T. Gilchrist and Sons General Store

3353 Ida Valley-Omakau Road, Oturehua

  • T. Gilchrist and Sons General Store. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shelley Morris. Taken By: Madam48 - Shelley Morris. Date: 22/03/2011.
  • T. Gilchrist and Sons General Store. Interior. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Derek Smith. Taken By: travelling-light - Derek Smith. Date: 7/11/2004.
  • T. Gilchrist and Sons General Store. Interior. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: John McKelvie. Taken By: The Feijoa Fugitive - John McKelvie. Date: 24/04/2010.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7304 Date Entered 16th February 1996

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

The extent includes part of the land in Lot 1 DP 20367 (CT OT11C/1110), Otago Land District, and the building known as T. Gilchrist and Sons General Store thereon, and its fixtures and fittings.

City/District Council

Central Otago District

Region

Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 20367 (CT OT11C/1110), Otago Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Oturehua (originally called Rough Ridge) was known as a coal mining and flour milling locality until 1899 when railway construction prompted James Caldwell to build the hotel and the first general store. In April 1902 Thomas Gilchrist purchased the earlier wooden store which was replaced by the present building in 1929. The business remained within the Gilchrist family until 1987 when a community trust purchased it in order to retain local services.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Architectural:

The exterior style of the Oturehua General Store is basically that of a gable-ended Victorian/Edwardian Combined Box House or Cottage with a verandah across the front. In an enlarged and extended form this type of building was found to be well adapted for retail functions. The Oturehua Store was built in concrete with a stucco finish in 1929. Inside the store the Victorian/Edwardian design of the shop fittings (shelving, bins and shop counters) has remained unchanged over a ninety year period.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Social:

Shopkeeping has been an important activity in small townships such as Oturehua where the store often acted as one of the main centres of community life.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The following comments are made in relation to the criteria identified under S.23(2) of the Historic Places Act 1993.

c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:

The retention of the Gilchrist legend over the front door and the survival of the shop fittings and other ephemera give this shop considerable potential to demonstrate the history of retailing in rural New Zealand.

e) The community association with, or public esteem for, the place:

The purchase in 1987 of the business by a community trust shows the determination of the community to resist the loss of local services that has accompanied rural depopulation.

f) The potential of the place for public education:

The original interior featuring shop fittings such as shelving, bins and counters and which are still intact have great potential to educate the public about retail history. The ephemera also have considerable educational potential.

g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

The Oturehua general store looks as though it was built in the nineteenth century rather than at the end of the second decade of the twentieth century. It was built at the end of the 1920s and is basically an extended Victorian/Edwardian Combined Box House or Cottage in style with timber verandah supported on wooden posts running across the main facade.

It stands solidly in a tradition of general stores designed with floor to ceiling shelving, bins, and large wide shop counters. This tradition was well over a hundred years old in New Zealand when such places ceased to be built, probably after the Second World War, but it is worth noting that the tradition nevertheless continued to function unchanged (at least in remote places like Oturehua) right up until the present day.

j) The importance of identifying rare types of historic places:

The Oturehua general store is a well preserved example of the general store genre from the twentieth century which tell us a lot about retailing in the last fifty years. On the basis of current knowledge there are few stores still functioning with interior fittings so intact.

Conclusion:

The General Store, Oturehua, is recommended for registration as a Category II as a place of historical and cultural heritage significance and value. The building is a good example of a early twentieth century store which still services the small rural community. The interior of this store is particularly significant because the shelving, bins and counters are still in original condition and form an integral part of the registration of the place. It has considerable potential to demonstrate the history of retailing in rural New Zealand.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1929 -

Information Sources

Cowan, 1948

Janet. C. Cowan, Down the Years in the Maniototo: A Survey of the Early History of Maniototo County and Naseby Borough, Otago Centennial Historical Publications, Whitcombe and Tombs, Dunedin, 1948

Gilkison, 1978

R. Gilkison, Early Days in Central Otago Whitcoulls, Christchurch, 1978

(1968)

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

Obituary, 11 October 1940

Historic Places in New Zealand

Historic Places in New Zealand

'Historic Store Seeks Sympathetic Owner', No. 12, 1986, p.17

Conservation Plan

Conservation Plan

Gavin McLean (ed.), Conservation Plan for the Stone Store Kerikeri, Wellington, 1995

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Southern 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.