The Wagner family left Hamburg in Germany aboard the vesselWilhelmsburg on the 10th May 1855, arriving after a protracted 107 day passage on 26th August at Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land(Later called Tasmania).
Michael and Catherine Wagner with their son Fredrick and 3 daughters Fredricka, Lavinia and Catherine then made their way up the east coast to settle in Great Swanport, later to become known as Swansea. The family found employment at 'The Grange’, a property run by the Cotton family. By 1860 they were able to purchase a 10 acre allotment and used the abundant stone on the land to build a cottage, its fences and stables.
In 1865 (daughter) Fredricka Wagner married Constable John Pyke. The following year her sister Lavinia married John’s brother Henry Pyke and the couple produced 7 children. Tragedy struck in 1890 when, after attending a dance, Lavinia, Henry and their children were returning home to Swansea when their horse suddenly shied near Rocky Hills, overturning the cart and killing Lavinia. The tragedy left Henry Pyke widowed and alone to raise his young family. As was the custom of the day, Lavinia's younger sister Catherine stepped in to help raise the children later marrying Henry.
In 1891 Michael Wagner died aged 72 and Catherine followed 7 years later aged 82. The Wagners' grave is located in the Church of England Cemetery, here in Swansea.
Their son, Frederick Wagner enjoyed a bachelor lifestyle and lived out his days at the family home.
Wagners Cottages Estate, was established by local farmers Dianne and Malcolm Sinclair, who purchased and restored the original Wagner family cottage on a 3 acre allotment, for tourist accommodation in 1975. Over the next 20 years the Sinclair's designed and built 2 additional cottages Hollyhock and Primrose, built in a style sympathetic to the original cottage.
The studio now exists on the restored ruins of what were the old stables on the original Wagners Estate.
Today Wagners Cottages comprises four fully self-contained, 1 and 2 bedroom cottages each with its own secluded private garden.
The original Wagners Cottage is listed on the National Trust Register of Significant Historical Buildings.