Asser Store Scone

Nathaniel Asser and Assers Store

Featured Image: N F Asser & Sons Store in the late nineteenth century; Source the State Library of NSW

Acknowledge: Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society Newsletter; Volume 8. No 2 June 2020

Nathaniel Asser came from England in 1847, and went into partnership as Moody and Asser in the general store business, in partnership with the owner, Horatio Brett. Horatio Brett was a business man and associate of John Fairfax of „The Sydney Morning Herald.‟

The block where the store was situated had been bought by Henry Phillips in 1846 and he erected a combined store and residence, including the cellar and storage. Late in 1848 or early 1849, he sold the land to Thomas Dangar, who transferred it to Jeremiah Bryce Rundle when he couldn’t complete the purchase.

Rundle was the storekeeper at Murrurundi (then Page’s River), and a squatter on Liverpool Plains and the Namoi River. He in turn transferred the purchase to Horatio Brett, who also bought the house block opposite, where the home known as „Penshurst‟ stood.

The Scone Post Office, which was housed in a portable weatherboard building, was transferred next to the store in 1851.

By 1853, Nathaniel Asser was the sole storekeeper in partnership with Horatio Brett, and when Brett died in October, Asser bought the land, store, dwelling and „Penshurst Cottage‟ from the estate for 1250 pounds at terms over 10 years.

Nathaniel married the daughter of Alexander and Mary Johnston of St Aubin’s Inn. By 1860, he also ran an auctioneering business. About 1870, he added considerable additions, with residence built on the north side, where the Post Office had been (it had since moved to Isaac’s store in Liverpool Street).

Nathaniel retired in 1901, leaving his sons, Alfred Charles and John Gilbert in charge, but lived in the residence until his death in 1909. The store was known as A. C. Asser & Co. The more modern building now MacCallum Inglis was added about this time.

Miss Dorothy Asser, her two sisters and Miss Tulloch of Leighton Park, in partnership later took over the whole business, and also the branch store in „Hall’s Buildings‟ which was on the current site of Target. This was sold before 1939.

When the Asser furniture business was closed after WWII, employee J. C. Clarke and his brothers, Joe and Craig, opened Clark’s Furniture where the Reject Shop now is. Reductions to the Asser store occurred after 1959 then closed finally in 1964. Since then it has been „The Wounded Buffalo‟, the first licensed restaurant in Scone owned by H. R. Hayes in 1974, and currently houses ‘Hunt a Book’; Potter MacQueen; and Asser House bistro.

Author’s Note: In c. 1964 the portion of the building now ‘MacCallum Inglis’ was purchased by Mrs Mavis (‘Mace’) Bain of ‘Chivers’ and housed the veterinary practice owned by her husband Murray Bain in the rear section. The front portion was leased by GRAZCOS where Peter Brennan was the resident manager. I joined the practice in 1967 and we operated there until 1977 when we purchased the premises in Liverpool Street; now the home of Scone Equine Hospital. Murray Bain had passed away in 1974. Leighton Brudenell-Woods opened the ‘Coffee Club Inn’ next door in 1968. This was actually the first licensed restaurant in Scone until Leighton died in a tragic motor accident south of Muswellbrook in 1974. The restaurant was actually dubbed the ‘Wounded Bull’ by the late Alf Marks for the obvious polemical reason. It was the favoured destination for both the recent immigrant Mitchell family (Yarraman Park) and also Sam Hordern who established his Quarter Horse Stud at Dry Creek, Parkville.

Harry Hayes took over in 1974 and renamed it the ‘Wounded Buffalo’. He also operated an interior decorating business there where my spouse Sarah worked; starting in 1975 when first married.

(This history is based on our archives document „The Wounded Buffalo‟, c.1974).