History of the Cottage
The Gaunts property has an established history with a number of owners all leaving their footprint.
The original land was cleared for TO Button to commence farming operations 124 years ago. “Button's Cottage” now names the original homestead built on the land with a view to the Horseshoe Falls situated on the Castra Rivulet. The site was identified then for its access to an abundant water supply.
The Gaunt Brothers continued farming operations for 17 years camping in the original homestead during the week and returning to "Lonah" West Ulverstone for weekends. In the recent past, the three daughters of Sydney Gaunt returned to the property from Kojunup Western Australia revisiting their father’s footsteps and more recently a grandson and his family. The standing of the Gaunts family including Dr Mathias Gaunt, from Windermere on the Tamar River, the grandfather of the three grandsons so named the property and whilst the name was less than appealing, Mrs C W Young the local postmistress was emphatic that the name of the property was to remain "Gaunts".
The Thompson era built a more substantial homestead, hut and village-like setting with numerous outbuildings, employed a full time gardener and employed many local families to continue to clear the land and rent acreage for growing potatoes. The Thompson and Stilwell era is well documented with many photos now available through the Tasmanian Archives. Fendall Thompson built the original hydro power scheme on the property, still viewable today, which was enabled it to be the first property in the district to have electric light.
Mrs Bowden was the next owner of the property and folklore suggests that the move from Devonport was to avoid the impact of war.
The current owners are third generation Miles family and are the longest in duration of a pastoral enterprise focussing on a pure bred Angus commercial herd and romney dorset sheep flock.
History Of Gaunts
Button T Oswin
1886 – 1901
Grew turnips, wheat, white clover
Gaunt Brothers – Richmond, Sydney, Gray
1901 - 1918
Thompson, Leonard Fendall
1918 - 1942
Farming, clearing land, sheep, rented land to potato growers
Bowden, Loris (nee Madden)
1942 – 1946
Farming, 80 head of sheep
40 head of cattle, seed potato
Miles GW and sons
Farming, Seed potato contracts, Swede contracts, Fodder crops for sheep and cattle, small dairy
Gaunts Pastoral Company
GH and JI Miles
GH, JI and KHR Miles
800 sheep romney dorset cross for fat lamb market
180 Angus commercial herd
30 acres of seed potato contracts
20 acres of Swedes
Gaunts Holdings Australia Pty Ltd
(CG Miles, AJC Miles, TJ Beswick (nee Miles)
40 Angus commercial herd
400 Border dorset cross