Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 4 pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 10am – 2pm.

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 4 pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 10am – 2pm.

$ FREE ADMISSION   24 Victoria St, Cambridge , NZ | CONTACT


Our Cambridge Collection has changing exhibitions about Cambridge.  Much of our collection is in storage to ensure its preservation for future generations.


Early Cambridge Businesses

Traders and missionaries were the first Europeans to venture into the Waikato in the 1850s. After Cambridge was established in July 1864 general stores were set up on both sides of the Waikato River to provide for the 1,000 young soldiers waiting for their land ballots.

As farmers, these young men broke in their land and grew wheat and oats to sell to the Auckland market. The general stores sold sugar, tea, fabric, seeds and saddles, and so the Cambridge business area grew.

Duke Street was the busy place with two hotels and a church nearby. The selling and leasing of land through the Native Land Courts brought in cash to spend.

In our Cambridge Museum archives are some interesting business accounts showing the basic items needed in those times. Here is a small history of those people who helped to make our business area the thriving town we have today.

John Arnold – Butcher
J A H Bell – Coal, firewood and general carrier
A G Boyce – Bookseller, stationery, fancy goods
Bycroft Bros – General engineers
George Calvert – Drapery and mercer
Cambridge Borough Council – Local government
Cambridge Transport Ltd – General carriers
Cummings & Cooper – Booksellers, stationers, fancy goods
Geo Dickinson – Bookseller and stationery
M V Dixon – Solicitor
J T Douce – Architect
E J Easter & Son – Shoe store
Falls & Watson – Chemist
John Ferguson – Coach builder
B Garland – Family butcher
H W Gibbs – General storekeeper, Cambridge West
W J Halliday – Coal, coke and firewood
Haworth’s Book Club – Lending library
G E Holloway – Bread and biscuit maker
J Howe – Boot and shoemaker
R A Hughes – Mens and boys outfitters
Litchwark – Musical
R W Magill – Draper, milliner, clothier
W & J McMillan – Horse shoeing and general smiths
W R McVeagh – Plumbers, bicycles
J W Merrick – General store, financial agent
Ralph Palmer – Cycle and mower specialist
Premier Printery – All printing
Raffinee – Fashion boutique
H Riley – Tailor
Chas F Ruge – Ironmonger etc
Savage & Richards – Grocers and Ironmongers
A E Savory & Co – Complete house furnishers
The Sawyer Art Galleries – Furniture rooms, undertaker, picture framer
W Souter & Co – Motor car importers
T Steen – Electrician
G G L – Taylor Dentist
Dr H C Tod – General practioner
R T Tudehope – Draper, clothier, etc.
P J Turney – Saddler and harness maket
Vailes’ Shoe Store – Shoe store
Waikato Independent – Newspaper and job printing
J D Wallace – Stock carriers
Thomas Wells – Importer and merchant
Wilkinson & Co – Plumbers, painters, glaziers
E J Wilkinson Bookseller – Stationer, news agent
Jack Wilkinson – Electrician