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Alfredton's first store

Alfredton's first store, "Alfredton Cash Store, C J Trapp, General Storekeeper"

Supplies were a real problem for Alfredton's early settlers and almost impossible in winter as the muddy roads and tracks became impassable.

In 1889 the settlers offered to provide a guarantee of £150 if Levin & Co. would let Mr Trapp have provisions to start a store at Alfredton. Mr Trapp also applied to use the surplus weatherboarding left over from building the Alfredton Roads Board's office, according to their December 1889 minutes.

By 1890 the store had opened.  It was a small building with two rooms at the front and two at the back, with a loft on top for storing provisions. Customers had to climb the ladder to the loft as it had external access only.  The Wairarapa Daily of January 1890 reported:
We do now have a store in here which is a great boon in winter. The store was built by Mr. C. J. Trapp... he is now looking after the library for the convenience of subscribers, who by arrangement may now obtain books at any time."
By 1892, with a name change to MacIntyre & Co., Francis Henry Dunderdale was manager. Mr Dunderdale took ownership of the store, in partnership with Mangamahoe settler Alfred Head Wrightson, and later by John Henry Berney, trading under the name of Berney and Dunderdale.  The same year the store also became the Post Office.

Records don't show when the store ceased trading, but the building remained.  Charles James Thrupp and his family lived in it and Rupert and Rita (Dolly) Payne lived in it during the depression.

The 1942 earthquake brought down the two chimneys and the family were forced to camp in the shed at the back. When they left to go farming, Mrs Rutherfurd asked them to demolish what remained of the store.

Source: Alfredton: The school and the people, June Edmonds.
Read more about Alfredton's history here


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