Sample Rooms [Relocated]
64 Dixon Street, Masterton
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
23rd June 1994
part sec 7 Town of Masterton
Advised on 20 December 2006 that the Sample Rooms have been relocated.
The following text is from an Historical Assessment 11 January 1993 by Gavin McLean (Historian):
23 (a) the extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:
These premises reflect two important aspects of nineteenth/early twentieth century commercial activity, transport and travelling sales.
Until superseded by first the railway and then buses and cars, coaches played an important part in the carriage of freight to inland centres such as Masterton. Coaching stables such as this would have been the venue of much business and social interaction.
The building's secondary role as a complex of samples rooms is intriguing. Travelling salespeople were more numerous last century than they are today - hence the commercial travellers' clubs, hotels etc around the country. Local newspapers frequently contained advertisements advising of impending visits and the hotels from which the itinerants proposed to conduct business. Although this is not an area in which I can claim expertise, I am not aware of any other buildings being used almost exclusively as samples rooms.
23 (b) the association of the place with events, persons or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:
No specific important events appear to have been associated with this place.
The people associated with it are of local importance. Bagnall's 1954 history of Masterton mentions Henry Bannister simply as 'the well-known Masterton settler', (p.9) which would imply early occupation (for a European), some wealth and social standing, but no significant contribution to the local community. Hastell and Macara receive more attention. WR Hastwell started carrying the mails between Wellington and Masterton in late 1856 (p.30). He went to Wellington for arms when Masterton residents feared attack from Maori in 1863 (p.35). Hastwell and Macara dominated the transport between the capital and Masterton until 1880 when the railway opened. They also appear to have operated other coach services, beginning one to the north in 1876.
I have already canvassed the ideas of importance in my response to 23(a).
23 (c) the potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:
This does not appear to be an archaeological site. However, the building, by its mere presence does offer a tangible link to two of Masterton's early important commercial activities.
Recommendation: Category 2.
A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office
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.