Little has changed in King Street, Temuka

Like Timaru, Temuka's main street has been bypassed by SHI and has a history of fires and fire damaged buildings so brick structures with ornate facades and finials were built that have endured the twentieth century. Many of the chimneys have been removed but the street is still the same width with Temuka insulators upon the utility poles and automobiles have replaced horse drawn vehicles and bicycles. Heritage photo. The main street still has a post shop and a library but both in different buildings and the Crown and three other pubs still stand along with food outlets, a bakery, a drapery business and a book store. Businesses in 2009 Cloverlea Co-operative Dairy Co., Ltd has changed names several times..to Alpine Dairy Products..and most recently is under the Fonterra banner. It is based at Clandeboye, very close to Temuka and is a very large producer of cheese and milk powder and a major employer in the South Canterbury area.

In the 1940s and like today Temuka, situated 11 miles north of Timaru, is a service town for the farming community. It had two banks, post and telegraph, library and athletic clubs. Good fishing and hunting and good roads on the fertile Canterbury plains.

King street residents in 1940 per Stone's Canterbury Directory 1941 June

Burns 		James
Buzan 		Alfred William 		coal merchant
Cain 		Leslie lorry 		driver
Cameron 	Alex Donald 		painter
Clinch 		Eliz Mrs. 		fruiter
Cloverlea Co-op Dairy Factory Ltd. 	F J Robertson secretary
Coffey 		Mathew Michael 		Temuka Hotel
Cowper 		Margaret 		bordering house proprietor 288 King st
Crown Hotel: 	Roy P Steele 
Davis 		James Black 		tailor
Elder 		Agnes Mrs
Gibb Robert David cycle agent Glanvill Henry Bray Hally Albert garage Hancock Arthur Newlan chemist Hancock Edward Gordon bootmaker Harbrow William Stewart manager Dispensary Holwell Bertie Cora photographer Johnson Victor Robert labourer Keys William John watchmaker King James & Son bootmaker King Owen James (of Jas. King & son) 47 Maude St. Kingston Eleanor Louise Miss bookseller Larcombe George Arthur butcher McMillan William Halloway fancy goods dir Martin Albert Edward fruiter Martin Frederick Mafeking billiard saloon & hairdresser Morrison & Sons butcher
Murray Daniel Brown confectioner & grocer Popplewell John labourer Reid Eliza Mary Mrs Reid James (of Reid's Temuka LTD) Scrimshaw Leonard George cabinet maker & funeral director Smith Frederick James sletr
Spillane Joseph cycle works Strange Harold Brackley draper Temuka Public Library: Mrs T.R. Webb librarian Thomas Victor Leslie boot retailer Watson Andrew Carroll

15 Nov. Driving north through Temuka.
"Downtown" looking south. The Jolly Potter with the green and yellow open side on the left is at 121 King St. Map, street view  


The Crown Hotel - Temuka Liquor Land is is 64 King St Temuka on the corner of Domain Ave and across the street is the Temuka Library.


The old Temuka Library opened in 1927 and used until 1997, 53 King St., is located adjoining near the old Temuka Post Office at the intersection of King St. and Waitohi Temuka Rd. Note the spot where the bracket for the town clock can still be seen  to the top right on the library building and the chimney is still standing on the building on the corner. History

Temuka, looking south.

P.O. during the 1945 flood.

The old Temuka Post Office with the main entrance at 59 King St, Temuka Street with the and the Rolleston Memorial Lamp (1904)  out in front.
NZ Historic Place - Category II Date Registered: 23-Jun-1983 Timaru District Council Legal Description: Sec 3 SO 17995 Original Construction: 1902
The Crown Hotel, Old Library an the Old Post Office photographs are courtesy of Dave MacKinven and were taken in January 2006.

Auckland Star, 16 April 1912, Page 5
At a meeting of Cabinet the lowest tender was accepted for erection of the post office at Temuka.

Timaru Herald, 16 October 1894, Page 3
At 10.50 on Sunday night; a fire broke out at Temuka by which four shops were destroyed. Two of them were occupied respectively by Gibbs, furniture dealer, and J Tangney, bootmaker; the other two were unoccupied. All four were the property of A W Wright of Opawa. The fire originated in one of the unoccupied shops. It had got a good hold when the fireball rang, and on the arrival of the brigade all efforts were directed to save adjoining properties. The buildings were old, and the three shops were quickly burnt down, one shop was pulled down, and this resulted in the Salvation Army Barracks alongside it being saved from destruction. The heat was intense, and the goods in Mr Taylor's shop window and Mr Job Brown's temporary shop had to be removed from the front ; and slight damage was sustained by Mr Sim, watchmaker, and Mr Warburton, chemist, close by. A large body of men worked hard with wet blankets and buckets of water to save adjoining premises. We may add that there is a very uneasy feeling in Temuka at fires occurring so frequently. The present outbreak was very sudden, and originating as it did in a building in which no, one lived has raised the greatest suspicion. A fuller account is as follows : — Shortly before eleven p.m. on Sunday Peter Anderson, a groom in the employ of Mr C. Story, observed smoke issuing from a block of buildings in the main street, Temuka, and promptly rang out an alarm. Mr C Vernall, who was just leaving the town, at the first stroke of the bell rode back at a gallop and proceeded to get the engine at work. In and in a very , short space of time had a good stream of water playing upon the burning building, an unoccupied premises lately used as a skating rink. The building is one of a block and it was found that pretty well the whole of the centre portion of the west side of the street would be destroyed, as the buildings are all of wood, mostly scrimmed and papered, and with only one small brick party-wall at the Salvation Army Barracks. In a little time the flames spread to premises on the north and south, the former occupied jointly by Messrs George Gibbs and J Elliot as a second-hand furniture shop and photograph studio, the latter unoccupied but until within a few days used by Mr James Elder as a confectioner's shop. Adjoining Mr Elder's late premises is a shop just taken by Mr Tangney, who was burnt out at the last fire, and next to this the hairdresser's shop, carried on by Mr Robinson. The adjoining building is the Salvation Army Barracks. The premises occupied by Mr Sim as a watchmaker, and Mr James a fruiterer, and Messrs Hardley Bros. tinsmiths, have been damaged from being broken into for the purpose of saving goods, and the scene generally is a deplorable one. Every precaution was taken to protect opposite building-. Further to the north, but separated by a space of about 30ft, are the premises known as Storey's buildings, and from there some of the goods were removed for safety's sake, but they were only for a brief period in danger.

Star 20 September 1907, Page 3
FIRE AT TEMUKA. September 20. A fire which broke out about 2 a.m. to-day destroyed four wooden shops in Main Street, Temuka. The occupiers were Augus (plumber), Cameron (tobacconist), Winn (photographer) and Strange and Co. (drapers). Mrs Bates, owner of the shops occupied by Messrs Argus and Cameron, had a policy of £450 in the Royal Office. The other two shops, owned by Mrs Hornbrook, were uninsured. The Temuka Hotel, to the north, and Bates and Co.'s shop (painters), to the south, both brick buildings, stopped the spread of the five. The Temuka Fire Brigade had its manual engine early at work, but the fire, fanned by a strong westerly wind, completely destroyed the shops and stock.

Star 28 September 1907, Page 5
A disastrous fire occurred in Temuka at 3 o'clock this morning, three wooden shops opposite the Bank of New Zealand, in Main Street, being completely destroyed. The fire broke out in Gait Bros.' drapery shop, and their shop and those of S. Roberts, grocer and a (shop lately occupied by W. Nottingham, bootmaker, were burnt. The, fire brigade prevented the spread of the fire to the adjoining premises. The origin of the fire is a mystery. Two fires having occurred in such a short space of time have made people uneasy.

Star 7 November 1907, Page 3
On Wednesday, about 10.25 p.m., a fire broke out in Mr George Hancox's bootmaker's shop in the main street of Temuka. The building was of brick, and the fire brigade practically confined the fire to Mr Hancox's shop, though Messrs Treganza and Montgomery's tailoring stock in the same building was damaged by smoke and water. Mr Hancox's shop was gutted, and only a very small part of his large stock was saved. This is the third fire that has taken place recently in the main street, and all within a chain frontage.

Otago Witness 25 November 1908, Page 38
November 21. - A seven-roomed house and outbuildings at Temuka, the property of Mr M. Scannell, was completely destroyed by fire this morning. The house had been unoccupied for some time.


Millers Timaru Ltd Building (Formerly J Brown Beehive Stores Building) 61 King Street, Temuka
NZ Historic Historic Place - Category II Date Registered: 23-Jun-1983 Timaru District Council
Legal Description: Lots 7-8 DP 14852 Former Use: Retail and Commercial - Shop

King St, Temuka 15 Nov. 2009
The Drapery is 88 King St Temuka
Temuka Bakery 92 King St Temuka
Arowhenua Whanau Services 92A King St Temuka
Kings Family Footwear 91 King St, must be across the street
The Temuka Takeaways can be seen below the brick building further down the street- note the orange and red sign.

Photo. Nov. 2009. Video Ezy Temuka next door to Temuka Takeaways is 108 King St.  The two-storey building was damaged in the February 22 2011 quake and demolished 24 March 2012.
Temuka Takeaways was Lesters, other side of the street to Mobil. Next to what was the old Trust bank building (now Heathcare Temuka, a Dr's surgery, 104 King St.) and Main St. Butchery is to the left.


King Street looking south

Visited by fire

Otago Witness, 31 January 1863, Page 2 Great Fire at the Arowenua Bush. A fire broke out in the Arowenua Bush last Monday, which, I am sorry to say, has been attended with most disastrous consequences to the bushmen and other parties interested. An inquest into the origin of the fire will be held believe on Wednesday next, at present it is involved in mystery. For the whole week the fire has been steadily burning, causing great destruction ; nearly all the stacked firewood, some 300 ends belonging to the different parties, has been completely destroyed, and a large quantity of standing timber. Yesterday, in the bush, the fire was still burning with unabated fury, being greatly augmented by the strong nor' wester then blowing. It is to be hoped that this morning's rain will do something towards quenching the flames, but I fear that hardly enough has fallen to do much good. The Maori its also have suffered, not only in the loss of standing timber, but. also by the destruction of some of their huts which the fire swept down in its course. Timaru correspondent of the Press.

Timaru Herald, 25 July 1882, Page 2
Fire at Temuka. Early on Saturday morning a stable belonging to Mrs Wm. Frew, situated on the Swamp road, about a mile from Temuka, was burned to the ground. It was a weatherboard building, with iron roof, valued, at £80, and was insured for £60 in the Standard Office. When discovered, the fire had a good hold of the building, and by the time aid arrived nothing could be done to save the building or its contents Mrs Frew had nothing of value in the stable, but a neighbor named Prattley had 30 sacks of oats, 10 sacks of wheat and 2 tons of potatoes, uninsured, stored in it. The origin of the fire is unknown, and no probable cause has been suggested.

New Zealand Tablet, 7 September 1894, Page 19
Since last writing Temuka has been visited by fire. The Royal Hotel was burned to the ground. The local police constables Bourke and Egan deserve every praise for the way they did their duty at the fire. Constable Egan was the hero of the hour. Were it not for his courageous action in entering a room which was densely filled with smoke etc., and bringing Mr Mulhern out in an unconscious state, the fire would undoubtedly have been fatal. No doubt Constable Egan is deserving of recognition of his bravery.

Evening Post, 15 October 1894, Page 2
Timaru, This Day. A fire at Temuka last night destroyed four shops, the property of Mr. J. W. Wright, Opawa. Two were occupied by Mr. Gibbs, second-hand dealer, and Sangney, bootmaker ; the others were unoccupied and the fire started in one of those.

Auckland Star, 20 August 1902, Page 4
A fire occurred at Temuka last night, when the drapery of Thomas Edwards, with all its contents, were completely destroyed. The origin of the fire is a mystery. The premises were insured for £100 and the stock for £900 in the South British Company. The fire brigade with difficulty saved the adjoining buildings.

Auckland Star, 22 October 1902, Page 5
A fire occurred at Temuka this morning when the cycle shop, with all contents, belonging to Mr Wiggs, was burned to the ground. The origin of the fire is a mystery. The shop was insured for £250, and contents for £200. Mr Wiggs' loss is estimated at £100 over the insurance.

Auckland Star, 20 September 1907, Page 2
Four buildings destroyed. A fire which broke out at Temuka this morning totally destroyed a block of four wooden buildings. Of the premises destroyed two were owned by Messrs. C. Bates and Co., and occupied by Mr C. Angus, plumber, who, with his family, occupied the rear portion of the building as a dwelling, and Mr. Cameron, tobacconist and hairdresser. The other two were the property of Mrs. E. Hornbrook, and were tenanted by Mr. C. Winn, photographer, and Messrs. Strange and Co., drapers.

Evening Post, 23 November 1908, Page 2
Timaru, 21st November. A seven-roomed house and out-buildings at Temuka, the property of Mr. M. Scannell, were completely destroyed by fire this morning. The house had been unoccupied for some time.

Otago Witness, 10 March 1909, Page 38
Timaru, March 4. Four rooms of a six-roomed house in Dyson street, Temuka, together with the contents, were destroyed by fire this morning. The building was owned, by the Temuka Butter and Cheese Company, and occupied by Mr G. Burns, a member of the firm, who was absent from home. Mrs Burns was awakened about midnight by smoke, and aroused the neighbours, who subdued the outbreak. Apparently they left some fire, as it broke out again at six o'clock. The building was insured for £200 in the Victoria office.

Poverty Bay Herald, 3 September 1910, Page 6
About 9 a.m. on Saturday the Church of England vicarage, at Temuka was discovered to be on fire. The brigade quenched the flames before much damage was done. The fire originated in a cupboard under the stairs, but the cause has not yet been determined

Hawera & Normanby Star, 12 September 1910, Page 5
September 10. The vicarage at Temuka was destroyed by fire at an early hour this morning. The building, which was unoccupied, was on fire a fortnight ago. The fire was then extinguished before, much damage was done. The insurance is £500. This is the sixth fire in Temuka in three weeks, and the residents are becoming perturbed at the repeated acts of incendiarism.

Auckland Star, 3 January 1924, Page 9
One of the most disastrous fires that have occurred at Temuka for many years took place this afternoon, when the business premises of Mr. Bates, painter and paperhanger, were completely destroyed with stock and fittings. The building -was insured for £750 and stock for£2150. 

Auckland Star, 23 August 1934, Page 10
Timaru, this day. At the Magistrate's Court to-day Walter Medley Hulston, who pleaded guilty to a charge of using his, drapery shop in King Street, Temuka, as a common gaining house on August 16, was fined £50. Detective Studlholme, who visited the house with officers said he saw the defendant in possession of a large quantity of material, showing, during four days racing, in Christchurch he had made bets totalling £160. The magistrate said that, when a man went in for this kind of thing and deliberately broke the law, he must he prepared for a heavy fine.

Auckland Star, 31 January 1939, Page 10
FIRE DAMAGE. OUTBREAK AT TEMUKA. GOOD SAVE BY BRIGADE. Timaru, this day. A fire, the origin of which is as yet unknown, caused considerable damage, mainly through heat and smoke, to premises occupied by the United Friendly Society's dispensary at Temuka early this morning. The actual flames were confined to the top storey, where the office of Mr. B. Hughes, accountant, and Dr. G. H. Gilbert, dentist, suffered damage, Mr. Hughes' inquiry office being gutted. Everything in the dispensary was damaged to some extent, but fortunately the flames did not penetrate to the shop itself, where much inflammable material was stored. Responding to an alarm at 5 a.m., the volunteer brigade made a good save. It is understood that all the premises were insured.

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