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Village History

Painton’s House and Store (35 Edward Street)

Initially William Painton ran his general store from the corner of Edward St and Pitfure Road after purchasing an 8 acre block from Edward Baigent in 1863 and building a large double storied combination store and house. William was a keen cricketer and allowed cricket games to be played on his land beside the store. In 1874 when he applied for a licence ‘to sell liquors not to be drunk on the premises’, it was declined because the Waimea South Licensing Court had deemed his premises to be a public scandal because of the amount of drunkenness observed there. William took exception to this and blamed the local publican for supplying the alcohol during cricket games and said he expected such behaviour to disappear as the cricketers now had other premises on which to play.

In 1884 this building was later moved by traction engine to the site on the corner of Edward Street and Whitby Way, which then became known as Paintons Corner. This undertaking required a two day road closure. William operated from this store for many years and the business was continued by his son Edward after his death in 1898. In February 1900 the business and building was purchased by A Hodgson and Son. John Hodgson had died in about 1865 and his wife Ann, who died in 1899, had taken on their son Ernest as a business partner after he had finished his education. Edward operated under the business name of A Hodgson and Son, from the old Painton Shop until he built a new store across the road which we now know as the Wakefield Four Square.

Kate and Ada Bird then lived in the house section of the building and the shop section functioned as a Boot Store and a Bicycle Shop before it was pulled down in 1953. The re-useable material from the building was used to raise funds for the new building.

Painton’s second shop:

Mr John Currin and his wife Ann nee Twigdon and 5 children arrived in Nelson on the Prince of Wales on 31 Dec 1842 and soon settled in Wakefield. Their oldest son John and his son Francis erected a four storied steam powered Flour Mill in Wakefield at the rear of a section opposite the current ‘Sweetbites’ store. In about 1883 William Painton purchased this mill as well as a two storied house in front of it, also thought to have been built by the Currin’s. William Painton is often incorrectly credited with the construction of these two buildings. William’s wife Ellen Painton operated a bric a brac and lolly shop from the front of the house. Son Edward (Ted) took over the flour mill from his father in 1892 and operated the mill office from the other front room of the house. After the death of Ellen Painton in 1904 Ted Painton, who remained unmarried, continued to live in the house until his death in 1943 when his nephew Maurice Wratt, son of his sister Eliza purchased it. Maurice, who had qualified in America as a Doctor in Chiropractic, operated his Chiropractic Business from here between 1945 and 1965. Most of William and Ellen’s furniture was donated to Broadgreen House.

The next owners were Betty (nee Stringer) and Maurice Earl. They operated the building as a museum and displayed in it William’s extensive collection of Maori artifacts and Ellen’s fine needlework as well as a popular photographic display.

The shop later became another chiropractic practice, a bicycle hire business and is now a private residence.

This information was shared on a historical walk (in October 2022) along Edwards Street, researched by Kathleen Dearnley, from the Waimea South Historical Society (Inc 2022).


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