Charlie Davis wants to protect the old Kelso Dairy Factory in West Otago.
"Leave it here, it's history," says the retired farmer and local historian who is leading a community project to repair the roof and strengthen the walls of the neglected concrete building.
The factory was established in 1913 and produced mainly butter and cheese until it closed in 1945.
After that, it was used for storing wool and farm machinery until the township was abandoned when the Pomahaka River flooded in 1982.
The land was claimed by nearby farmers and is still prone to flooding.