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Making history . . . Duntroon District Development Association chairman Owen King in front of the association's recently purchased old "chemist shop" in Duntroon-Georgetown Rd. PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN

The Duntroon District Development Association is adding to Duntroon’s history books after the recent purchase of a derelict building in the centre of the township.

The building, which was a chemist shop in Duntroon’s early years, is next to the Vanished World Centre.

Chairman Owen King said the purchase of the building was the first acquisition the organisation had made since it was established.

Mr King said the DDDA was fortunate to have acquired the property because it was one of the last historic buildings left in Duntroon.

The DDDA had “the skills” and the access to people with trades to get the project off the ground.

Plans for the building were to restore it as a chemist shop which could then be put on display and possibly be turned into a mini-museum.

“We’re very hopeful,” Mr King said.

It was hoped the final product would be similar in style and layout to Maudie’s gift shop in Kurow.

Good contacts in Oamaru would help the DDDA acquire old chemist products, Mr King said.

“We wanted to see it retained for Duntroon and get it restored back to its former glory.”

Tracking down the history of the building through the archives had been difficult and misleading because of the large amount of businesses that existed over its history.

Mr King said the DDDA had to be mindful about renovating the building because it needed to retain the original layout as much as possible.

“We can’t do too much with it. We can’t add anything to it – we’ve got to keep it to its current size,” Mr King said.

Old days . . . How the shop used to look. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The chemist shop existed sometime in the early 1900s. Later, the building served as a bank, as part of a contracting yard, and as a mechanic’s garage.

“It’s been changed so many times on the same site.”

The plans for the building were “way in the early stages” to begin developing any time soon.