04 Ryan’s General Merchants

1936 Wedding of Mat’s daughter Lill

In the late 1800’s Archer Street was the main entry from the north into Emu Park, so it was prudent to have a shop in the ‘main street’ next to the Catholic Church.

The shop was built in the 1890’s and Mat Ryan purchased the shop in the early 1900’s. The business did a roaring trade until he sold it in the late 1930’s.

Ryan’s store and Catholic Church

The Ryan family sourced produce from Mt Chalmers and Keppel Sands – then known as The Sand Hills.

He traded with South Sea Islanders in these settlements for local produce, including paw paws, bananas and fresh citrus fruit. This was all done by horseback.

Known as “The Village Store” this General Merchant sold anything and everything. Mat’s son would ride around Emu Park on his horse getting grocery orders from local people and then would deliver them by horse and cart.

This shop finished trading in 1940 and was demolished in the 1980’s.


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