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The Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room celebrates one of Gore's earliest entreprenuers and it's first Mayor. The building that houses this new establishment was originally built in 1906 as the Ambrose building. The original street facade of the building has been carefully restored and the interior stylings echoe this grand era with a contemporary twist. The story of Thomas Green is told inside along with historic imagery of Gore in the early 1900s. The result is an authentic environment rich in local history.

Thomas Green

Although he was not the first resident, Thomas Green's extensive activities justify the accolade ‘Father of Gore' bestowed by his contemporaries.

In 1874 he bought the Pyramid Accommodation House, then a stopping place for Cobb and Co's coaches, but having acquired a section for 50 pounds in a newly surveyed town several miles down-river, he soon headed south for the settlement soon be known as ‘Gore'. His initial venture in this settlement was the construction of the ambitiously proportioned Railway Hotel in 1875.

From this he moved into a general agency business, which involved auctioneering and land sales, first in partnership with Frank Canning and William Souness, later as sole proprietor. Green demonstrated a shrewd business sense, especially in the acquisition of property. From sales of subdivided lots he was able to provide capital for other enterprises. (A number of streets in the town are named after members of the Green family). Few opportunities escaped his notice. He started the first horse bazaar, auction mart, and sale yards, and operated a coalmine and a brick kiln. He was involved in the New Zealand Agricultural Co, Waimea Plains Railway Co, Gore Dairy Factory, Croydon Meat Co, Gore Flour Mill, Mataura Ensign, and other businesses, although some, like the Gore Gas Works, were not successful. Few of the social and cultural societies created in the town, from the Anglican Church to the Racing Club, seemed able to manage without Thomas Green as an office bearer – or patron.

Green also gave lengthy service to local bodies, including the Gore Town Board (he was elected the first Mayor of the borough of Gore in 1885), the Southland County Council, the Southland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and the Bluff Harbour Board. He was also one of the longest serving JPs in the district...

Green's Railway Hotel

Green's first Gore venture was the construction of the ambitiously proportioned Railway Hotel in 1875. According to historian Herries Beattie: 'Greens Railway Hotel was opened on 29 August 1875, the day the railway line opened, and it was so newly finished that the wallpapers were still damp, and the building so crowded all day that the paper was almost rubbed off. Previous to this the proprietor's friends had been commiserating with him over possessing such a 'white elephant' of a building in such a small township, but their tune later changed. The hotel had 14 rooms originally, and eight were added within a year.

The Ambrose Building

Information on this coming soon...

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