The Wood family arrived in Preston in 1850 well prepared for their new life. Equipped with household utensils, furniture and farming implements, they established the first general store in Preston on the corner of Wood and High streets.
The Wood family was part of a small community, originating in Sussex, who travelled to Australia as a group. Members of the Particular Baptist Church, they opposed the Irish born Samuel Jeffrey who wanted to name the area Irishtown. In response they proposed the name Preston, after a small village in their home county of Sussex. The fact that Edward Wood was the Postmaster may have helped sway the decision the Baptists way.
Edward Wood (b.1804) was succeeded by his son Edward Jnr. and later by his grandson Hubert. The store was finally closed in 1950 after the death of Hubert Wood.
The original bluestone building was sold to Campbell’s Motors and integrated into their spare parts store.
Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.
Forster, Harley W. (1968). Preston Lands and People. Melbourne: Cheshire.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.