A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kwong Sing - Glen Innes

The Kwong Sing Emporium is Glen Innes's oldest surviving business, established in 1886. For many years it was ran by Percy Puck Sing Young (Kwan Hong Kee) the first of his clan to emigrate to Australia from China in 1876.

The grand late-Victorian Italianate department store was built in successive stages between 1886 and 1915. These days sections of the store have been subdivided into other businesses but Kwong Sing still sells clothing and footwear: oh for the days when it sold hay, sugar by the loaf, Indian Root Pills and dynamite.

To read more about the incredible story of Percy Young and the retail dynasty he spawned/nurtured across Northern NSW  click here.


  1. Wonderfully intriquing history and great building ~ Awesome photography ~
    (A Creative Harbor)

  2. Thanks for sharing a great slice of local history Mark. I had heard of Kwong shoes in Casino - which is also still open and tv ads play regularly up here. I believe that Jeff Fatt's (from Wiggles fame)family runs that store. Have printed off the linked pdf - and look forward to reading up on this aspect of North Coast life - really interesting, thanks again.

    1. Have taken some shots of Kwongs in casino but weren't good enough, next time! Yes they are related. If you click on label Tingha there is another related and fascinating emporium run by the Chinese, Wing Hing Longs. Hong Yuens still exists in Inverell but only hardware. I have some posts coming up about Bundarra and Kwongs store there. I'm fascinated by the Chinese run emporiums of 19th and 20th century North NSW. The Golden threads website has been wonderful in my research.

  3. Enjoy reading history of townships and buildings there! Always fascinating! This one is remarkable - essentially preserved and unfolding history. love how the different dates give the roofline a unique feature! impressive building!

    As to your question on the boat shed in my blog post, it was originally on sale for $140,000! And it had no electrical power connection! But I believe it sold for more! The ad (with the real estate mentioned) no longer exists to check!

  4. Beautiful building. Have a fabulous week!

    Liz (mlc)
    Liz (yacb)

  5. It's a well kept building and so pretty in blue.

    Happy Blue Monday, Mark.

  6. That's a nice building.

    I played too. Mine are here and here.

  7. an impressive building. there is also a mall chain here established by a Chinese immigrant who started selling overrun and rejected shoes. now he's the richest man in the Philippines.
    sugar and dynamite in one store.:p

  8. Wonderful historical building!


  9. There are certainly many interesting stories behind that facade--dynamite!

    Blue Lamps

  10. Thank you for this very informative post. I enjoyed it.

  11. What an impressive man, and family... we have so much to thank his generation for with their foresight, their tenacity and their plain hard work. I wonder how many of us would believe in ourselves as much as they did and take the risks they did? I'm so glad they were the strong and hard working people they were.

    Thank you for a great story.

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