Historic Robson's Lodge
IntroductionLocated in Kaweka Forest Park, Robson’s Lodge is one of the few buildings that remains in a once thriving farming area. The lodge is now frequently used as a base for school trips and camps.
Robson’s Lodge is symmetrically designed with a hip roof and timber framed with totara piles. The walls and roof are clad in corrugated iron. Interior walls are lined with tongue and groove panelling covered, in some places, by sheets of hardboard. There is a veranda on the front or north elevation, and a lean-to containing the kitchen and toilet. A separate veranda on the east elevation has since been removed.
Superbly sited on a small hill with views over Kuripapango flats to the nearby mountains.
Robson’s Lodge was built in 1908 by David Lumsden who began farming with his partner Leo Lopdell at Kuripapango in 1906. The Lumsden family farmed in the district for 44 years until they sold the farmland and house to the New Zealand Forest Service. The house was used by Morrie Robson, New Zealand Forest Ranger, and his wife Coral from 1952 until 1966 when Morrie died. Coral lived in the house for another year. Since the 1970s it has been used as overnight accommodation and base for school trips and camps.
Historic themes are farming and recreation.
Now the only remaining house in Kuripapango (there is a base nearby), Robson’s Lodge is a relatively plain but attractive Edwardian villa. With its complete corrugated iron cladding it represents a common form of house construction in the inland Patea district. Its elevated site and simple symmetrical lines give it considerable physical presence in the valley.
Robson’s Lodge is one of the few remaining buildings left standing in what was once a thriving settlement and farming area. It is a reminder of the efforts made by farmers to make a living in difficult country. The house has a category two registration with Historic Places Trust.
The hut will be maintained to protect its historic fabric and minimise deterioration. A conservation plan (Cochran 1994) has been prepared to guide its management. This contains more information about the house.