Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 33, September 1989
By Mary Fennell
The three shops recently demolished in Belmont Road originally belonged to Mr Ellis.
Behind these shops he had his blacksmith's forge. He and his family lived next door in the main street. There were three sons and two daughters. The three sons died early, leaving Mr and Mrs Ellis and their two daughters, Rita (who married Frank Pitts and Jessie, who didn't marry.) They later moved to a large house in Hill Street. Mr Cliff Strong worked in the blacksmithy with Mr Ellis.
Jessie went to live in Auckland. All the other members of the family died leaving her the owner of the property. One of the shops was occupied by Mr Win Edwards, Land Agent. He was also Mayor of Paeroa for a great number of years. Later Mr Les Havill had a flower shop in one of the shops. There was a tearoom there also. Next to Mr Ellis's house was a butcher's shop owned by Mr Walter Wight and run by Mr Usher. Mr Usher had two sons, one of them living in Fiji. He is now Sir Leonard Usher. The other son had the misfortune to have an accident when jumping off the train returning from Thames Technical School. He had his foot amputated.
The Smithy was always a place of interest to children who would stand and watch the horses being shod. All this is now in the past but the prosperous town of Paeroa was started by these early pioneers.