‘Shands Emporium’ Namesake Died – 8th January 1874

On 8 January 1874, John Shand – remembered today in the naming of ‘Shands Emporium’ – died.

Widower John Shand and his two teenage boys arrived in Christchurch in 1851. John, a merchant and cotton broker by trade, had decided to make the move to a warmer climate for the health of his eldest son, Charles.

Along with 100 acres on Riccarton Road (note Shands Crescent), John also owned an acre of land on Hereford Street. It remained a wasteland until 1860 when it was leased to Harry Bell Johnstone, a lawyer. It was he who went to work on the land, erecting a small building – known as ‘Shands Emporium’ since the 1970’s.

This wee earthquake damaged gem is now one of Christchurch’s oldest commercial buildings. It was in the news throughout 2013 as a new location was sought as the rebuild demands of Hereford Street did not include this little heritage treasure. In 2015, it was relocated to the corner of Manchester and Worcester Streets (besides the damaged Trinity Church) for safe keeping with plans for a full restoration.

For a more in depth look at John Shand, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/john-shand-1805-1874/

* Image courtesy of Annette Bulovic*

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