This marker is made up of two panels placed back to back.
During the 1880s Cooma was expanding rapidly and Sharp Street had become the town's main thoroughfare, although settlement was still quite scattered. Some very substantial buildings had been constructed, some of which have now been demolished while others have been modified so they are hardly recognisable (sic) as Victorian buildings. The large white building in the centre of the picture stands on the present site of the National Bank. This was built by the Commercial Bank Company of Sydney which commenced business there on January 1 1883.
On the opposite corner stands Percy's Newsagency, built in 1861, which used to have wide two storey verandahs along the street facade. For most of these 130 years a newsagency has operated from the building and at other times it was known as a ?fancy goods mart'. The building to the right of the picture was called Montgomerys and at the time of this photo was the site of the town pharmacy where today there is a florist and restaurant. In front can be seen old hitching rails and a horse waiting patiently for its owner.
In the foreground a sheep sale is in progress in the old sale yards which were located on the corner of Soho and Massie Streets where private houses now stand. It is probable that this picture was taken from Nanny Goat Hill.
Sharp Street was the third business centre for Cooma. During the 1850s and 1860s most commercial activities were undertaken in Lambie Street and around the Royal Hotel. In 1856 it was reported that it was easy ?to get lost in the thistles' in Sharp Street where the Grazier's Inn, established 1849, now the Australian Hotel) stood. When Sharp Street became the link between Sydney Road and the Kiandra Road, its commercial development was assured and it rapidly expanded.
The original two storey verandahs of Percy's Newsagency, built in 1861, can be seen on the far right of the picture. The ornate cast iron detailing is typical of Victorian architecture. Down the road from Percy's are the Asprey buildings, 1920, and the State Bank. The bank building, designed in the Georgian Revival style, was erected in 1917 as the premises of the Australian Bank of Commerce. Further down the street can be seen the wide verandahs of the Prince of Wales Hotel.
On the opposite corner for many years was PD Murphy Ltd General Merchants. The business was established in 1858 by Hinton Bros. and through successive changes of ownership became PD Murphy Ltd. It has been Learmont's Pharmacy for more that 20 years. Taffa's building, 1891, was extensively restored in 1995 and the street verandah reinstated. The work was based on old photos and has resulted in recapturing the Victorian spirit of the building. This shop was a general store which for nearly 80 years sold a diverse range of merchandise, in fact you could buy nearly anything at all there.
This area of Sharp Street still has many buildings from last century and until the early 1950s displayed many street verandahs. However street verandahs were thought to pose a hazard to cars and most local councils decreed that they be removed. In 1925 the pace was still leisurely on Cooma's main street, local news could be exchanged there without concern about traffic.