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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 6, October 1966

[Part Three. For part two, see Journal 5: Early Business In Waihi (continued) - E]

By LES MORGAN

(Period: 1903 - 1912). Among the names appearing for the first time in the 1903 directory is: Cutforth, Barry Road, Baker and Confectioner. This was a large shop about half way between Brickfield Rd. and Kenny St. and there was a large bake-house at the rear. (I have heard that when some of Cutforth's customers went to pay their accounts with the last pay they received before the strike, he told them that it had been decided by the businessmen to discontinue credit, so he advised them to keep the money to live and to pay off accounts when work was started. It was stated that very few failed to pay off their debts to this man). The Academy of Music Is mentioned for the first time in this Issue and it is stated to have been the largest Theatre outside Auckland and had seating for 1,000. It was managed by C.J.A. Graham and was later purchased by Rudall Hayward, who will be remembered by many, driving about the town in his buggy drawn by a pair of roan ponies.

William Walnutt who later became Mayor and did a tremendous amount for this town is mentioned as a Sharebroker and Commissioner agent.

W.J. Hume opened a livery and bait stable in Rosemont Rd., where Moyes Service Station now is. This was later sold to Paddy Meehan, who ran cabs in Waihi for a number of years before leaving to engage in taxi business in Auckland. Paddy used to hang chaff sacks out on the fence at the rear of his premises behind the Drill Hall and some of the adventurous lads of the village were known to go behind the drill hall and then go round and sell the sacks back to Paddy. As there were quite a number of private horses owned in Waihi in those days Paddy never appeared to be suspicious as to where the sacks came from. After selling out to Paddy, Mr. Hume opened an office in Rosemont Rd., about where the Rosemont Butchery now is and carried on there for some time as a produce merchant.

G.L. Wurm, Bootmaker was in business in upper Main St. (now known as Seddon St) past Gilmour St. and he later moved to the shop on the corner of Gilmour St. when it was vacated by Harry Levy. The shop had previously been operated as a drapery shop by "Monkey" Lees who sold it to Harry Levy.

Other businesses in existence at this time, although I am not sure of the location of many of them, were: A. Mills, Boot repairer; Rosemont Rd; Jason Fawcett, Fruiterer, Main St.; Green, Plumber and Gasfitter, Main St; D. Miller, Grocer, Main St.; J.P. Macky, Bootmaker, Main St.; C. White, family Grocer, Haszard St. (May have been at corner of Kenny St. and later Carbutts); M. Helper, Optician and Watchmaker, Main St; F. Mellor, Music Warehouse, Main St, later Humphries and the Nellie Holmes (Collins); Mrs. Darby, Draper, Kenny St.; Sam Paul, Hairdresser, Main St.; E.M. Joll, Fruiterer; T.A. Johns, Hairdresser; Mick Conway, Saddler, Main St.; J.A. Williams, Tailor, Haszard St.; and a branch of Hugh Black & Co., Watchmakers and Jewellers.

There were not many new businesses up to 1906, the town being fairly well settled but that year the following are mentioned, for the first time, although some of them may have been established before that date. They were all in Main Street unless stated otherwise.

F.W. Robinson, Hairdresser; Tattersalls Saloon; Strand Dining Rooms in Rosemont Rd., proprietors Nausett and Mason, who advertised "Try our 1/- meals. Soup; Joint and Sweets". "Breakfast or Tea, 1/-". Patterson and Lockington, Furniture makers, Haszard St., now Mortons garage; William Williams, Plumber; Miss Aitkenhead, "Trocadero" Dining Rooms; J. Woodham, Painter, Paperhanger and Picture Framer; Brash and Feather, pork Butchers and small goods; Rowbottom, Tailor; Noakes, Dentist, Main and Haszard St.; Sam Ford, Baker; shop in Rosemont Road, Bakehouse in Silverton Rd. The slogan on the bill heads of this firm was Crown Bakery. "Sweet like a lolly". Isaac Brown & Co. of Thames opened a branch of their bicycle business in Main St. and it was managed by Samuel Brown; Bootmakers and Boot repairers at this time in addition to those already mentioned were: Adams; Connolly; Donaldson; Howes; Llewellyn; Toomey; Kennedy and Whitehead. Joe Snell, Butcher in Barry Rd; Dummy Mason, Hairdresser, Barry Rd; Hetheringtons, Thames, opened a branch in Main St; The well known home made confectionery shop of Mrs. A.E. Raynor was opened in Main St. Many will remember the ice cream room at this shop; Miss Kelsey, Ladies drapery, Rosemont Rd., near Academy; Mark Shandley, Fruiterer, Main St; R.J. Dooley, Fruiterer, Rosemont Rd. and Kenny St. (later W. Henderson and Kallu); George Smart, Hairdresser, Main St. A firm of Solicitors, Jackson and Moresby, opened a branch which was managed by P. Galbraith. This was later carried on by W.M. Jackson. Robert Arscott had a produce merchant's shop in Main St. near the site of the National Bank. At this time the shops in this locality were up on a bank above the street. A fire destroyed these shops and the bank was removed before rebuilding was commenced. Mr. Arscott transferred to new premises in Haszard St., where Halls bakehouse now is. He was later well known as mine host of the KatiKati Hotel. Maurice Crimmins and Ernie Fathers, coach and livery stables, (main driver Harry Deverall) are first mentioned at this time. One Beckett started a newspaper named the Waihi Times about 1908 but it was short lived and was taken over by the Waihi Telegraph; Alien Aislabie, Economic drapery was opened and another well known character who used to drive about in a small trap, pulled by a Shetland pony, was the laundry-man, Jerry Hirst, who was in business in Main St. near the old Miners Hall. Another very well known name in the town is first shown as being in business is that of G.D. Armour, who is advertised as an Umbrella maker and repairer, Saw and tool sharpener, Chimney sweep. There was a step into the front door of the shop and when the door was opened a bell on a spring above the door was activated, ringing loudly, Bricky Ardern, Tauranga Rd., is first mentioned as is also the coal and carrying business of Beaton and Cole. Charlie Cole is well remembered and many families travelled to the Beach in the early days in a wagon driven by Charlie. The Central Hotel, Barry Rd., Licensee, M.G. Power, was in operation at this time. It was sold for removal and is now the Princes Gate Hotel at Rotorua.

Many boarding houses are mentioned in this period and there must have been a great number of single men in the town to warrant them all. Some of the best known were Miss Hamilton; Mrs. Fortyer; Mrs. Atkinson; Mrs. Brookes; Mrs. Dwyer; Jean Dykes; Mrs. Nicholson; Mrs. Cummings and Mrs. Daley.

There were about 6 of these boarding houses close together in Kenny St., near Gilmour St., and Hincheys laundry, in Kenny St., did a flourishing business with them. The monopoly of Foys Photograph business was ended with the opening of another photographers studio by W. Rogers at the top of Main St, past Gilmour Street.

A new grocer's shop to serve the residents in the locality of the railway station was opened by James Dowdle at the corner of Galbraith and Wrigley St. This was later sold to W.E. Busch and then to other owners and is at present carried on by J. Adam.

Another well known person who took part in many operatic performances in Waihi and was also a keen bowler Lou Glass, at this time commenced with the firm of Conner and Glass as Tailors in Main St. about where Barrons now is.

Horse shoeing and Blacksmithing were taken care of in a smithy which was established in Rosemont Rd., where Locketts garage now is, by W.J. Gray of KatiKati. It was managed by Dave Morrow, who later purchased it and who later disposed of it to Bill Verry. Harry Armour learned the trade in this smithy. There were also Porter and Hollis, Blacksmiths.

On the corner where Harry Armour now lives there was a large shop with a cooler which was erected by the Thames Valley Dairy Company and it was managed by a Mr. Jessop. Milk was sold at this shop and there was also a delivery. Two sons of the manager, Harry and Horace were familiar figures pulling the two wheeled dandies about the town in the early morning. Other milk deliveries in the town were made by Tom Teirney and W. Dean.

William Toy, later the Editor of the Waihi Telegraph, commenced business as a sharebroker and commission agent in Main St. For some years he had an office in the Tobacconist shop of Frank Nickisson which was part of the shop now Silcocks Butcher shop.

Two further laundries are mentioned, the inevitable Chinaman, Hung Lee, and Martha Laundry, run by Mrs. Meiklejohn in Gilmour Street.

For those who liked fish the Dominion Fish Depot, proprietress Mrs. Smith, 3 doors above Shorts (Crimmins) stables catered for their needs. Another character Sam Shandley is mentioned at this time as a fish dealer. He later was in business as a Fruiterer and had his shop where Clarks chemist shop now is.

Phil Radford was another boot repairer mentioned about this time. While mentioning Boot repairers it may be timely to mention here that in Waihi there were four who had some physical deformity. Dick Toomey and Lou Howes were lame, Ernie Llewellyn whose business was in Kenny St. had a spinal deformity and Jimmy Kennedy had a leg deformity. Jimmy was a real character and many miners used to spend time in his shop enjoying his jokes. He had a terrier which he had taught to retrieve coins and it was very interesting to see the dog pick out pennies, shillings, etc. when told to do so. Jimmy was also a good performer in the water and one of his tricks at the Waihi baths was to ride his ladies bicycle off the springboard and cycle along the bottom to the other end.

At the east end of the town there were several businesses. A Fruiterer shop run by Mrs. Speak, sold to Coombes and later repurchased by her. A Grocery shop opened by George Moyes and purchased by Dave Morgan; he sold the business to W. Hicks who erected a new building which is now Rutherfords store. The old building was taken over by Syd Coombes as Greengrocer and was later sold for removal and is now in the main street at Morrinsville. Near the East school was a small confectionery shop where the school children spent their pennies and where the Saw Mill was, a soft drink factory was operated for a short spell by a man named Law. Many of the East School boys also obtained their bottly marbles from there.

In this year a Grocery store known as the Waihi Workers Co-operative was started, many of the miners and other workers taking shares, hoping for dividends, but I understand that this did not eventuate and the business closed down. A Second Hand shop, and an auction mart also came into being. The first was opened by Blanchfield who later took a partner, Carbutt into the business. Their shop was about where Boultons now is and later Mr. Carbutt moved to the corner of Haszard St., and Kenny St. The Auction mart was operated by O'Grady, but I am not certain of its locality but it was in Main Street.

About this time a man who was later destined to be known as one of New Zealand's leading Surgeons, commenced practise in Waihi in Rosemont Rd. near Wallace Supplies later in Moresby Avenue. He was Dr. Carrick (later Sir Carrick) Robertson. He gained a lot of experience in those early days attending casualties from the mine.

What was described as a Magnetic Healer, a Mr. Thomas Roskruggs, was also in business. Just what his magnetic healing was I have not been able to find out. Another unusual business was that of James Nicholson described as a Maori Interpreter. One would wonder if there was sufficient of this type of business to warrant a person starting up. In 1909 several new names appear, no doubt some of them buying out older businesses and it was at this period that Seddon St. is mentioned in place of Main Street.

New names are:- Mrs. Darby. Seddon St., Fruiterer; H.(Joker) Clark, Printer; E.A. Clark, Chemist. This business is carried on by members of the founders family, (it is well known for some proprietary lines - Miners Cough Cure, Pain-go headache tablets). Zealandia Restaurant, top of Seddon St.,(Mac Matutovich); Ventura Lunch Room; (M. Dodge); Madam Coree, Music Teacher; Union Laundry, Seddon St; C. Martin, Dyer and cleaner, Seddon St.; Mrs. Martin, Dressmaker; Alfred Grigg, Hairdresser; New Co-operative Store, (John Hartell, manager); Hallestein [Hallenstein ? – E] Bros; late N.Z. Clothing Company, Norman Warren, Manager; Wilson and Toomey, Dentists; James Walters, Newsagent and stationer (now Spearings).

It was noticeable that in 1910 after no-license was carried in the district that the names of the hotels were changed, the Rob Roy being the Roy [Rob ? - E] Roy Commercial Hotel; and the Waihi Hotel became the Waihi Commercial Hotel.

Other names appearing between this tine and 1912 were Porritt and Mueller, Solicitors, who started in Seddon St. and later moved to Haszard St. where Boughton and Grant now are; Albert, (Skinny) Oates, Plumber, Moresby Ave; Arthur Richards, Jeweller; W.W. Whitchurch, Singer Sewing machine agent; Fugill. Coal carrying contractor, Consols St. and Silverton Rd.; Ken Roberts, Coal merchant and carrier. The Golden Cross Private Hotel, Miss Stapleton, proprietress; Bill Turner, Painter and Decorator; Len Brierly, Confectionery; W. Clark, Cordial factory, Victoria St; George Hayman, Mental Healer; E.W.(Wangum) Healey, Hop beer shop; Lauries brick kiln; W. Mooney and R. Patterson, Carriers and coal dealers; W.W. Rowe & Co. Drapers from Waitekauri; Wallace Supplies Ltd., Seddon St., (J. McGregor) Manager.

That appears to have covered most of the old business houses in Waihi and as stated at the opening there are no doubt some that I have not mentioned and this is because I have not been able to obtain particulars of them and rather than resort to guesswork I have left them out. Some that come to mind are the early Coal carters who carried coal from the railway station to the Grand Junction power house. The route from the railway to the Junction was via Victoria St., Consols St., Silverton Rd., Kenny St., Brickfield Rd. and Grey St. A considerable amount of coal was spilled from the wagons and with the continual traffic over it the base of these roads was solid coal.

The position, as far as I can ascertain, at the time of the Strike in 1912 is as follows, as regards the distribution of the business premises.

Commencing at the East End there was a small Confectionery shop near the East School then at Barry Rd, there was Mrs. Speak, Fruiterer; D. Morgan, Grocer; Central Hotel; Cutforth, Baker; Dining room; Joe Snell, Butcher and Dummy Mason, Hairdresser.

In Brickfield Rd. there was Laurie's brick and pipe works; proceeding along Kenny St., there was Hinchey's laundry; Llewellyn, Boot repairer; Mrs. Rice; Fruiterer, Primitive Methodist Church; W.E.Roberts (Baker); White (Grocer); Moores timber Yard and Tamaki Dairy Company (Jessop), manager.

In the side streets we had: Mueller St: D.G. Saunders, Undertaker and cabinet maker; Mooneys carriers; J. Porter, Blacksmith;

Haszard St: Mrs. McCormick, Dressmaker; Wesleyan Church; Patterson and Lockington, Cabinet makers; Foy, Photographers; Noakes, Dentist; Porritt and Mueller, Solicitors; R. Arscott, Produce merchant; Daily Telegraph; Borough Chambers; Mannings baths.

Rosemont Rd: Woodham & Mason, Coachbuilders; J. Dooley, Grocer and greengrocer; Post Office; Paddy Meehan; Sample rooms; Morrows, Blacksmith; Golden Cross Hotel; Hutchinsons Fruit shop (Auction Mart). Acadam [Acadamy - E]; Thompson, Confectionery, Miss Kelsey, Draper; J. Livesey, Stationer; Strand Dining rooms, (Goldsmith); Mills boot shop; Ford, Bakery; Hicks & Horn, Grocers; (Balmer); Shotbolt, Drapery, (Cullen), W. Hume, Produce and estate agent; S. Shandley, Fruiterer and fish.

Further out from the centre there was W.E. Busch, Grocer (Dowdles) in Galbraith St. and a small shop at the entrance to the railway station where it was possible to buy home made pies and have a cup of tea.

In Moresby Avenue there was Masons Photographer and two small shops in Tanners Building, one of which I believe was then occupied by Dick Toomey, Boot repairer and the other by Roy Turner.

Having traversed the side streets, let as take a walk along Seddon Street which was previously known as Main Street and Waihi Road. Travelling eastward on the south side there were the following:-

Old Catholic Church; Commercial Hotel, stables; Loft, Draper; Trocadero Dining rooms, Miss Aitkenhead; Mrs. Smith, Fish shop; Steele; Fruit shop; Auction Mart, (O'Grady); Smart, Hairdresser; (Griggs); Rob Roy Building, (Woods, Chemist) Green, Hairdresser; Starkey, Billiard room; Porky Banks, Pork Butcher; Law, Jeweller (Richards); M. Shandley. Fruiterer; 2 shops; Newdick, Bakers; Clark, Chemist; Walters, Stationer; Connor and Glass, Tailors; Mrs. Rayner; Confectionery; Brash and Feather, Pork butchers; Donaldson, Bootmaker; Fitzpatrick and Say, Butchers; Ready, Draper; Barron, Chemist, (Fitzpatrick); Catchpole, Draper; Humphries, (Nellie Holmes) Music shop; Whitchurch, Singer Sewing machine; Whitehead, Bootmaker; Manning, Hairdresser; F. Nickisson, Tobacconist; Toy, Sharebroker; Dick, (Lane) Grocer; Len Brierly, Confectionery; Hairdresser and Billiard room; (Bicycle shop); H.B. Clothing, Norman Warren; McBride, Tailor; McLeay, Bootmaker; Hetherington, Drapers; Hague-Smith, Hardware; Sterling Hotel; Miss McMillan, Boarding house; G.D. Armour, Umbrella maker; Fitzpatrick & Say, Butchers; R.D. Holmes Grocer; Saunders, Stationery; W. Rowe, Draper; Wallace Supplies, (J. McGregor) previously Co-op. stores; Church of England; Hatrick Levy or Monkey Lees, Drapers; Silver Grid dining rooms, (Matutinovich); Rogers, Photographer; Rickaby or Stone Confectionery; Mrs. Smith, Fish shop; Aspinall, Builder; McNaughton, Jeweller; G.L. Wurm, Bootmaker; Jimmy Kennedy, Bootmaker; Mrs. Calder, Dressmaker.

Crossing over and returning along the other side there were:- Stanley, Accountant and estate agent; 3 small shops; S. Brown, Bicycles; Salvation Array; Ross, Tailor; Wm. Ivey; M.G. Power, Sharebroker; Webbs, later Jordan and Waite, Painters and paperhangers; Baptist Church. Woodham, Picture framer; Morgan, Tailor; J. Murray, Land agent; National Bank; Cranwell, Dentist; Jackson, Solicitor; Tamaki Sawmilling Company Miners Hall; Jerry Hirst, Laundry (Ah Tom); Auction Mart; Hollis, Blacksmith; Bank of New Zealand; Madam Coree, Music Teacher; Ray de Carder, Chemist; Clark, Fruit shop; Wynyard, hardware; Sam Tanner, Butcher; Jackson, Fruiterer; Healey, Hop beer; Moses, London Dental parlours; Mick Conway, Saddler; Chas. Harley; Martins dyer and cleaner; Mrs. Martin, Dressmaker; Brown saw mill; Clarkins stable.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Old Residents.