Significance of the Ocean Grove Corner Store

The iconic Ocean Grove Corner Store has been a focal point for residents and visitors to Ocean Grove for more than 100 years and was probably responsible for the location of the central Ocean Grove shopping centre today.

The original builder and owner, Marcus GUILLE, was deeply involved in the establishment of the first settlement of Ocean Grove.  He built the first church and most of the houses in the first two years of the settlement.  He was also Church Keeper for the Methodist Church in a predominantly Methodist community.

There were four major families who were owners and operators of the corner store; the GUILLE, FOYSTER, MENZIES and SKINNER families.  Each of these families were heavily involved in their local community, providing essential services as well as being active in community groups.  There were other owners for lesser periods of time.

Aesthetically, the corner store welcomes locals and visitors by its location, diagonal corner door and visual image.  It is located near a curve in the main road through Ocean Grove leading to the nearby town of Barwon Heads and is a pleasant and dramatic contrast to the other buildings on the corner of The Terrace and Hodgson St; the new Post Office, the service station (now various shops and bar) and a partly burnt out group of shops (in 1996).

In  May 1996 Susie Zada used the Ocean Grove Corner Store as the basis for her assisnment ‘Heritage Conservation in Australia’.

At the time, the complete assignment was lodged in the Ocean Grove Library – it is now available here as a PDF file for any people interested in the history of the Ocean Grove Corner Store.  Of particular interest are the interviews conducted with many of the key characters at the time, documenting an oral history of the Store and the town to complement the detailed primary sources for the history of the Corner Store.

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