Original Home Builder and Family
Mr Archibald McKinlay (1826 - 1910)
Mr McKinlay was born in Scotland and became an apprentice in the drapery trade. He decided to immigrate to Australia in 1853 with his friend Edward Herbert. They then both travelled to Tuapeka in Otago NZ and found prospecting for gold in Gabriel’s Gully quite lucrative, discovering $2000 worth in 1861. They bought a goods store and used contacts back in Scotland to supply drapes, groceries, hardware, timber and wine. It was very successful supplying many smaller stores in the region.
Mr McKinlay built “The Sycamores”(now Lady of Lawrence) in three stages from approximately 1860. The brick addition was completed in 1902. Archibald had eight children with his wife, Catherine; John, William, Mary, Margaret, James, Archibald, John (Jack) and Frances. He is described as a man “of stirling character and strict probity in all matters”. He was also a strong supporter of the Presbyterian Church.
Following his death in 1910, his three maiden daughters lived at the property. By the 1960’s the house was gifted to the Presbyterian Church for use as a manse. There were two more owners before the house was placed on the market and purchased by Ms Verity Wolf on April 9th 2015.
Verity has spent months restoring and re-decorating the house to provide bed and breakfast accommodation and is joined by her mother Sandra, at different times through out the year. Her love of horses is evident throughout the home and she hopes this pleases Catherine who also had a passion for equestrian pursuits. A photo of Mr McKinlay has been placed at the Peel Street entrance door.
Reference: Thank you to Otago & Southland Heritage houses by Rodney Wells and Tessa Ward for information on the history of the property. Thank you to Rodney for allowing the beautiful sketches of the property to be used.