Reynolds General Store at Bundarra began its long life as a hotel in about 1860.
After owner Mr Hayes converted the building to a store, he sold it to Joseph Reynolds in 1889.
Reynolds, an Irishman by birth, came to Australia with his parents when he was a young child and lived most of his life in the Bundarra district.
He began his storekeeping career serving an apprenticeship at Utz’s Store in Glen Innes. He worked at the Clerkness Store and then for Arthur Little at Bundarra before purchasing his own business.
Joseph Reynolds was regarded as 'straight as a rush' and for his 'courtesy and fair dealing' in business.
With the successful growth of his venture, Reynolds old timber premises became inadequate so in 1904 he had a new brick store and residence built by Mr J. Lonsdale.
The Bundarra and Tingha Advocate newspaper November 10, 1904 recorded that “the imposing structure occupies the site of the old Post Office Store … and which in its early days had been an hotel …”
Constructed on the site of the old residence diagonally opposite the Court House, the new brick store with its wide verandahs was “a fine roomy building 63 feet in length and 31 feet wide, 14 feet high, enabling Mr Reynolds to carry and display a large stock”.
Next door, fronting Bendemeer Street, a fine brick residence was built on the site of the old store.
Known as The Braes, the house had six large rooms, a kitchen, bathroom, and large dining and sitting rooms with ceilings of ornamental steel.
The new store sold a wide range of goods including a variety of fabric, clothing, hats, boots and shoes, glassware, crockery, ironmongery, and shearing supplies.
Reynolds General Store advertisement featured in November 1904 included “men’s and boys suits to measure a specialty”.
Reynolds was regarded as “straight as a rush” and for his “courtesy and fair dealing” in business.
Joseph Reynolds died at Bundarra in 1920 and the store was then purchased by George Middleton of Armidale.
By the end of the decade, the business had been acquired by Mr and Mrs Arthur Yee who ran it until retiring in 1972.
Since then, there have been several owners of the building. This interesting 1904-built store with its variety of goods for sale can still be seen today.