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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

The Woolston Emporium (Established 1863)

The Woolston Emporium (Established 1863).

This establishment, belonging to Mr. J. H. Hopkins, is one that does credit to the district. It has grown, under its present proprietor, from what was originally a four-roomed cottage to really a gigantic establishment. It was enlarged twice, after which Mr. Hopkins, finding it still too small for his growing trade, built the eastern half of the present building, a two-storey brick one, very substantial, with compo front and ornamental windows, alongside the old original building. Subsequently he removed the old building and built the second half of the present structure, which now forms one of the most convenient and compact establishments in New Zealand. In it there are six distinct departments—drapery, clothing, boots, grocery, crockery, ironmongery, and a corn store. Each department is well filled with a carefully selected stock, while the grocery portion —50 feet by sixteen feet—is in advance of any establishment in Christchurch. The fixtures and arrangement of stock show that great care has been taken in disposing of, and displaying the goods to, the best advantage. We will instance a butter cupboard, fitted with shelves to hold about 200 lbs. of butter, with a constant flow of artesian water through it, which keeps the butter both fresh and cool during all weathers. There is also a large cellar for cheese, where a stock of that article is kept that would surprise many.

The frontage of this establishment is 85 feet, with a depth of 66 feet, with upper floor storage, and cellar accommodation below. There is a splendid supply of good artesian water, page 224which is forced by a ram into tanks upon the buildings, from whence it is distributed through the dwelling house, the store, and the stables, and is also ready for fire preventive purposes. To the drainage of his place Mr. Hopkins has given particular attention, he having laid down, for ordinary purposes and to carry off surface water, no less than 580 feet of drainage pipes.

Mr. Hopkins has been postmaster in the district since his settlement in it, and has given many examples of his enterprise, which the residents readily acknowledge. His establishment is connected with the Christchurch Telephone Exchange, although he is several miles from that centre.