It has long been admired by passers-by and now the well-known house on the corner of Patrick and Watkins streets in Merewether is set to be enjoyed by many as tourist accommodation in the Hunter Valley.
The circa 1880s home had been in the Gow family for four generations before being bought for $1.8 million by Newcastle developers Melissa and Tony Calder-Mason in October last year.
The Calder-Masons are relocating the residence to Greystone Estate on Hermitage Road in Pokolbin.
They purchased the 10-acre tourist accommodation property in May. It has a main residence plus cabins and “Gow House”, as the Merewether home will be known, “is the finishing part”.
Related content: Historic Merewether home listed for sale
“It’s been an easy project, and a beautiful one,” Ms Calder-Mason said.
“I love homes and I hate pulling things down. I like being able to use what’s there and bring it into another 100 years of life.
“The site where we’re moving it to is just beautiful. It’s 10 acres and the home will be surrounded by pepper trees.”
The home has been split in two for the move and will be transported in two trips by moving contractors one night this week.
The outhouse, with Newcastle’s oldest registered flushing toilet, will not be making the trip as it was deemed unlikely to survive the journey intact.
Related content: Merewether home bought for $1.8 million
“The house just slides back together and you’ll never see the cut,” Ms Calder-Mason said.
“There’s a little bit of TLC needed. The deck on one side was virtually rotted away, so we’ve kept all of the fretwork but we’ve got to rebuild that.
“We’ve got to pull all of the plasterboard off because it’s cracked and redo that but all of the beautiful ceilings are still in tact, so we can just touch them up.
“I can’t wait to see it finished and I can’t wait for the first guest to come and stay.”
The Calder-Masons have development approval to build three “really nice” townhouses on the Merewether site, which is 853 square metres and has rear access via Buchanan Street.
“We haven’t overdeveloped it,” Ms Calder-Mason said. “We’ve kept it in line with all of the other surrounding buildings.”
Bruce Gow, whose great-grandfather built the home, said it was hard to see the home in half but was “glad it’s not being demolished”.
“We were really hoping that it wouldn’t get knocked down and it won’t be, so that’s good,” Mr Gow said.
“We’re glad that it’s going to a nice new home.”