One of Gerringong’s oldest buildings is up for sale after more than 50 years with the one family.
Peppercorn Cottage, at 169 Fern Street, was built during the 1860’s when the town was just a small seaside village and is believed to be the oldest house still standing in the township.
Margaret Sharpe from the Gerringong and District Historical Society said the property was built by Margaret Campbell after her husband Ewan died.
Mrs Campbell and her daughters resided at the cottage while her sons continued to to live at Myra Mount homestead.
Peppercorn Cottage was lucky to have escaped destruction in 1872 when a fire ripped through the village flattening many businesses including the only hotel and blacksmith.
It’s uncertain why the property was left to ruin many years later, but it was given another lease on life by a Sydney family looking for a sea change.
Jill Steward says she was around 11 when her parents Alan and Marjorie Patterson bought the then derelict property during 1960’s.
She remembers the three hour drive down from their main home in Sydney each weekend and helping her parents clean out mud from the bedrooms, scraping off paint from the front of the house and playing in the garden with her siblings.
“My father was an architect and decided he couldn’t see this house bulldozed which is what the real estate agents were suggesting should happen,” Mrs Steward said.
Her parents took it on as a “project to resurrect” the cottage, with each child made to promise they would help with chores each Saturday morning before they were allowed playtime.
“They took a photo of us promising so that if we all carried on they could show it to us,” Mrs Steward said.
The three-bedroom, two bathroom house set on a 1998 square metre block was well used by the Patterson’s, their friends and family over the years.
“It took up a great part of our lives, we were always waiting for when we could get to Gerringong again,” recalled Mrs Steward.
“There’s the view to the sea, the walk down to the pool and boat harbour, and picking mushrooms across the road on the paddock, and lots of things like that of what the house meant to all of us.”
A display about the property is currently on show at the Gerringong and District Historical Society museum, open 1pm-4pm weekends on Blackwood Street.
Peppercorn Cottage will go to auction on March 11 unless sold prior.