The Lodge has an intriguing history. The original owner was an eccentric Scotsman, an old China hand called Daniel Ferguson. He amassed a genuine collection of Imperial Treasures, mainly of priceless Jade and Ivory and in the 1930’s he built a spectacular home to display them. It is believed that part of his collection ended up in the British Museum. There is also much specualtion about buried treasure and the fate of two yellow Lion Dogs that belonged to an Emperor!
The architecture reflected Daniel's love of things Chinese as is evident with the pagoda roofs on the main house and the Jade cottage, the latter custom-built to accommodate a special Tientsin carpet.
The Lodge and Jade House inspired Fiona Kidman to write her novel Mandarin Summer. Nancy Pickmere's book, KeriKeri Heritage of Dreams, also features the property, which continues to draw writers and artists such as David Barker.
KeriKeri attracted many old China hands in the 30's with promises of a Utopian life. This gave the township a unique chinese flavour in its architecture and resulted in historical gems like Pagoda Lodge and the Cathay Cinema.
The owners, Kathy and Stephen Frewen, spent more than 20 years in Asia and were immediately drawn to the harmonious balance of “earth, wind and water”. The pagoda roofs, the variety of rare and mature trees, the tranquil river and the abundant bird life all create a certain magic, now enhanced by the serene Buddhas from Borobudur.