Backward Glance – Early Businesses on the Sunshine Coast – Part II
  • Wednesday 04 July 2018

Today we continue the story of early Sunshine Coast businesses.

Montville’s Village Green has had some unique businesses over the years and is still a mecca for shoppers and tourists in this scenic town.  

Alf Smith's residence was known as the “Telescope Lookout and Shop” and close by was Isaac's Billiard Saloon.

Alf's shop was originally a single storey building erected in the late 1910s.

At the time, the shop was only the second to be established in Montville and was known locally as the “lolly shop” although it originally sold a wide variety of goods, including groceries, household items, chemist lines and gifts.

The premises were extended and by 1927, a third storey had been added. It housed a 116 magnification Zeiss telescope and Alf charged a small fee for its use.

Alf remained in Montville after selling the business and in 1975, the building was converted to Misty's Mountain Restaurant.

George Jones was one of the first storekeepers in Mooloolah.

His Jones & Co. Pioneer Store was over the railway line on the corner of Bray Road and Jones Street.

George’s wife, Ann Jones, was the first post mistress in Nambour, from August 1, 1840.

George sold his Mooloolah Pioneer Store business to Charles J. Clarke who delivered groceries to the district in his truck.

Charles owned and operated the Mooloolah Pioneer Store from January 1, 1922, until December 31, 1925.

At that time, the Gympie Road was situated close to the main town centre of Mooloolah.

Jack Scargill, a veteran from WWl who had been a farmer on the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement, later owned the Mooloolah Store in the late 1920s, most likely having purchased the business from Charles Clarke.

Jack Scargill sold the Mooloolah business to a Mr Ekert from Emerald, who then sold it on to Mrs Phoebe Muller in 1935 whilst her husband Henry Muller ran the post office.

Scargill went on to construct a cafe at Kenilworth, which was sold to a Mr Feast in 1947, however the Kenilworth cafe burnt down in 1948.

Charles Wimberley first opened his general store known as C. M. Wimberley & Co. General Storekeepers, Beerwah in 1946.

Electricity was not connected to the store until September 15, 1947.

Beerwah was a busy farming community with the Bruce Highway adjacent to the town and Wimberley's business grew with the area.

The hardware section of the store was later managed by Randall Wimberley and the grocery section by his brother Noel.

Over the counter services in the grocery section ceased during the mid-1960s.

Wimberley’s supermarket opened to replace the old ways of doing business.

The Wimberleys were respected in the district and looked after the local farmers carrying their accounts until the crops were harvested and payments were forthcoming.

Wimberley's Supermarket relocated further along Simpson Street to new premises, becoming Beerwah IGA Supermarket in 1992.

The old Wimberley store building was demolished in 2014 and a new shopping complex opened on the site.

Turner Park in Beerwah is named after Sonny and Marie Turner whose residence was where the Beerwah Library and Hall is now located.

Sonny was an auctioneer and valuer and S.W. Turner Real Estate Agency was located in Simpson Street, Beerwah.

Sonny also lead a barber shop in Beerwah, whilst Marie, a registered nurse, was much relied upon during medical emergencies as there was no doctor’s surgery or ambulance close by.

The Turners’ business was sold in 1978.

Olive MacNellie and her husband, Arthur, bought the bakery at Yandina from Thomas Holden on September 1, 1952.

Thomas Rutherford originally built the bakery in about 1905 and over the years it was occupied by other bakers.  

When MacNellies purchased the Yandina Bakery, Arthur made the bread for their shop and Olive managed the book-keeping.

In September 1969, they retired from the business and sold to Golden Bread Pty. Ltd.

The bread company demolished the brick bakehouse at the rear of the building and over the years the old timber baker’s shop had a number of uses and occupants.

It was destroyed by fire in November 1975 and new brick shops were subsequently built on the site.

Both Arthur and Olive were active members of various community clubs and organisations.

Arthur represented Division 5 on the Maroochy Shire Council from 1954-1961 and again from 1967-1976.

After retiring in 1976, the couple moved to Canberra Terrace in Caloundra.

When Mr Mackay was awarded the successful contract for the mail run from 1926-1928, the Caloundra mail buggy, led by horse “Billy”, took mail to meet the train at Landsborough three times per week.

Later, George Watson became the mail contractor using an automobile to transport the mail and rail passengers to the seaside at Caloundra.

Along the beachfront, camping grounds and amenities were established and places like Caloundra, Kings Beach, Mooloolaba and Coolum became a sea of tents during holiday season.

Ice works in most towns delivered block ice to keep food chilled in home ice chests or the camper prior to the coming of electricity, which did not arrive until the 1940s or later.

Kings Beach Pavilion, close to Kings Beach camping area, opened in the 1930s.

Kings Beach guest houses and shops were close by and the region at that time was sometimes referred to as North Caloundra due to the region’s isolation.

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

Image captions

Hero: Kings Beach Pavilion and car park promoted as Business Centre North Caloundra on the photograph, ca 1937

Image 1: S. W. Turner Real Estate Agency and the ES & A Bank located in Simpson Street, Beerwah, ca 1965

Image 2: Fay Mueller in front of the Mooloolah Shop and Post Office, 1936

Image 3: Elizabeth Street, Kenilworth, 1967
Business premises pictured include (Left): Kenilworth Hotel, E.S.& A. Bank, H.J. & H.F. Gray Butchers and Bill Buse's Golden Glow Cafe. (Right): Pascoes' Electrical and Furniture Store, Four Square Supermarket. 

Image 4: Kings Beach car park and foreshore, Caloundra, ca 1950

Image 5: Caravans on foreshore at Mooloolaba Beach, 1966