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An old slab cottage and a 200th anniversary

200th ANNIVERSARY : Artist Val Anderson with historian Shirley Threlfo. There’s not a lot known about the little slab cottage standing on the side of the road in the tiny hamlet of Woodville.
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But as the building falls victim to the passing years, artist Val Anderson has decided to capture its history as a reminder of a time gone by.

Mrs Anderson has sketched the building – known as Pioneer Cottage – as part of the 200th anniversary of the Woodville community. The sketch will be raffled off as part of the celebrations to be held later this year.

“The cottage is lovely, it really is, but it’s really falling down,” Mrs Anderson said.

Thought to have been built in the mid 1870s and situated between the Woodville School of Arts Hall and Iona Public School, the cottage is the original home of bootmaker Peter Pomfrett and his wife.

Mr Pomfrett was also a handyman and undertook jobs for the School of Arts hall.

“Pomfrett was later joined by a Mr Harden whose descendant, Tom ‘Poppa’ Harden, came to live in the cottage in 1903, aged 12 years, and was the last to live in the cottage,” Mrs Anderson wrote in her

history of the cottage.

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Look at the architecture

Central Maitland’s affordable housing project will put the precinct back on the real estate map.
Nanjing Night Net

Tony Cant Real Estate general manager Peter Hogan said the market in central Maitland had never been huge and it was difficult to convince locals to make the move because of the old flood zoning since the 1955 flood.

But despite some locals ignoring the area, the precinct has attracted a wide price range. The cheapest rental properties start in the high $200s and increase quickly to about $400 a week.

Houses sell between the low $200,000 mark and $500,000 and $600,000.

Mr Hogan said people need to walk around the area and see the old-fashioned architecture of many of the homes in central Maitland.

“People don’t take the time to look around central Maitland,” he said.

“It’s not about looking at a shift in real estate, it’s about changing public perception. The hardest thing is to get the locals into the area; people have to start making the move.”

Mr Hogan said the 1300 affordable homes that would be built in the area would be a strong attraction.

The development will be kickstarted by road upgrades to be done with an $11.3 million federal government grant announced earlier this week.

“Central Maitland is beautiful with its old buildings and river, and this is going to reflect positively on the CBD and Maitland Heritage Mall,” he said.

“It’s an important step because the population is supposed to double by 2030, which isn’t a long time away – it’s only 18 years – and there’s a lot of infrastructure that’s needed in that time.”

Mr Hogan said the government’s investment would give potential developers the confidence to invest in the precinct.

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