish of Balnarring, in 1865. He secured freehold title to the land in 1875.
3. The roofing of the older part of the structure is mostly of exceptionally intact morewood and Roger's galvanized iron tiles. There are also some Walker's "Gospel Oak" brand tiles, not previously reported in Australia.
4. Other early features noted are tongue and groove flooring boards and ceilings and James Carpenter patented door latches.
5. There is perhaps no other vernacular structure of comparable age in Victoria which remains today so well preserved.
6. Koonoona is a building of great historical importance, illustrating the lifestyle of early settlers in colonial Victoria.
7. Its site also has associations with the pastoral era when very large runs like Tuerong, Coolort, Manton's Creek, Arthur's seat and Tichingorouke dominated the Mornington peninsula. Koonoona's grounds once formed part of the Tuerong run of 1,200 acres owned as early as 1840 by William Thomas, assistant protector and guardian of aboriginals.
8. Koonoora is situated within a historic site unit identified by the Shire of Hastings, has been classified by the National Trust, and is recognised as a building of considerable importance by experts in the history of Victoria's early vernacular structures such as Dr Miles Lewis, architectural historian.