The Tharwa General Store is a beautiful old weatherboard building dating back to the 1922. The store was acquired by C.C Jeffery in 1926 and has remained in the family ever since making it one of the Territory’s longest operating family businesses. This is one of those places where you buy a beer, a hot pie and a pair of knickers in the local post office!
I have tried to access the store on a couple of occasions (during weekends) but it has been closed. I have not been able to find opening hours detail anywhere, though given that it is an Australia Post outlet it is safe to assume that it opens for some hours on weekdays.
Whatever its hours, it is described as the focal point of local trade. I believe it could be better described as the only point of local trade as there are no other retail outlets in the village apart from an art gallery on the outskirts of the village, on the Naas Road to Namadgi, which also appears to have limited opening hours.
Given the uncertainty around opening hours I recommend you stock up, prior to leaving Canberra, on food, fuel and any other supplies you need for your visit to Namadgi National Park (if that is your destination) given the absence of such things within the Park and the likelihood that the store will be closed when you pass by.
Across the road from the General Store, and the only other building in the village, apart from St Edmund’s Church, worthy of note from a tourist perspective, is the former schoolhouse. The first schoolhouse opened here in 1899 and until it was forced to close in 2006 (Government cost-cutting) it was the longest operating school in the Canberra region.
There was considerable criticism and protest over the planned closure of this, the last of the Territory’s bush schools. Local lore has it that on the last day of the school year the students and teachers went on an organised excursion and when they returned in the afternoon they found the school chained locked by government officials.
The building here today (which now houses a pre-school) dates from 1912 and the name on the eve there-of used to read Tharwa Public School 1912 (picture 3 – courtesy Wikipedia). I note that on my most recent visit here in April 2015 that it now reads Tharwa Primary School 1899 – (picture 2). Tharwa literally makes history, I guess.
This is the last blog entry in a group (loop) of entries on Tharwa. I trust you have enjoyed reading about it and invite you to partake of another of the loops on my “Travel Loop” page, by clicking HERE.