Bartlam's Store

News of the day

Daily Mail, Tuesday 6 October 1925, page 16

In the North. Charters Towers.

The premises of Messrs. Bartlams Ltd., in Mosman-street, were broken into, but the burglars were disturbed, and removed nothing.


The former Bartlams store consists of 2 single storey brick buildings which have been converted for a single occupancy. They formed part of an important commercial and retail area in Charters Towers in the late 19th century.

The land on which both buildings stand was sold at auction in 1882 as 3 allotments. The corner block, allotment 1, was purchased by William Jackson, who died in 1886 and left the property to be administered by Trustees. In 1898 it was sold to Wright Heaton and Company Limited. They were a large firm of carriers, forwarding agents and produce merchants, formed in NSW, who had arrived in Charters Towers in 1882 following the opening of the rail link with Townsville. They initially had premises at the railway station and in 1884 opened a forage store on the corner of Gill and Deane Streets. They are believed to have operated from this site for some years before actually purchasing the property. This building was constructed for them in 1901. In 1907 they leased it to Cummins and Campbell, who initially conducted a similar business, but branched out and by 1916 were describing themselves as wine, spirit and general merchants. After being sold in 1912 to Horace Brown it was purchased in 1916 by William White who opened there the following year as William White & Co. Ltd., also a merchant. In 1925 it was purchased by Bartlam's Limited, general merchants, who supplied stations in Western Queensland.

The adjoining building was built as a branch of the important trading company of Burns, Philp and Company Limited. James Burns had arrived in Brisbane in 1862 with his brother John, who set up a store there, while James worked on a pastoral run. In 1867, James set up a store in Gympie, beginning a long association with mining fields. In 1872 he moved to Townsville and set up his own business there. He was joined in 1874 by Robert Philp who had previously worked for shipping agents in Brisbane. Burns moved to Sydney in 1877 and established himself as an importer and shipping agent, while Philp continued business in the north. In 1883 they formed a company, Burns Philp and Company Limited, registered in Sydney. Within a decade of Burns arrival in Townsville, the company dominated trade in North Queensland, supplying a huge range of goods. They also became a major player in Pacific and New Guinea trading.

Courtesy of the Queensland Heritage Register


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