6 Church Street Shops
4–8 Church Street
The snug row of little shops in Church Street that first showed up in photographs in 1860 still serves the town.
Although Stanley’s streetscape is remarkably preserved today, sadly, many buildings have not stood the test of time, including the Produce Hall, the first mill, the timber kilns, and A.C. Smith & Sons’ General Store, all of which were destroyed over the years by fire. Meg worked at the General Store, next door to the Stanley Hotel, for all her single working life, counting the cash, bagging dates or making hats for the millinery department. She was devastated to see the store burn down in 1962: “It left a great gap in the town and in our hearts”.
Here, doors open early and close late to local and passing trade, just as they did in times gone by when passengers from the steamers used to stretch their legs, strolling through the town’s well-laid out streets, before sailing on to distant ports.
At Christmas the streets were always decorated with huge boughs of gum trees tied to verandah posts. The townspeople dressed up and gathered here to wish each other the compliments of the season. Meg would tell you “that’s just how it should be”. At least Santa Claus still walks the streets now on Christmas Day to throw lollies to the kids. This happens now on the annual Christmas Parade day around mid December.
Listen to the story of this location while you walk
Explore the Stanley Heritage Walk route on our map of the region
Images gathered from Meg’s personal albums and other historical sources