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Craw Homestead Open Day brings back memories

Posted by SCe Comments Off on Craw Homestead Open Day brings back memories

Moira and Fenton Craw meet an old school friend of Fenton's (left). Centre is Michelle Edge who is doing the interpretation for the house.

The Open Day at Craw Homestead organised by Auckland Council for Friday 20 January drew about 50 people – neighbours, Piha locals, and old aquaintances and friends of the Craw family. Moira Craw and her son Fenton and his family were present and enjoyed renewing friendships and sharing memories of Anawhata in times past.

The Craw Homestead is the newest addition to the Council’s Bach Escapes programme with the first booking tomorrow Saturday 21 January! This will be an ideal base to explore the coast and Anawhata or just have a lazy few days away. The house is 7 km along the unsealed Anawhata Road, and is run with solar power and gas. The newly polished matai and rimu floorboards were admired by everyone and the new paintwork, furnishings and kitchen make this a cosy, comfortable place to escape from the city. The work on the house and the furnishing was all organised by regional parks rangers, especially Simon, Dan and Andy from Piha. The deck has been extended so there are sunny and shadey spots to enjoy the rural aspect and views over the hills to the sea.

The long verandah facing Anawhata - an ideal place to while away a few hours

The house was made of solid poured concrete by early Anawhata resident Horace Mobbs, owner of Anawhata Farm, for Doug and Maudie Perrin just prior to World War 2. The house was not part of the farm but on a 7 acre block that was created when the Anawhata Road was shifted from the west to its present position.

Around 1940 the Mobbs rented the house out when they sold Anawhata Farm to Mr Leek about 1940. After Doug completed his war service, the Perrins lived in the house and installed a wind charger to provide electricity. The Perrins sold it to the Craws who installed a deisel generator. Graeme Craw made various changes to the house including replacing a flat roofed sunroom with a long verandah, raising the roof to create an attic and adding bedrooms.

Moria Craw planted pine trees – now very large – and had a big vegetable garden. Graeme was a great collector of industrial equipment and Packard cars. He knew the history of the Anawhata area intimately and Graeme Webber recalled visiting and that he and Ken Carpenter organised tours of the area for Piha folk, led by Graeme Craw. Eventually the Craws sold the property to the Auckland Regional Council and moved to the Whangarei area. Graeme Craw also acquired and restored A196 the engine that ran the ran the line from the Piha Mill to the bottom of the Anawhata Incline.

Ken Cowan and Graeme Webber of Piha R&R talk to Moira Craw


Library with books, games and information about the Craws


Main bedroom with beautiful rimu floors


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