M’Lean – Whan – Erlandsen

The Wodonga store for which we have the best photographic record over its time is the one that was just south of the Terminus hotel.

The earliest newspaper advertising I could find is 1885. Peter M’Lean storekeeper Wodonga selling McCormick Reaper and twine binder, and double furrow ploughs.  The store possibly commenced trading in the mid 1870’s.

1886 Peter M’Lean storekeeper Wodonga was selling McCormick Reaper and twine binder, pianos, sewing machines, general merchandise, ironmongery, drapery, clothing, boots and furniture.

In 1888 the following could be purchased from Peter M’Lean; Dresses, silks, dress material, millinery, men’s suits, groceries, produce, timber and corrugated iron.

In 1887 John Whan was a storeman for Peter M’Lean, and later appointed manager.  He purchased the business in 1902.  John Whan had lived in Stonleigh until then and was among the founders of the Presbyterian Church in Wodonga built in 1890.

By 1903 John Whan had added crockery, glassware, paints, fencing wire and netting to his range of goods for sale, along with Yate’s seeds.

1923 the Sydney Morning Herald reported “the most serious fire ever known in Wodonga when the grocery and drapery store owned and occupied by J. Whan was destroyed.”  The store was rebuilt to become quite the emporium in High Street with a window display to equal Myers.

Lincoln and Butterworth purchased it from Whans in 1945. Their advertisement in 1946 offered men’s wear, girls’ and boys’ wear, mattresses and pillows.  Kapok could be bought for 4/9 lb packet.

The Lincoln’s were the parents of Merv Lincoln, the Olympic runner, for whom the Lincoln Causeway is named.

Thorald Erlandsen purchased the business in 1950.

In 1952 Erlandsen & Son were advertising as Grocers and Drapers. The same format advertisement was published through to 1954, after which Trove has not digitised further copies of the newspaper for viewing.  We have been told that Mr. Erlandsen was concerned about children swimming in the Wodonga Creek and was one of the early movers to get a central swimming pool.  He started the Christmas dinners in Wodonga for the lonely and disadvantaged, along with the assistance of Tom Mitchell, MLA.

We do not have on record when Erlandsen & Son ceased to trade.  It was demolished to build Rattray Chambers today housing healthy living Chiropractic.