James Elliott and Co. Ltd.
James Elliott was an agricultural merchant who started business in Portaferry in 1862 and expanded to Strangford shortly afterwards.
These buildings were used as a grain store and mill with coal store behind in Stella Maris Street. Later they were used as a showroom for agricultural machinery and cars. The office was across the road where the weighbridge still is and the potato stores were at the Quay. In Portaferry James owned a shop, a number of warehouses ands tables. Duringthe 1970s, the last years of the potato trade, James Elliott and Company Ltd was the only potato merchant left in Portaferry and Strangford.
Born in County Fermanagh in 1838, James Elliott arrived in this area - one of the best grain districts in County Down - as a young man in the late 1850s. By 1872 his business was thriving and he was the owner of the schooner Lord Willoughby used for exporting potatoes and importing coal. He later owned the Sea Mew, the Pet and the Mary Ann and in 1891 he bought the 75 ton. Witch of the Wave which had an engine fitted in 1920.
James Elliott died in 1924 having handed over the business to his sons and grandson. This company closed in 1981 but for years accounted for a large proportion of the quayside activity in both Portaferry and Strangford.