Mekiwin Manor – 1918

 

Mekiwin Manor was built by the Hutchison family in the Mekiwin district south of Gladstone. The manor was the epitome of pioneer luxury and considered a status symbol when it was built in 1918.

The Manor has central heating from a coal furnace in the basement which also contained a cistern that provided pump water in the kitchen. It was wired for electricity but the house was never connected to an electricity source.

The doors are hand crafted. The sliding doors between the living room and dining areas could be opened to create a mini-ballroom for dancing during social occasions.

The wide polished staircase is carpeted in scarlet and illuminated by a crystal chandelier.

The Hutchison family could never afford to furnish the home. The living room and dining room were never used and the family restricted its activities to the kitchen and upstairs bedrooms.

Even the pantry door depicts luxury. Here are an assortment of tins and cartons, bought in stores, that only the wealthier pioneer could afford. The cartons are hand painted tin, harkening back to an age when consumers didn’t throw away packaging.

On a warm June evening, when the heavy perfume of the lilacs prevails in the yard of the Mekiwin Manor, it is easy to envision another age – when ladies in flowing gowns and men in frock coats sipped lemonade under Japanese lanterns on the lawn and the tunes of old time waltzes drifted through the double doors of the ballroom into the yard. The manor represents an era, whose grace and charm has diminished in the more casual and commercial age of modern times.


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