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With thanks to Romsey & Lancefield Districts Historical Society. The society meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am-2pm, at Lancefield courthouse, in Main Rd, Lancefield.
The White family owned the general store at Romsey for 79 years.
William White bought the site at 106-108 Main St from Cornelius Maher for £30 in 1869. The store was known as the Hall of Commerce, and White and his wife Sarah ran it alongside an auctioneering business.
From 1908, White also ran the Registry for Births and Deaths from the shop.
White’s eldest son, also William, was given a full partnership in the store in 1877 for his 21st birthday. But within four years, William Jr had left Romsey for Melbourne.
When White’s second son, Frederick, joined the business, the store was renamed from The Full and Plenty Store to F A White. Later it became Fred White Universal Provider, under the stewardship of Fred and his wife May.
The general store remained in the family until 1948.
William White Sr also owned the Lancefield Chronicle & Romsey Advocate for 10 years from 1872. He and his family are remembered by the elm trees planted in Main St in 1874.
Today, the general store building is occupied by Verdure bistro. The neighbouring house that once belonged to the Whites is now home to Krammers Accountants.
📘 From Fay Woodhouse’s book Romsey: An Historical Guide, which tells the stories of 55 buildings and landmarks in Romsey, and the families behind the businesses that occupied them. (Published 2021, $40.)
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