Old building still stands
The old building photographed below still stands today – in Karamu Rd, the home of Russell Orr Photographic studios.
It was built in 1879 by Mr Sam Tong, cabinetmaker and undertaker, who came to the new Karamu settlement when the area that was to become Hastings was still administered by the Heretaunga Road Board.
Seven years later, Sam Tong was deputed to form a fire brigade for Hastings. The following year, 1886, Sam Tong was elected to the newly-formed Hastings Borough Council.
His shop continued to be a source of furnishings for most of the following century, being taken over by Hutchinsons Furnishers until their move into the shops under the Assembly Hall in Heretaunga St.
The Hutchinson connection remained, however, when the late Mr Orr took over the shop for his photographic studios. He had married a Hutchinson.
The studios are now operated by Mr Kevin Everitt.