Oliver Gilpin was a well known chain store proprietor in the early 1900s. Experienced in the drapers business he used an inheritance to establish a store in Korumburra in South Gippsland which has been reproduced at Coal Creek Village Community Park & Museum in South Gippsland.
Once established, Gulpin sought to expand his business into Melbourne. He quickly established workshops and store houses in Northcote and North Fitzroy to supply his ever expanding country stores. By 1905 Gilpin had established his house “Nyroa” in Normanby Avenue, Thronbury. He bought lawn bowls to the area; building a private green next to his home and establishing a club that later bought the property from him. The Thornbury Bowling Club still operates from this site.
After the First World War Gilpin continued to expand his business, opening stores in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. By this time he had left Northcote and was living in a luxurious mansion in Balwyn.
After his death the company was taken over by Foy & Gibson, who later sold it to the G. J. Coles for £1.25 million.