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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


Petone's Oldest Grain Store.

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Sharpe's store is one of the many way marks of Petone, a point from which strangers are directed to various parts of the town. It is the oldest existing grain store in the Hutt Valley having been founded by Mr. John Sharpe in 1899. The Sharpe family have been identified with Petone since 1891 and with New Zealand since 1884 and the name has become a household word. Sharpe's farm extended from White's Line to the sea, before Jackson Street was extended, and supplied early residents with milk and butter.
Sharpe's bus, owned by Mr. James Sharpe, one of the brothers, was a one-horse coach which for many years plied from the railway station along Jackson Street, meeting all trains and carrying the mail. It was a most important institution.
To cater for the needs of the heavier horse traffic and the needs of the farming community, Mr. John Sharpe established the grain store in 1899 opposite the present site and alongside Mr. Elvines' blacksmith shop.
By hard work and integrity in business, a flourishing trade was soon established; the bulk of the grain and other supplies coming from Wairarapa and a small portion only from the South Island. To-day the chief sources of supply are Marlborough and Canterbury.
Mr. Sharpe gave the business his close personal attention for forty years changing his stocks with the changing times of motor transport. Everyone knew John Sharpe as the soul of honesty and many a man in the Hutt Valley to-day can look back with gratitude to help received and advice given by the proprietor of the grain store.
Mr. Sharpe retired from business two years ago when he disposed of it to the present proprietor, Mr. A. G. Orsborn.
The old traditions are being followed by the new and energetic owner and the store is still noted for the high quality of its grain and produce which is distributed through the Hutt Valley.

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