Benalla's Elm Tree House Antiques has been fitted with a replica verandah of the 1887 original.By Monique Freer
Elm Tree House Antiques has a new look and it is one familiar to many Benalla locals.
The Nunn St antique store built a replica of the original verandah installed when the property was built in 1887.
The original verandah was taken down during the 1960s when a by-law was introduced restricting verandahs on properties.
However, Elm Tree House Antiques owner Michael Ross said it was a long-time dream for him to put the historic verandah back on the building.
‘‘I’ve wanted to do that ever since I bought the place,’’ Mr Ross said.
The property has a rich history in Benalla after the title to the land was bought in 1857. In 1887, the building was constructed and J D Collins, Furnishing Ironmonger, Family Grocer and General Produce Merchant began.
Since that time, the Nunn St property has had many owners, including Dr Frances Nicholson, a Benalla doctor who is remembered for treating Ned Kelly after his last siege in Glenrowan.
Mr Ross bought the building himself in 1980 from Mr and Mrs Frank Cook, who had operated a grocery shop there for 30 years.
While Mr Ross initially rented it out to an accountant while he ran his own picture framing and art gallery business, in 2005 he joined with Di Ronald to launch Elm Tree House Antiques.
‘‘It’s pretty good for the business to be going for eight years,’’ Mr Ross said. ‘‘We (antique stores) are an endangered species.’’
Mr Ross said the response to the new verandah had been positive, with some passers-by commenting it was ‘‘what was missing from the store’’.
‘‘I’ve had people stop me and say how good it looks,’’ he said.
‘‘It’ll add character and also protect the building.’’
Elm Tree House Antiques is at 23A Nunn St. Phone Michael Ross on 5762
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