From the Maitland Mercury report:
From its earliest days High Street was an industrial as well as a commercial centre.
Situated in the heart of a highly fertile agricultural district, it naturally acquired the industries that processed rural products and the first venture of this kind was a tobacco manufactory.
It opened in the 1830s and from then on there was a series of mills, breweries and tanneries which added to employment opportunities and the prosperity of the town.
As the population of the district grew, new opportunities were created and manufacturers such as Browne’s Monumental Works, Dimmock’s Printery, Wolstenholme’s Saw Mills, Rourke’s Saddlery, Barden and Ribee’s Saddlery and Fry Brothers’ Furniture earned reputations far wider than their immediate district.
Thus, although Maitland continued to favour free trade principles, there was also a good deal of concern about the impact of imported goods on the town’s manufacturers.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 13, 2013.