Its is believed that Trillium is part of the farm that was originally owned by the Blair family who settled in Puriri Bay in 1864.
After belonging to several other local families the farm was eventually subdivided by the Cooper Family and Trillium a 13 acre bare block (5.25 ha) was first viewed by Grant and Mary Haigh in 1979, however it wasn’t for sale at that time but they eventually managed to purchase it in 1984.
Mary was from Ontario in Canada, the property name Trillium is the native flower of Ontario and grows among log fishing lodges and cottages there. The house she and Grant wanted to build was designed on similar lines to those built on islands in British Columbia. Greenhithe architect Christopher Richards was selected to draw up plans based around a set of very interesting old English oak doors that were salvaged from the State Picture Theatre in Symonds Street in Auckland, these doors are the magnificent entrance doors that are still looking grand today.
Preparations were eventually started on the building site, preparing it for the 5,300 square foot house. Charlie Blackwell (a cousin to Lynda and Joanne) spent many months bulldozing the area.
In 1990 Grant selected European larch thinnings from the Kaiangaroa Forest (200 tons of it) in 13 metre lengths and had them transported to Rotorua where they were left to season for five years. Larch was chosen because the trunks are straight, even, strong and naturally resistant to insects..
Eventually Caribou Creek Log Homes, from Idaho in U.S.A., highly successful family businesses that specialise in log construction using the “chinking” method were chosen to build the house. Five men and their families (11 adults and 17 children) Mennonites from Idaho were brought to New Zealand to build the house, they were here for almost three months around 1997.
Local stone was used to build the surround and chimney for the huge log fire; rimu was used for the floors and cedar tongue and groove on the ceilings. The only cutting tools used in the log construction were four chainsaws and a small discgrinder, a cosmetic tool to remove the more obvious tooth marks left by the saws.
Macrocarpa was also used in the construction it was milled locally by Alan Gray, he also milled some pine that was from the property of Martin Mitchener, this pine was originally planted by Lynda and Joannes Grandfather John Medland, so there is a real connection for us to the house.
The property was run as a lodge by the Haigh’s and then sold to Gerrard and Louise Rea in about 2000. In April 2014 Lynda (Nee Medland) and Ian Macalpine and Jo (Nee Medland) and Glen Findlay purchased the property together with a vision to run it again as a place for guests, friends and family to come and share this special place with them.