Instructions: Drag the line left or right to reveal what this location looked like many decades ago.
Established in 1862, this building was originally the Hall of Commerce. In 1865, it was a hive of retail activity, including a boot and shoe department and an under-clothing and baby-linen department run by "experienced and attentive ladies."
The sign on the wall said it all:
'CIVILITY AND ATTENTION IS THE ACKNOWLEDGED RULE OF THIS ESTABLISHMENT'
George Crocker came to Australia from England, aged 15 - later serving two one year terms as a Ballarat mayor, in 1912 and 1919. He purchased the Hall of Commerce in 1876, and established what was a classic Victorian era department store, Crocker's, which would operate for the next 130 years
He had ten children with his wife Clara Walsh ; 6 daughters and 4 sons. Two of their sons would die in the First World War.
The shop had an old-world charm with wide counter edged with tape measures and an aerial cash carriage systemmwhereby cash payments were placed in a small canister and sent flying up to the cashier perched in an eyrie near the ceiling.
In later years it moved into a smaller premises next door and remained managed by descendents of the Crocker family until 2011.