Kurow Store (Former)

61 Bledisloe Street, Kurow

  • Kurow Store (Former) c.1912. Image courtesy of North Otago Museum. Collection No. 5813.
    Copyright: North Otago Museum.
  • Kurow Store (Former). 1898. Image courtesy of North Otago Museum. Collection No. 991.
    Copyright: North Otago Museum.
  • Kurow Store (Former). Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 26/02/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4898 Date Entered 25th September 1986


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Secs 2-3 Blk XIV Town of Kurow (CT OT234/237), Otago Land District, and the building known as Kurow Store (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Waitaki District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Secs 2-3 Blk XIV Town of Kurow (CT OT234/237), Otago Land District


Kurow Store (Former) is a single storey Oamaru stone building erected for storekeeper Frederick Thiele in 1891. The original store was among the first businesses established in Kurow, recalling its early history in the 1880s. Rebuilt after an 1891 fire, the present building with its shop front, attached residence and outbuildings is a good representative example of nineteenth century commercial architecture in a small town.

Kurow grew up around the railway in the upper Waitaki Valley in North Otago. The town was surveyed in 1880 and a cluster of businesses soon opened to service the surrounding farms. Storekeepers were among the first business people to open their doors. In 1881, Duntroon storekeeper Edwin Smith was the owner of the land on which the store stands. Smith may have already built a store because when he sold the property, the new owners, Thomas Herbert and Hugh Wright, advertised their own business within a month. For several years, Herbert and Wright ran ‘Kurow Store’. In 1885, John Orr purchased their business.

German born Frederick Thiele was a gold buyer during the West Coast rushes, before moving to Papakaio and then Kurow. Thiele bought the store from John Orr in October 1888. His business suffered a severe blow when, in November 1891, a fire ripped through Kurow’s main street. The fire started in Thiele’s dwelling house (attached to the store), and destroyed the public hotel, the Bridge Hotel, three stores and the dwelling house. Undeterred, Thiele was rebuilding the store by December 1891. He ran the store for two years before selling it back to John Orr.

Orr ran the store until the early years of the twentieth century. Charles Melville Brooks leased the store in 1902 and it was during his tenure that that the following description of the store was made ‘the building, which stands on half an acre of freehold land is of Oamaru stone, and consists of a double-fronted shop and verandah, with office and residence at the back. The premises include a stable, bakehouse, shed and other buildings. A well-assorted stock is maintained, and two carts deliver goods within a radius of thirty miles throughout the district.’ Brooks ran the store until around 1909, one of several commercial premises on Kurow’s main street.

The next tenant, Charles Robertson, transferred the lease to storekeepers Barclay Bros. (James, William and Hugh Barclay) in 1911. The Barclays bought the property from Orr in 1915. Barclay Brothers was a local business, founded by William Barclay in nearby Hakataramea. A Kurow branch had been established in 1896. Members of the Barclay family owned the store until builder Stanley Cooper bought the premises in 1945. In the 1940s, the building housed a builders’ supply store and a joinery factory, as well as being home to a pool and billiards saloon. From the 1950s until the late 1980s, Dalgety and Co. Ltd (later Wrightsons Ltd) owned the building.

Since 1987, the former Kurow Store has been home to a second hand book shop.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Completion Date

6th March 2014

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Neave 1980

Erskine and Mabel Neave, 'The Land of Munros, Merinos and Matagouri - Its kirk, pioneers and descnedants', D E Neave, Kurow, 1980.

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Regional Office of the NZHPT.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.