Hodgson's Store and Stables

46 Fairfax Street, MURCHISON

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The Hodgson family have operated their general store business from the site of Hodgson's Store and Stables in the central commercial area of Murchison since the early twentieth century. The series of buildings on the site range from different periods of Murchison's and the businesses history and document its changing fortunes. Despite exploratory expeditions to the area in the 1840s and gold being discovered soon after, it was not until the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century that Murchison developed into an established town. It was in the late nineteenth century that the Hodgson's family first expanded their general store business into Murchison with the purchase of an existing shop. However, the business soon outgrew those premises and the Hodgsons built a larger store to compensate. Being a country general store in an area which was relatively isolated due to a lack of railway connection and the primitive state of the roads, it was vital to the business to have horses to collect and distribute the store's stock, which by association meant that stables were necessary. As a country general store Hodgson's Store was also essential to its community as the main supplier of everything from grocery items to clothing and hardware. During the first decades of the twentieth century the business went from strength to strength despite considerable setbacks from two major events in Murchison's history, the 1914 fire and the 1929 Murchison Earthquake. On both occasions the store building was destroyed and rebuilt. The current Store building dates from 1930 and the form of its interior and style of operation has been consciously kept consistent with that era by successive generations of the Hodgson family. The Stables which date from circa 1900, the manager's cottage which is connected to the back of the Store and was constructed in 1915, and the Store itself document the use of the site by the Hodgson family. All of these buildings are consistent with the characteristic styles of their respective construction periods with the interesting exception of the cottage which, while a typical cottage with verandah, is constructed in concrete rather than timber. Hodgson's Store and Stables is significant because the buildings are physical remnants of key features of Murchison's history, such as its transition from frontier settlement to rural centre in the early twentieth century, as well as major local and national events such as the destructive fire in the town in 1914 and the Murchison Earthquake of 1929. The long association with Murchison and social impact of the business, and the importance of the family locally has meant that Hodgson's Store and Stables has developed into a main landmark within the town.

Hodgson's Store and Stables. Store. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com | Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl | 13/03/2015 | Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl
Hodgson's Store and Stables. Stables | Karen Astwood | 01/06/2009 | Heritage New Zealand
Hodgson's Store and Stables. Store interior. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com | Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl | 13/03/2015 | Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 2


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

10th October 2009

Date of Effect

10th October 2009

City/District Council

Tasman District


Tasman Region

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt Sec 63 Town of Murchison (RT NL166/71), Nelson Land District and the buildings known as Hodgson's Store and Stables and the associated shed thereon, and their fittings and fixtures including the store counter and shelving units. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).

Legal description

Pt Sec 63 Town of Murchison (RT NL166/71), Nelson Land District

Location Description

When travelling along Waller Street/State Highway 6 through Murchison, turn south into the lower section of Fairfax Street. Hodgson's Store is the second building from this corner on the western side of the street. The stables are directly behind the store and are accessible via a driveway immediately south of the store. The 1940s shed is between the stables and store.

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