St Marys Fruit King Shop

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At this location was St Marys Fruit King shop owned by the Mercuri family.

Fruit King

Download the Fruit King poster (pdf 230kb)

The site has been always one of the busiest points on Queen Street due to the proximity of St Marys railway station across the road. The railway line to St Marys was opened in May 1862.

St Marys Fruit King Shop

St Marys Fruit King Shop
Unknown photographer and date
Source: Penrith City Library Photography Collection

St Marys Fruit King shop

This location was known as the St Marys Fruit King shop that was owned by the Mercuri family, along with another fruit and vegetable shop located at 86 Queen Street. The site has been always one of the busiest points on Queen Street due to the proximity of the St Marys Railway Station and Parcels Office across the road. The railway line to St Marys was opened in May 1862 and its importance to transport, goods distribution, the local economy and overall development of the street and suburb was immeasurable. 

St Marys Railway Line

The railway line to St Marys opened in May 1862, with the original station being a siding. The waiting room to the central platform and the parcels office are both brick. The parcels office features semicircular window arches, and heavy timber doors and lintels. Cattle saleyards and saw mills surrounded the station, providing easy access to the railway line.

The station was originally named South Creek but was renamed St Marys in August 1885 after the nearby St Mary Magdalene Church. The name “St Marys” also first appeared in the public traintimetable of 1 August, 1885, replacing the old “South Creek”. 

The first electric train into St Marys was the official train bearing the Premier of NSW, the Hon. J J Cahill, M.L.A., the Minister for Transport, Mr E Wetherell, the Commissioner for Railways, Mr R Winsor, and other officials (Mr A Luchetti, M.L.A., Mr R Wheeler, M.L.A., Mr G Bate, M.L.A.).

The train departed from Central Station at 9.03 a.m. on Saturday, October 8, 1955 and arrived at St Marys at 10:15 a.m. when, after a ribbon cutting ceremony, it proceeded to Penrith. (Ref. from Eugenie Stapleton’s book – “Old Times Old Tales”).

St Marys Railway Station

Railway photographs St Marys Station
April 1953, unknown photographer
Source: State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales

Interview with Caroline Volkiene

Researcher: Caroline Volkiene

Caroline Volkiene Hackett Descendant 

Caroline is a descendant of the Hackett family, one of the older families in St Marys. 

Caroline grew up in one of the “Duration Cottages” at the highway end of Carinya Ave.

Born and raised in St Marys she attended St Marys Public School then St Marys High School.  For many years Caroline was a student at the local Cuckson’s Bodenwieser School of Dance.  She also attended Sunday School and Church in the old Methodist Church that once stood on Queen Street.  

In 1972 Caroline was married there - the marriage ceremony was the last one performed as the church was demolished later that year.  Her wedding reception was held in Sirrah House (now the Major Oak).  The couple bought a home in South St Marys and raised three children there.  During these growing years the children participated in rugby league, softball, netball and music. They also became involved by helping out in the steak/drinks tent and later on various committees or as coaches, scorers and referees/umpires. Caroline’s working career was in Office Administration.  

Caroline is a member of St Marys & District Historical Society and enjoys the many shared memories about growing up in St Marys.  By recording and sharing these stories, photographs and memorabilia of those past St Marians’ she believes it helps keep alive the spirit of the many people who have contributed and believed in this place. 

Caroline is particularly interested in sharing memories of her growing up in St Marys during the 1950s and 1960s as it was a very special time. 

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