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PROGRESS IN THE KING COUNTRY

♦ TE KUITI OF TO DAY. 'l'he valley of tho Manga-o kewa, in which is situated the mini? township knowu as Te Kuiti, is a very different place to-day to what it was in the eighties when Mr J. W. Ellis opened the first store there. The proper name for the township is Pukenui, after a noted Maori chief who was kiliel there, I\t Kuiti p-op-'r, bting a mile or so to tne southend of the present township, Situated on the railway line almost mil way uet.vbeu l'e Awamutuand Taunurunui (at the head of the Wangnuui), and being the centre for uiany thuusand acres of Jrowu land, Te Kuiti is bound in the near future to become an important and prospaious town. During the lastt .v ke months no less than 14 new houses Lave been built, besides stveial new business premises. At the preseut time the township boasts > of two large and commodious boarding ib I'ouses, are owned by ilr Hetet, and the other by Mr C. a well arranged very staolf, with a d zeu stalls and four loose boxes, of which Mr <;. McDona'd is the enterprisiug proprietor, two saddler's S-i<ps, four stores, blacksmith's and wheelwrights' shops. All the laud is, of course, bold by the natives, »nd the European(•wnnd buildings are put up on leasehold, lastly for 21 years witn right of reoe val. \\ ere restrictions on the s>le of the land removed, there is little doubt th it a few I j ears would see a town in existence closel) iivalling Stratford iu 6Ue. Even under the leasehold system large areas of land in the district are being applied for, aud tne Maniapoto Land Board, which sits this mouth, has, it is reported, something like 30,0<X) acres to deal with under this tenure. As one stepi oil the train, the most noticeable feature in the township at present in the way of new buildings is the splendid business premises which have just b°en completed for the well-known firm of Messrs Green and Colebrook, Ltd. It is no exaggeration to say that it is doubtful if t ore is another store in the Auckland province, outside the larger centres which possesses such such ample floor space, or is so completely finished and fitted. The new premLes, which are right opposite the entrance to the railway station and goods shed, measure 119 ft by 46ft with a 14ft stud, and are most substantially built in every particular, according to plans prep ired by Mr F. E. Smith, architect, of Hamilton. The main shop, with handsome plate glass front and double entrance doors, measures 04ft by 33ft, and would put to shame many a Queen-street show room. The ceiling is o f oiled rimu, hand dressed, pannelled off * with mouldings round the six large skylights (Wade's patent), which admit ample light on even the darkest day. The walls, where not occupied by shelving, are paint ed a light green colour, and with the tinted mouldings on the inside of the skylight openings give a beautiful finish to the whole building. The right band side is devoted to groceries and the smaller lines of ironmongery, while the opposite side is g : vr>i over to what are known in the trade as " soft-goods," with the boot and shoe department at the back end. A 26 light installation of acetylene gas has been put in and thi handsome gas brackets and biass railings for the display of goods in the drapery counter nuke it hard for the Btranger to realise that he is in the heart of the King Country. At the end of the main suop are two nicely fitted offices with glass roofs, one for the use of the man--9 ager, Mr F. Darrow, and the other for clerical staff. Adjoining the main shop on the north side but with a separate entrance from the front is the furniture show-room, and behind that again the ladies millinery department. The lining of the first named room is particularly worthy of notice, owing to the handsome class of the rimu that has been employed. Wherever the lining has Deen varnished or oiled, such as is the case in the two rooms under notice, the timber has been hand-dressed, which tends fc to greatly enhance its appearance. Much of the timber used in lining the furniture department is in reality fir, for cabinet work and it seeuis almost a pity it has not been reserved for that purpose. The millinery rojui is fitted with large glass fronted show cases which were nude by the contractors on the spot, and eertaiuly reflect credit cn those responsible for their r workmanship, behind the main shop aud running the lull width of the building is the packing and country order department (4-jft x 33ft) the latter a very important branch of the firm's business, which every month shows a marked increase. One corner of this department is built off tor use as a flour room and lined for the purpose with galvanised iron, so insuring the contents against attacks from rats and mice. At the extreme back of the

building is a large loading platform 34ft by 15ft, roofed over and with a concrete floor, allowing of three drays at least being worked under cjver at the same time. An ] oil room, 15ft by 12ft, has been built at one corner, which allows of this somewhat troublesome class of goo Is being handled with safety and eare. It is not so rnacii in tne-*- ize alone that the Te Kuiti premises ot th • progressive G. and C. Co., Ltd., appeal lo lljl- visitor as the thoroughness of the finish. No detail or v convenience that oan add to the comfort of customers and convenience of the employees has been forgotten. For the display and storage of the many varied classes of goods stocked by the firm, no less than 10,000 ft of shelving has been placed in position, while there are 2UO separate draws in the grocery and oth*-r departments. The contract for the building was taken by 1 Messrs Mordaunt and Bailey at JE1163, but, of course, tte extras have brought the t"tal cost to mnch above this figure. The m ;st curs ry glance shows that the contractors havo carried out their work in a faithful manner and they should be proud of having erected such a substantial proof 1 of the prosperity of business in the King Country. about n ne years ago Messrs Green and C debfok took over the Te Kuiti and Otoroh Dgastores from Mr J W. Ellis, one of the pioneers in the Kicg Country, since * time the business of the firm has been steadily developed. The Te Kuiti branch is now und:<r the energetic management of Mr J. Darrow aud the scope of its business is being largely extended, which miy be shown by the fact that ten hands are now bu-ily employed iu the new store.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WT19060614.2.24

Bibliographic details

PROGRESS IN THE KING COUNTRY, Waikato Times, Volume LVII, Issue 7035, 14 June 1906

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PROGRESS IN THE KING COUNTRY Waikato Times, Volume LVII, Issue 7035, 14 June 1906

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