Historical information

Comparison photo: SEPP_0610 - Main Road near Railway Station, c.1911
Shows Luther and Ada Haley’s General Store, Bakery and Tea Rooms opened September 1902 directly opposite present day Arthur Street. This was the first building in what is now Eltham’s present shopping town centre. Haley previously ran the General Store and Bakery on the corner of Main Road and York Street until his lease expired and the premises were bought by Mrs Sarah Burgoyne in 1902. Haley sold the store to Hannah Lloyd in 1917 who operated it until 1920. It then went through a succession of owners until Eric Staff purchased it in 1939. Ray Staff succeeded his father in 1954 and eventually demolished the store in 1965 opening up a new supermarket, the Eltham Big Star Food Centre. That building still stands at 929 Main Road and is the Nongkhai Thai Restaurant. On the eastern (right) side of Main Street is Haley’s Paddock, which was used on occasions for community picnics. Capable of holding 10,000 people, with ample shade and hilly surroundings it was an ideal place for any community gathering such as the State Schools’ Picnic in 1904. It was not until the early 1920s that stores started to appear between Luck and Dudley Streets.

Part of a presentation by Peter Pidgeon to the Society, 13 August 2022 showcasing a series of photographs taken by John Henry Clark over the period 1895 to 1930.

John Henry Clark was the youngest of three boys born to William Henry Clark (1823-1877) and Maria White (1843-1914). He and his brothers, William Charles Clark (1872-1945), Clement Kent Clark (1874-1912) operated a photography business (Clark Bros.) from 25 Thomas Street, Windsor near Prahran during the period c.1894 to 1914. Following death of Clement in September 1912 and their mother in 1914, the Clark Bros business appears to have dissolved, the premises demolished, and a new house was under construction in 1915. John set up business independently in 1914 operating out of 29 Moor Street, Fitzroy where he is registered in the 1914 and 1915 Electoral Rolls.

By 1916 John had relocated to Eltham where he continued his practice as a photographer and took many of the early images around the district of Little Eltham.

Around 1930 John changed professions and opened a small cobbler's shop in 1931 near the pond opposite Dalton Street adjacent to the Jarrold family cottage. He never married and continued his profession as a bootmaker from this little shop, maintaining a close relationship with Mrs Jarrold for the rest of their lives. His bootmaker shop remains today beside the Whitecloud cottage and is one of only three remaining shops in the area from the early 20th century.


Comparative photo taken 2022 with one taken from same location over 100 years earlier by noted local photographer J.H. Clark

Physical description

Born Digital