Colonial Cottage Museum Wellington
The Colonial Cottage Museum transports you back in time to the age of the early settlers in Wellington around the mid 1800s. The cottage built in the late Georgian style by William Wallis in 1858 was made a museum and opened in 1980 with the combined efforts of Winifred Turner; a granddaughter of the original Wallis’, Colonial Cottage Museum Society, and the Historic places Trust and the Wellington City Council.
William and Catherine Wallis were among the early settlers that migrated to New Zealand. William, a skilled carpenter was able to settle his family in a respected neighborhood and built the house himself. After the 1840 earthquake, it was the norm to build houses with wood and the abundance of native wood made this a possibility. He specifically chose this ‘Town Acre’ for the stream running at the bottom of the land as he understood the importance of a fresh water supply after the typhoid outburst in 1855 after another earthquake. His decedents were still in residence in 1970 when the cottage was earmarked to be demolished and was preserved to become the first ‘House’ museum of Wellington.
Most of the artifacts displayed in the museum date between 1850 and 1880, some are remains of the original family while others are either loaned or bought. The cottage is a time capsule that takes u back to an era when the nails had to be imported and the candles were made of tallow (animal fat). The original wallpaper and furniture have been well preserved and still gives an aura of warmth and comfort. The rimu and kauri dresser is a fine example of William Wallis craftsmanship and his original tool chest still remains. The block church in the boy’s bedroom and the iron-framed bed in the girls are few of the articles available. Designed with only 3 wheels to avoid the tax on all four-wheel vehicles is the 1875 pram found in the nursery. The kitchen was Catherine’s domain and makes one wonder the work that went in to feed 10 children at a time when nothing was automatic!
For one staying at one of the Wellington hotels, a visit to this charming little cottage that has been registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as having ‘outstanding significance’ is a must. New Zealand Hotels offer a new and vibrant experience and enjoy the new horizons that this beautiful land must offer. Millennium & Copthorne Hotels NZ ensures a most comfortable and memorable experience.