Historical information

August Rietmann 1877-1951 and his wife Frieda 1878-1942 leased the Box Cottage in 1917 and raised 2 children Stefanie 1918-2006, and William 1920– 1997. August was a Monumental Mason / Potter / Sculptor and he was employed at Corbens Ltd Clifton Hill, to make the War Memorials for many towns post WW1. August purchased the property 1935,and established a pressed concrete business using the cottage as a workshop and storeroom After August died in 1951, William, his son, continued to work in the business from the site until the land was sold to Lewis Co. Ltd Timber Merchants in 1970. Rietman's Landscaping Ltd , managed by William's family, moved to Bay Road Highett 1953 and later to Carrum.
The original small, pioneer cottage was built in the late 1840s to early1850s, by an unknown pioneer. It was located on part of a 30 Acre allotment that was originally part of Dendy’s Special Survey granted in 1841. The doors and window sashes, (made of red deal joinery timber), as well as the brass locks and fittings, are from the original cottage, and were imported from England. The fire-place bricks are from the original cottage, and are sun-dried, (not kiln fired), and are hand-made. Convict marks can be seen on two bricks. There is a small display of external cladding shingles from the original pioneer cottage. These shingles were hand-split, and most likely made from locally collected timber The nails included in this display were used to fasten the shingles on the original cottage, and are also hand-made. The cottage was occupied by William Box and family from 1865 until 1914 when it was sold to August Rietman . The enamel nameplate, “Colonial”, on the wall of the cottage, was the name chosen for the original pioneer cottage by Mr August Rietman, when he purchased the property in around 1915, for 1200 Pounds approximately. In 1974 Mr Lewis, a timber specialist, found the dilapidated building on property he had recently purchased in Jasper Rd and suggested it be reconstructed and relocated. Moorabbin Council agreed and the cottage was rebuilt just about 250 metres from its original site. The cost of the rebuild was met by 'Victoria's 150th Committee, plus a small grant from the City of Moorabbin, and Mr Laurie Lewis donated much of the timber for the reconstruction. The re-constructed cottage plan has followed faithfully the original dimensions, and plan of the original pioneer cottage, and as many original items from that cottage’s long occupation have been incorporated. The photographs in Album 1 record the progress of the reconstruction from February 1984 to the First Public Open Day November 18th 1984


After the death of Elisa Box in 1914 the house was leased to August Rietmann, a potter / sculptor who with his wife Fieda raised their family there 1917 - 1951. Stefanie Rennick nee Rietman lived at the house until she left to study teaching 1937. August's son, William Rietman and family managed Rietman's Landscaping Ltd after moving to Bay Road Highett 1953 and later to Carrum. The Lewis Timber Company Ltd purchased the land with The Cottage c1970.

Physical description

i) A laminated, black and white, photograph of August Rietmann and Family c1918 at Box Cottage, Ormond, Molly the house cow is in foreground
ii) Colour photograph of Rietman's Landscaping Ltd. Bay Road Highett c 1990