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Some General Notes on the Hotels of Western New South Wales


ABOUT THESE HOTELS 1865-1900.

I have no particular interest in hotels. All this came about when the List Admin, Linda Barraclough, asked me about a list of Publicans that I had done. There were only about a hundred names associated with the Lower Darling area. I asked her to give me a few days to produce a better list and I went off to the Government Gazettes. It took longer than a few days - considerably longer. I finished up with about 1,400 hotels - or I thought I was finished.

Then Linda said that I could add another section giving any additional information I had about these hotels. Mainly consisting of reports and ads from the newspapers of the time, this section is aimed to give people a glimpse of what was involved in being a publican. The items are just what came to hand, and are not meant to be any balanced analysis of or informed discussion about the hotels.

This is an ongoing project. I would love to hear from anyone who is able to provide further information about the hotels. However copyright restrictions must be kept in mind.

Linda, and her Deputy Admin Peter, have turned my amateur effort into a presentable form. I thank them for all the work that this has involved. I am grateful for the opportunity given to me to distribute my work on NSW-WEST.

Maybe, to save us both further work, Linda and I should stop talking.

The Background of the Publican's Licenses.

In the early colony of New South Wales, the Government controlled the import of liquor, charging import duties and regulating the quantity of any liquor that was imported; England refused to permit colonial distillation. In theory convicts were not permitted to have any alcohol. In practice, nearly all the prisoners drank; illegal stills abounded; and a system of "rum-currency" developed, by which labour, land and produce were bartered for spirits by all classes - military, land-holder, and convict. Drunkenness and immorality followed.

In July of 1793, Lieutenant Grose had just purchased 7,500 gallons of rum, when he received an order from the Home Office to prevent the "secret and clandestine sale of spirits". He decreed that spirits could legally be sold only by licensees, meaning the official Government Store or the officers of the New South Wales Corps. The brisk trade in spirits continued.

By September of that same year, it was reported that the officers of the New South Wales Corps were getting spirits at 5/- a gallon, diluting it by a quarter with water, and then selling the liquor to soldiers, free settlers and convicts at 30/- per gallon; if sold in bottles, this price could be raised to 43/6. Addiction to drink could lead a settler into such debt that he would be forced to sign over his land grant. (Ross John (Ed.), Chronicle of Australia, 1993, pp.106-107.)

In an attempt to control the sale of spirits, Governor Hunter, in April of 1796, issued ten licences to run public houses, and in 1799 again prohibitted the distilling of spirits. The officers chartered a ship, the Thynne, with 9,000 gallons of rum. ( Ibid p.114 & p.127.)

Governor King introduced a licensing system similar to that operating in England. Annual licenses to run public houses were granted by the Governor on the recommendation of the magistrates. The licensee paid 3 and gave security himself in 20 and two others in 10 each. In theory, illegal sale of liquor resulted in a 10 fine or two months hard labour.

When Macquarie arrived in Sydney in 1810 he found that, despite these regulations, there were numbers of unlicensed houses in Sydney (101 unlicensed in 1809) and many more licensed ones than were necessary. Initially saying that he would open up the port, he found that to build a much needed hospital, he would have to give Wentworth, Riley and Blaxcell a virtual monopoly of incoming trade, except for the government and army needs.This deal was meant to last for three years, but was extended to four years, when Macquarie had to permit into the port, ships that had been licensed by the Home government, acting on Macquarie's original open port idea, for trade with the Colony.

The number of licensed public houses increased in both 1811 and 1812, and by 1813 there were 93, and 110 in 1814. The following year this number was reduced to 85 and remained at that figure until 1820. (Phillips Marion, A Colonial Autocracy, NSW Under Macquarie, 1909, pp.96, 90 & 98.)

PUBLICAN'S LICENSES 1865-1900.

Hotels, and their Publicans, provided a vital part of life in Outback Australia. Towns were few, and the distances to be travelled often meant days on the road to get to a destination. Hotels were positioned at least every 20 miles along the popularly travelled routes. Here the horses could be changed. The publican was expected to provide food and refreshment for the traveller should it be required - even to the extent of steaming hot coffee and grilled chops for a 2am breakfast at the Tankarooka Hotel.

The Bourke-to-Tilpa Cobb and Co. run for mail and passengers is described by W.J.Cameron ( The History of Bourke, Vol.VI, 1977, p.21) - Martin Ryan's pub was the first stop or change, then at Redbank it was Moreton's Pub in the big drought of 1898-1902. The next was Buckley's at East Toorale, and then Louth. From there to Rodger's Stoney Creek, Grieve's at Compadore, Dan Kelly's at Weelong, and then to Tilpa. This was a journey of 191 kms done in 8 stages.

Should the traveller wish to break his trip, the Publican was required to provide two rooms for accommodation for guests, and stabling and fodder for four horses.

Some properties were so large that, like the three quarter of a million acre Tolarno, they owned two hotels (The Cliffs and the Tolarno Hotels). Being on the river, these hotels also provided accommodation for steamboat passengers.

As the towns grew and as mining settlements sprung up, the number of hotels increased. Broken Hill started with just three hotels in 1885; by 1896 there were 52 hotels(Dansie). To get the patronage in a hotel in a town, the Publican often found that he had to offer extra amenities, be it a large room for meetings; a billiard table (which required an additional license); special stabling for racehorses; a flock of pet sheep to help get your own flock across the bridge; or a special brand of beer.

Let's not forget the drinking - Hotels sold liquor. And they sold it at any time of the day or night to a traveller or a person staying at the hotel. They were permitted to be open for business to the general public from 4am to 12pm six days a week; sales of liquor on Sunday were only slightly more restrictive.

Liquor was sold; accommodaton was given; there was entertainment (with again an additional License) yet the thing that most impressed me, was that those country hotels way out West became the social centre for the entire family, as a great place where families could be drawn together from their otherwise isolated lives, on minimal 10,240 acre properties, to meet with their neighbours, perhaps for a cricket match, when even the reporter didn't bother about the scores; a place of games like the Old Duffer's Race, and catch the greasy pig ; a place where people played their way through the day and then danced through the night, NEVER leaving for home until dawn the next day ( their energy and commitment to enjoyment leaves even today's younger generation in the shade).

The GRANTING of a Publican's License.

On 20th January 1862, Act No.XIV of the Statutes of NSW was passed to Amend the Laws Relating to Licensed Publicans. The Publican's Licenses for Western and Central NSW for 1865 to 1900, that I have listed in the first section, were issued under this Act.

Notes in italics below refer to the 1862 Act

Publican's Licenses authorized the selling of liquor only in the House or on the Premises specified in such a License.

A person of good character could make application for a Publican's License.

A list of names of all applicants for a Publican's License, together with their place of abode and description of the License applied for, must be posted on or before the first Tuesday in April in every year, if the application is to be made at the Annual Licensing Meeting; and if for any Monthly Special Sessions for Licensing, on or before the third Tuesday of the preceeding month. These applications must be displayed in some conspicuous place inside, and also outside, every Court where Petty Sessions shall be held.

At the Police Court at Wagga Wagga on 14th October, 1868, an application by John Sanderson for a Publican's License for a House at Merool Creek was adjourned to the 27th instant for production by the applicant of certificates of character.

Race was not an impediment for gaining a license.

There was much racial discrimination against the Chinese at the time; the Chinese were not even allowed at the Mount Browne diggings. Yet Chinese John Egge progressed from selling homemade pies to becoming a publican and a leading businessman; he was a butcher, steamboat skipper, storekeeper, and above all, a trader. His large store on the wharf was full of liquor and tinned fish, fruit and meat.He could pay as much as 1,800 to 2,000 a month in custom's duties. He was regarded as intelligent, patient, hard working and honorable.

There could sometimes be a gap between the approval of the application for a license and the taking up of the license by the applicant. In the Special Licensing Court at Wilcannia, Sylvester Byrnes was granted a Publican's License on 28th June 1882. He was allowed until 1st January 1883 to make his declaration.

A  yearly LICENSE FEE of 30 was to be paid.

In 1888, Joseph Ross , the proprietor of the Barrier Club Hotel, Broken Hill, was fined 30 for selling spirits without a license. He had been granted a license three months before, but had failed to pay the license fee, hence the charge and the fine.

TRANSFER of License

A publican could transfer his license to another person :

from the holder to his appointee was permitted if the appointee was deemed eligible and approved by the majority of Justices at any Petty Sessions.

Carter of the Crown Hotel, Hay, advertised his business for sale or to be let.

If a Publican should die, then his license could be transferred to his widow.

The License of the Shamrock Hotel, Cudgellico, passed from H.D. Holden to his widow Mary Holden in 1874.

It would seem that this right came along with the transfer of any charges that had existed against the deceased publican husband. When Mrs Whiteus applied to take over her deceased husband's Carrier's Arms, Booligal, her application was opposed because of the allegation that he had permitted music in the house which was not licensed for entertainment. The problem was resolved by granting the concert room, as part of the hotel, an entertainment license.

A publican could change the premises of his hotel .

If the Publican decides to change the place of the House then, having given due notice, he must complete a Form of Endorsement on License of Change of House and Premises. All transfers of License and removals, whether from one person to another, or authorization of change of House, must be reported to the Colonial Secretary.

This means that a Publican's License was a personal right or privilege rather than a property right. Many people, when they are speaking of the history of a hotel, make the mistake of thinking only of the building rather than tracing the Publican's License to run that hotel.

Sometimes the hotel itself moved. At the Wilpatera Hotel, on the Anabranch, when the publican's wife, Mrs Smith, refused to serve more liquor to those who already had imbibed too much, the locals went elsewhere and the hotel closed. The publican died, the widow remarried, and a hotel was built at Bingo using materials from the original hotel. Then the new husband leased land near the hotel's original site, and the hotel was rebuilt near its original position.

Failure to be granted a Publican's License did not always stop a man from setting up in the business. Gannon tried to get a license for the Gunbar area. When refused, he set up a sly grog shop and boarding house.

Sly Grog Selling - Alice Callaghan was charged with selling certain liquors without a license on 22nd May, 1881. Constable Horseman was in a buggy with Mr Blake, a coach builder, and some others, and they called at the woman's house and were supplied with drinks, first on the way out to Blake's Selection, to which they were going, at the same time buying some beer to take with them, and again on their return. The evidence of the sale of drink was plain enough. But the singular nature of the case appeared to be that the woman should have sold the drink to Mr Blake if she knew the constable, or if she did not, that Mr Blake should have led the woman to break the law knowing that he had a constable with him ( Town and Country Journal, June 11, 1881.)

Sometimes the person running the hotel business was not the person officially listed as the publican. Florence Spry ran the Gunbar Hotel, while her husband - the licensee - continued to work his bullock teams in the area.

The Publican's NAME must be displayed in painted letters, not less than two inches long. This ruling had been introduced to distinguish the licensed from the illegal grog shops in the Rocks in early Sydney. The Publican's name that appeared above the doorway of the hotel had to match that which was published on an official list in the Government Gazette.

A LAMP must be kept alight over the door or within 20 feet of the House from sunset to sunrise. Every lamp should have, if lit by oil, at least two burners, or, if lit by gas, at least one burner. John Hugh Gordon, publican of the Albermarle Hotel 1891-1892 certainly obeyed both these rulings. See the photo of the Albermarle Hotel

ACCOMMODATION.

Publicans had to provide minimal accommodation of :
at least two moderate sized sitting rooms and two sleeping rooms, constantly ready and fit for public accommodation. Also to be provided was a place of convenience on or near the premises for the use of the customers thereof to prevent nuisance and offences against decency. There was also to be STABLING sufficient for at least four horses, and with a sufficient supply of wholesome and usual provender for the same. Exemptions from the requirement of stabling could be granted in areas such as Sydney.

Alexander Hamilton, of Redbanks, gave notice that, at the Quarterly Licensing Court on the 25th January, 1899, he would be applying for a Publican's License for the premises under the sign of the East Toorale Hotel containing 12 rooms exclusive of those for the use of the family.

Bill Corbould gave an 1886 account of the beginnings of Broken Hill : 23 houses, 15 huts and 29 tents; there were three hotels with a separate kitchen near one of them; there was also one outside toilet.

The standard of accommodation ranged from the very basic shelter for the travelling public to the grand establishments in the major towns.

The Royal Hotel, Bourke, offered 56 bedrooms, 2 large dining rooms and sitting rooms, together with private suites of apartments. There were 3 baths in connection with the establishment. Stabling was the most complete in the district.

The Crown Hotel, Wentworth, first-class, oldest established, best appointed, and largest in the Riverina District, offered private reading, writing and smoking rooms; first class billiard tables; Luncheon at 11 and Ordinary at 1; large hall for theatricals and meetings; and excellent accommodation for racehorses, with a first-class groom in attendance.

The Royal Hotel, Wagga Wagga, starts its 18 line Ad, by stating that it is under the Patronage of the Right Hon. The Earl and Countess of Belmore.

If you were taking along the wife and kids, then perhaps you might like to stay at Edward Brandon's Punt Hotel at Hay, where in 1874 he could offer you a Detached Cottage fitted up expressly for the travelling family.

The 1888 Central Australian Hotel, Bourke, came replete with every modern convenience, and was specially designed and furnished for ladies and families.

The listing of the items lost in the fire at the Stoney Point Hotel gives some idea of the infrastructure needed to run a hotel - The property destroyed consisted of the hotel, the furniture, stock in trade, the kitchen, feed room, meat house, men's hut, stock yards, sheep yards, piggery, and all belongings.

It is interesting to note the kitchen being a separate building. This was the case in the Menindie Hotel, and for one of the hotels in Bill Corbould's description of early Broken Hill.

It would seem that some people specialized in building hotels. When Tait constructed the much praised Masonic Hotel in 1888, it was said to be the tenth hotel he had constructed in Broken Hill.

Often when a publican had been at a hotel for a time, or if a new publican took over an existing hotel, he would undertake improvements to the premises.

Cox, of the Caledonian Hotel, Hay, extended his premises by adding two bedrooms, two parlours, and a public room measuring 43ft x 20ft, which could be divided into two rooms by a moveable partition, serving ordinarily as a billiards room and a large parlour, and on extraordinary occasions for a ball-room or for public meetings.

McAlister went to great expense to alter and extend his establishment to give improved accommodation for people visiting for the coming Assizes and ensuing races, and to provide a capacious new hall for meetings, balls and concerts.

When the original weatherboard and iron Royal Hotel in Broken Hill was burnt down, it was rebuilt as a stone two storey structure.

The basic necessities of running a hotel, like water for man and beast, were not always easy to provide.

One of the main advantages Hay possessed over many other inland NSW towns was an abundance of water. From 1876 this water was pumped up from the river and distributed by pipes through the town, so that the visitor to Tattersall's Hotel could relax in the luxury of a hot bath.

I could hardly believe what I was reading when I came across the information that, despite drought conditions, and the constant complaints of inadequate town water supply, the Broken Hill Baths opened in 1888 - a tank 60ft x 16ft, containing 60,000 gallons of water that was changed daily.

Water was a major expense for the Byrock Hotel. All water for human consumption had to be brought by rail from the river at Narromine; it cost 1d per gallon. Whereas at the Royal Hotel, a mile and a half out of town, there was a plentiful supply of water from a tank; and being on the Mulga Creek it was well patronised by passing teamsters.

It was said that one of the reasons why most of Cobar's miners left their families behind was the scarcity of water. Cobar had two government tanks, one closely fenced for domestic use; the other for stock.

When Sibraa built his new Cooleyarbooro Hotel way out on the Wanaaring road he had to draw water from the Warrego River 12 miles away. He had a tank excavated but was waiting for rain.

HOURS of Trading.

If you were residing or staying at the hotel, or if you were on a journey, then you could request to be served liquor at any time.

Even the general public, had almost unrestricted access to liquor. Hotels only had to be closed for 4 hours a day for six of the days of the week. There was to be no take-away alcohol on Sunday or Good Friday or Boxing Day. The hotel had to be closed for 2 hours on Sundays (surprisingly in the afternoon, rather than for morning church services), and for 7 specified hours on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

LIQUOR could be sold at any time to lodgers or inmates or a traveller on a journey seeking refreshment.
The hours of selling liquor to the public were :
-From 4am to 12pm - six business days of the week;
-Except between 1pm and 3pm - on Sundays;
-And except between 6am-9am,1pm-3pm, and 8pm-10pm - on Good Friday and Christmas Day;
-And on the latter three days, only for the sale of liquors to be drunk on the premises.
The penalty for any breach of this part of the Act should not exceed 10.

The supply of liquor to a drunkard was prohibited.

It was illegal for a publican to supply liquor to a person, if, by doing so, it could cause hardship to his family.

In the newspapers I came across far too many charges of drunkeness to attempt to record them. I did not see any account of a publican being charged with serving liquor to an intoxicated person.

When the publican's wife at the Wilpatera Hotel stopped serving intoxicated patrons, these people went elsewhere for their drinking, and the hotel closed down.

Yet when the police charged two men with riotous behaviour in the Punt Hotel, Hay, it was the publican of that hotel, and the publican of the One Tree Hotel, who acted as surety for their bail.

(The Act of December 1867 prohibited the supply or sale of liquor to Aborigines in New South Wales.)

The publican was not permitted to take legal action to recover the debt owing for liquor less than two gallons, except to bona fide lodgers and travellers.
However the publican of the Lachlan Hotel was able to take Walker to court for an unpaid hotel account of 10-6-0. He won his case.

The penalty for taking goods in pledge or payment for liquor was up to 10.
Nobody wanted to go back to the days of the rum currency when alcohol was bartered for goods and services.

PENALTIES for breaking the law varied widely.
A lady, charged with being drunk, only had her bail entreated, even though she failed to appear at the court. A gentleman, facing a similar charge, was fined 20/- or a week in gaol.

In some cases using obscene language was considered much worse than being drunk. A man who pleaded guilty of being drunk in the Pig and Whistle Hotel was fined 5/-; he was also charged with and found guilty of obscene language - the fine this time being 40/- PLUS 7/- for the cost of a witness against him (he did not have to pay for the policeman who also testified).

When Jackson stole 2 bottles of whisky from the Pooncara Hotel, he was sentenced to 7 days hard labour at Pooncarie.

While Kaslin stole 20/- from the Gladstone Hotel, Broken Hill, and was sent to gaol in Wilcannia for 6 months.

Sometimes the publican would take the law into his own hands. In "On the Fringe of the Never Never", fiction supposedly based on McAuliffe of the Salmonford Hotel, the publican objected to swearing in front of the girls, so he tied the offender on a rope half-way down a 50 foot well and left him there for 3 hours.

TYPE OF LIQUOR sold.
Often is the claim made in the hotel advertisements that only the "Best Brands" of liquors are offered for sale. Simms Beer on Draught seemed popular.

Carroll, of Tattersall's Hotel, Hillston, went on an aggressive advertising campaign. Having opened A Single Bottle Department, he was aiming at small profits and a quick return. Prices - Brandy 7/- (Hennesy's 8/-); Whisky :16 brands of Scotch and Irish fr. 6/-; Best Old Port & Sherry - 4/-; Ale & Porter 2/-; Schnapps, Gin, Rum - Reduced prices. Families supplied with assorted cases.

Along with the Best of Liquors, Hot Spiced Beer was offered at the York Hotel in Broken Hill.

It was costly to transport liquor all the way out west. Local breweries were sometimes set up. 1881 Wilcannia had two breweries. One of them, Resch Bros.,had a fine three storey stone building. It got through about 30 hogsheads a week - roughly 1,500 gallons. It also did a large export trade in bottled beer, especially to Queensland.

The Royal Hotel, Wagga Wagga, in 1868, in one ad offered Colonial Ale at 3d per glass; in another - The splendid light sparkling Ale from the Wagga Wagga Newtown Brewery, at 6d per glass - If you try this you will never drink the heady English Ale again.

The Prince of Wales Hotel, Wagga Wagga, offered a new locally produced ale called "Stringey Bark" at 6d per pint.

The type of liquor preferred can perhaps be seen in the Custom's Collection figures for goods passing through Broken Hill in the week ending 7th March 1889 : Spirits 254; Tobacco 243; Beer in wood 136; Building material 134; Still wine 60; Cigars and cigarettes 39; Beer in bottles 25; Sparkling wine 15. (Barrier Miner, March 9, 1889.)

Non-alcoholic drink was also sold.
When the price of aerated water was raised from 2/- to 2/6, a meeting of Publicans protested the action of the Cordial Manufacturers' Association. The Publicans decided to call for tenders, and guarantee the maker whose tender was accepted 12 months trade. It was also proposed to establish an opposition factory. ( The Town and Country Journal of 13th August, 1892.)

FOOD.
Food was not often advertised as a major asset of the hotel.

The Crown Hotel, at Wentworth, offered Luncheon at 11, Ordinary at 1. It has been suggested that this refers to a longer multi-course meal Luncheon taken from 11am, or a one-course Ordinary meal at 1pm.

In his civil, clean establishment, the Gladstone Hotel, Hillston, O'Connell charged one shilling for a bed, and the same again for a meal.

The Australian Hotel at Wagga Wagga offered Capital lodging and good Board at the Coffee-room table at 21/- per week.

The three principal hotels in Broken Hill were reported as being well kept and very orderly and the cooking fair. One or two of them were quite metropolitan in their arrangements, and the menu cards were "aggressively French". There were boys in livery; there was silver plate and side-tables and French wines and many courses; At the York Hotel there were five entrees....

Things were not nearly so fancy in the early days at Wentworth where it was reported that usually the diner had to keep one hand brisk fanning away the mosquitos while the other he spared for his mouth with the object of getting food in. However Mrs Johns of the Crown Hotel had thoughtfully provided mosquito-proof doors.

Travellers could expect that meals would be made ready at any time of the day or night. A traveller at the Gumbalara Hotel on the Paroo River praised the establishment where he could rely upon being roused, no matter what time he wanted to get away, and be presented with a meal as complete and nicely served as if partaken at the ordinary hours of refreshment.

THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT THE HOTEL.

Social Venues. With the vast distances between properties in the outback, hotels assumed a unique function as a major social venue for the entire family regardless of age.

Two days before Christmas, adults and children gathered at Mr and Mrs Ablett's Burtundy Hotel for a day of horse and foot races, meals, and a dance that went well into the next day. They were back again on New Year's Day for a cricket match, a game of rounders, supper, and more games into the night. A similar gathering was reported for the next Christmas Eve; it included mention that 70 people sat down for a free lunch.

The dance given by Mr Syl Byrnes at the Pooncarie Hotel was a great success. The ballroom was beautifully decorated.....splendid pianiste.....a sumptuous feast spread in the dining room; dancing was continued until daylight. On another occasion the Queen's Birthday Sports in aid of the local cricket club were held there. There was a 100yd Open Handicap, a Pick-a-Back, an Old Buffers' Race, a Novice Race, and a Consolation Race. In the evening came the great Carnival Ball.

Visitors from the surrounding districts came to the Welcome Inn on Boxing Day for a day of races and sports. There was the Trial Stakes, 1 and 2 mile Bike Races, the Welcome Inn Handicap, Three-legged Race, Running long jump, and the Hop, Skip and Jump. A dance followed and was kept up until a late hour.

Hotels were places to hold MEETINGS.
One of the most influential and representative meetings ever held at Wentworth took place at the Crown Hotel in May 1900. Landholders of over 7,000,000 acres were represented personally or by proxy....The town and district were at a particularly low ebb.....Decided to ask the Government to appoint a Commission to inquire into the position of the landholder in the west.

In April 1856 a meeting was held at the Darling Junction Inn to conduct a poll to elect two members to the New South Wales Assembly.

A meeting of Homestead Lessees was held at the Enngonia Hotel to ask that bore water be allowed to run into the Warrego River which had become a chain of muddy waterholes where stock were bogged in their hundreds.

A new branch of the Ancient Order of Druids was set up at the Denver City Hotel, Broken Hill. There was a good muster of members of the Order, as well as some new members.

The Oriental Hotel, Broken Hill, was the place for meetings of both the Executives of the Broken Hill Jockey Club, and the Builders' Labourers' Society.

The Pedestrian Club met at the Wentworth Hotel - a favourite gathering place for Pedestrians.

When things had to be organized for the coming visit of the Bishop to Broken Hill, the plans were made at the Royal Hotel.

Even the Early Closing Association met at the hotel - the Gladstone in Bourke. Hope their meeting was scheduled in an early timeslot.

SALE of town land
In March of 1856, the people gathered at the Darling Junction Inn for the first sale of land for the town of Wentworth.

SHOOT OUT at the Hotel.
In 1877 a shoot out in the bar of the Royal Hotel, Bourke, left 2 constables mortally wounded by the barman.

EVEN AN INQUEST could sometimes be held at a hotel.
There was no courthouse in Byrock in 1893, so the inquest into the death of Whiting, a photographer, was held at the Royal Hotel. The jury found that he had died from self- administered poison.

Hotels served to LOOK AFTER THE SICK.
In 1876 Sidney Walker had his hand shattered by the explosion of a double-barrelled shotgun. He was brought in 45 miles to the Royal Hotel, Bourke, where the doctor amputated his hand.

The doctor, in the early days of Wentworth, would travel many miles to visit the patients in their homes, or he would treat them at the Wentworth Hotel.

When a patron, who was skylarking in the bar of the Prince of Wales Hospital , Wagga Wagga, fell and broke his leg in two places, the doctor came to the hotel, set the leg, and left the patient to recover there for some time before transferring him to the hospital.

A Saturday game of football at Broken Hill in 1888 left a player with internal injuries; so he was taken to the Australian Club Hotel to be put under the care of Mrs White.

A surgeon dentist set up business in Tattersall's Hotel, Cobar in 1892.

FIRES - there were far too many to report individually.

SECURITY TUNNELS from under the Hotel.
The most unusual use of a hotel must be for the secure transport of gold through the underground tunnels connecting the Albion Hotel, Forbes, ( also the Cobb and Co. Office), with the banks in the town.

MUSIC or DANCING was not to be permitted within the House without special permission in writing from one or more Police Magistrates, or any two Justices of the Peace of the district of the House .

Carter of the Crown Hotel, Hay, was charged with permitting music to be played in his unlicensed (for music) premises. It was proven in court that there was no direct access to Florack's concert room. The case was dismissed.

Mr Cox must have obtained an entertainment license for he was offering select concerts at the new hall in his Caledonian Hotel, Hay, where you could see in the New Year of 1874 with the "Knights of the Burnt Cork" (Minstrels) as part of the Hay New Year race nights.

EXTRAS offered by the Hotels.
The hotels often advertised extra facilities or services to act as inducements to their prospective clients:

Mathews, of the Cobar Hotel, offered in 1892, a free bus service to meet all arriving and departing trains. His hotel also served as a Booking Office for coaches to Louth and Wilcannia.

The Oriental Hotel, Broken Hill, in 1888 announced that it had purchased the rights of Tattersall's and would be able to provide sporting news from the world; a room for mining and broking business; its post box would be cleared twice a day; and to look after the inner man, they had a French chef.

If you were worried about controlling your sheep when you were coming into Hay, then the Royal Hotel kept a mob of pet sheep, thoroughly trained in crossing the bridge.

At Moama, the Junction Hotel offered cattle crossing yards and a sheep dog.

While many of these services were given without charge, it looks like the Commercial Hotel at Wagga Wagga, found that it could now make money out of horse and buggy hire, and warned that from 1874 a charge would be made for this hire.

The Oriental Hotel, Broken Hill, offered Consultation upon the Australian Cup, and the drawing of horses under supervision.

One of Alcock's best billiard tables was available for use at the Central Australian Hotel, Bourke. A separate Billiards License would have been necessary.

There were hot and cold shower baths at the Commercial Hotel, Wagga Wagga.

The Hotel's POSITION could be all important to the Publican.
Kruge, in the tiny town of Gilgunnia, pointed out to Squatters, Overlanders, and the Public in general, that his Gilgunnia Hotel was on the most direct route from Queensland to the southern markets. There was feed and water for their stock. Rations for the journey could be purchased at reasonable rates. He might claim that his accommodation was unequalled - but added the proviso - in the back country.

The clever publican did not just use his Hotel as a stopping place for travellers; he looked around to see what advantage could be had from the surrounding area. The One Tree Hotel was a staging post for Cobb and Co. When Clarke bought the hotel, he leased the huge government tank nearby at which he was able to water up to 12,000 sheep at a time; horse and bullock teams were watered at a charge of a penny a head.

When Spry set up his Gunbar Hotel at a place where the carriers often camped, a village grew up around him. This correct positioning meant that the government designated site, about a mile away, was largely ignored.

Hotels sprang up along traveller's routes, and along the way to the new mining areas. An 1881 map of the route to the Mount Browne goldfields, near Milparinka, shows :

Wilcannia - C.J.Smith public house - Well water / Beefwood public house / Store - Public house - Public house - Kayrunnera Stn. - Yanderberry public house - Morden Stn. - Blore's Hotel at Cobham Lake - Coally Stn. - Milparinka. ( Gaz.- Cobham Lake Hotel - George Blore 1879-1880/1.)

Length of time at one hotel
There were some publicans who spent a considerable time at the one hotel, but most seemed to stay at the one place for only a few years before moving on - sometimes to another hotel.

William Robinson had been at the Oxford Hotel, Bourke, for almost 20 years, when he left to take up a hotel at Orange.

Harris was at the Royal Hotel, Bourke, for 18 years.

Leary was so long at the Commercial Hotel, Wentworth - and so well liked - that a poem was written about him.

There were whole families, such as Jill Livingstone's Warmoll family, that specialized in owning hotels. Edward Matthew Warmoll had the Turf Hotel, the Half-way House Hotel, and the Stoney Creek Hotel. His wife, Louisa, had the Kearnie Hotel. Their son Robert Henry had the Eringunia Hotel and then the Dry Lake Hotel 1906 to 1921. Robert Henry Warmoll sen. had the Turf Hotel and the Stoney Point Hotel. One of his children, Fred, had the Riverview Hotel, North Bourke, from 1938 until his daughter sold in 1966.

My Byrnes family also fits into this category. Daniel Byrnes had the Pine-tree Hotel and the Lake Victoria Hotel. His son, Sylvester, had the Harp of Erin Hotel and the Pooncarie Hotel; his other son, Garrett, having the Darling Hotel. Related by marriage to the Byrnes family were Alfred J. Haynes - Salt Creek Hotel; Mary A. Bland - the same hotel the following year; Henry P. Richardson - Welcome Inn and the Telegraph Hotel; W.J. Ballantyne - Gol Gol Inn; Thomas Richard - Post Office Hotel, Wicklow; H.I. Packer - Tartna Point Hotel (1913).

Both the Warmolls and Byrnes moved on to do other things; one Warmoll becoming half owner of the giant Dunlop station; my Byrnes becoming Homestead Lessees and Graziers along the Darling River.

Some families had the one hotel for a long period.
The classic example of this is the Maiden family and their long association with the Menindie Hotel, that has led it to be also known as Maiden's Hotel. Mary Wilson has recorded this.

The Tenandra Inn, Warren was a Byrnes hotel (no relation to my Byrnes, as far as I know). Starting with Edward Byrnes in 1870, it then passed to Henry, John and Alexander Patrick, who still held it in 1900, at the end of the period I have studied.

Removal of a Publican's License.
Failure to abide by the rules could result in the loss of a Publican's License. This is recorded in the Gazette; however there are multi listings through each year, and there is no indication in the index as to which area of the state the publican is operating. I am afraid I didn't spend the time to search through these entries.

I came across the refusal listed below in an old book of handwritten records that gave the Proceedings of the Special Licensing Court in Wilcannia (the same record could have been found by going through the Gazettes for that year); it also gave approvals and transfers.

The renewal of Patrick O'Brien's Publican's License was refused on 6th June 1882. The hotel did not have the accommodation required; the hotel was kept in a filthy state; the applicant was of drunken habits. ( Special Licensing Court, Wilcannia, State Archives.)


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