Adelphi Hotel (Main Road)

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For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Adelphi Hotel.
Adelphi Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Main Road
Closed 23 February 1859
Known dates 1855-1859
Demolished 23 February 1859

The Adelphi Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1854-1859.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Adelphi Hotel was in Main Road[1], three doors from the north east corner of Main Road and Esmond Street.[2] This is approximately at this location:

  • MGA 753530, 5838058 (54)
  • 37.569645S, 143.870660E Google Maps

The site of the hotel is noted on the "Revised Plan of Blocks Q and R, Main Road, 1858" as allotment 38.[3]

The hotel was destroyed by fire on 23 February 1859.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

The early days of the hotel were recalled in March 1935:

Many entries were made in the visitors' book of the Ballarat Centenary and home coming committee at the City Hall to-day Included was the name of Mr Robert Dean now of Sunshine whose father conducted the old Adelphi Hotel in 1854. This stood at the foot of the hill where the Eureka monument now stands The late Mr Dean with Mrs Dean arrived in Ballarat in 1852 and commenced business. In 1853 they were witnesses of the burning of Bentley's Hotel and the colourful incidents which led up to events at Eureka.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

In June 1855 the theatre at the Adelphi was described as deserted, with entertainment moving to other venues:

Since the desertion and downfall of the stage in the now roofless and bottomless "Adelphi" and "Queen's" Theatres, concerts have become very popular. The saloons of the Charley Napier and Royal Mail draw full houses, to hear the local songs of Thatcher, and the sweet voice of Mrs. Hancock ; as also the humorous and comic performances of Golding, who represents Irish wit and humor in genuine style.[5]

In October 1856, a painter took the publican, Lawson, to court over an unpaid account for painting and decorating the bar. Lawson lost the case and had to pay 13l 19s. 2d.[6]

In December 1856 a gold watch was stolen at the hotel, The publican and the barman were both witnesses at the trial:

A. Hitchcock and John Sullivan, remanded from Monday on a charge of stealing a gold watch, gold ring, &c, the property of John Beck, were now brought up for hearing. John Lawson, proprietor of the Adelphi Hotel, being sworn and examined, deposed to the effect that the prisoner Hitchcock came to his house about twelve o'clock on Friday night, rather drunk. He was going away again, but witness told him to go and lie on the sofa. When he next saw prisoner it was about five in the morning, in the bar. The house was full of people that night. Prosecutor came to the house about two or three o'clock. There was a third party in the room, but did not know if Sullivan was that party. There was an unclosed door between the room where the prosecutor was and the next adjoining, which was full of people, all, but two or three, strangers, some talking and some sleeping. The first that witness saw of Sullivan was at the bar in the morning. Both prisoners were in the bar. Beck was not quite sober. Told witness there was a man trying to get his ring off his finger ; that he knew the man, but did not point him out to witness. From the time witness learnt the robbery until the police came was about one hour and a half. Sullivan went in and lay down on the sofa, and was there when the police came. Thomas Christmas Bowen sworn : Was in the Adelphi Hotel on the night in question. Is barman for the present there. Witness wanted to get the place clear of the men who were lying about. Heard that prosecutor said he had been robbed. Witness would defy him to tell who robbed him. An hour afterwards witness pulled the wrap per off Beck in order to get the house clear. Don't think prisoner could have robbed prosecutor after witness had roused them out. Don't think prisoner (Sullivan) was in the room at all ; but would not swear to that effect. To the Bench-Remembers seeing Hitchcock at the hotel. He was sleeping in the same room with prosecutor. 'Twas about half-past four when witness went to turn them out. Does not know who the third man was. Prosecutor was sleeping in witness's rug. Hitchcock was so drunk that he went off to sleep again. Thinks he was too drunk to have done the theft. Witness did not leave the bar. Is certain that Beck did not follow Hitchcock from the bedroom to the bar. Not for an hour. Constable Hyland stated the prisoner Sullivan was lying on the sofa when arrested. His Worship observed that from the evidence of the witnesses, and prosecutor's own statement, he must have been too drunk to know anything. The prisoners were therefore discharged.[7]

In February 1857 it was announced that the casino had been converted to a restaurant and accommodation:

ADELPHI DINING ROOMS. (Old Adelphi Casino.) C. HEWLETT BEGS to inform the public of Ballarat that he has opened the above rooms, and is now prepared to supply his patrons with every delicacy in season, at moderate charges. As a sample, he submits the following prices :
  • For Board, per week £1 5 0
  • Dinner - - - - 0 2 6
  • Breakfast - - - 0 2 0
  • Supper - - - - 0 2 0
MEALS AT ALL HOURS. C. H. hopes, by strict attention to the wants of his friends, and supplying only first-rate fare, to secure a share of public patronage. ADELPHI HOTEL Beds! Beds!! Beds!!! THE Proprietor of this Hotel begs to in form the public that he has fitted up the greater part of the Casino as commodious and Airy Bed Rooms. Families and Country Visitors will find every accomodation. Free Lunch every day at Eleven o'clock a.m.[8]

In May 1857 the restaurant section of the business was offered for lease.[9]

In July, the publican presented a petition to the Town Council about nearby mining problems for the hotel:

A letter was read from Mr Lawson, of the Adelphi Hotel, calling the attention of the Council to the petition presented by himself and other ratepayers in the neighborhood of the Arcade road, some time since, respecting the nuisance occasioned in that locality by the Chinese puddling. On this a discussion arose as to what could be done by the Council to remedy this matter, and the town surveyor's report was referred to, but from that little could be ascertained, except that the Arcade road was not a recognised right-of-way, and it did not appear that any immediate action upon the matter could be taken by the Council. Several members also expressed themselves as to the wording of the petition being anything but respectful.[10]

The hotel was destroyed by a fire on 23 February 1859:

DISASTROUS FIRE AT BALLARAT. We learn from yesterday's Ballarat Star that a tremendous fire occurred in the Main-road, on Wednesday night. About 11 o'clock the alarm was raised from the Adelphi hotel, in the upper story of which a fire, had then broken out. In five minutes, the fire brigade were out with their engine, but despite their most strenuous exertions no less than twenty houses, extending along 200 yards of the road, were totally destroyed. The damage done by this fire is immense, though by 12 o'clock all danger was over. Besides what the burnt houses contained, heaps of goods and furniture of all kinds lay in the open street, thrown from both the houses that were burnt and those which escaped. For a long way down the street on each side all the goods were hurriedly packed up and removed. It is impossible yet to estimate the value of the property thus destroyed. With regards to the amount of insured property, we have discovered that the Adelphi Hotel, the Alma boarding-house, the paperhanging warehouse, St. Nicholas Hotel, and Warne and Rand's store, were insured in the Northern Insurance Office. The Magazin de Frangais (the property of H. Block and Co) next door to the St. Nicholas Hotel was insured in the Victoria Office. Lister and Angel's shop was also insured, but the office is at present unknown. The Times Insurance Company had also insured some of the property destroyed, but we do not know which. The Rising Sun Hotel, which was much injured, is also insured.[11]

After the hotel was destroyed, the publican John Lawson has to take legal action to get his insurance money:

LAWSON V. CARSON. Messrs Dawson and Higinbotham were counsel for the plaintiff, and the Attorney-General, with Messrs Michie and Fellows, for the defendant. This was an action brought by the plaintiff to recover from the defendant, the chairman of the Colonial Insurance Company, damages for loss sustained by the burning of the plaintiff's house, known as the Adelphi Hotel and Restaurant, Main street, Ballarat. The premises were burnt down on the 24th February last, and the plaintiff claimed £750, the amount of his policy. A number of pleas were put on the file by the defendant, the substantial one being that, contrary to one of the conditions in his policy, the plaintiff had, previously to insuring with the defendant, effected another insurance with a different company, without any notice to the defendant. A great deal of evidence as to the value of the premises burnt, &c, was given, and the jury, after about an hour's consultation, returned a verdict for the plaintiff of £692 6s damages.[12]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

  • In 1854 the publican was Samuel Dean.[4]
    • In 1856 he is listed as publican in the Geelong, Ballarat and Creswick's Creek Directory.[13]
  • In 1856 and 1857 the publican was John Lawson.[2][14][15] In June 1857 and July 1858, Lawson was granted a night license.[16][17]
  • In December 1856, Thomas Christmas Bowen was a barman at the hotel.[7]
  • In June 1858, Christopher Kearton applied for the license but did not appear at the hearing. The case was postponed for one week.[18] Kearton did not appear at the next hearing.[19]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1857 'Advertising.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 9 April, p. 3, viewed 28 December, 2015,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 17, 1943, Ballarat
  3. Ballarat Library - AR 945.7
  4. 4.0 4.1 1935 'BALLARAT CENTENARY', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 5 March, p. 11. , viewed 25 Jan 2019,
  5. 1855 'BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 21 June, p. 4. , viewed 21 Jul 2018,
  6. 1856 'COUNTY COURT OF BUNINYONG AND BALLARAT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 7 October, p. 2. , viewed 06 Aug 2016,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1856 'POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 31 December, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jun 2017,
  8. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 February, p. 1. , viewed 08 May 2019,
  9. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 29 May, p. 1. (ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR), viewed 24 Jul 2016,
  10. 1857 'MUNICIPAL COUNCIL EAST.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 2. , viewed 02 Jun 2017,
  11. 1859 'DISASTROUS FIRE AT BALLARAT.', Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), 25 February, p. 5. , viewed 04 Nov 2019,
  12. 1860 'MELBOURNE SUPREME COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 November, p. 2. , viewed 28 Jan 2019,
  13. The Geelong, Ballarat, and Creswick's Creek commercial directory and almanac for 1856 : with a map of Geelong, 1856.
  14. 1857 "Huxtables Commercial Directory", ed. Henry Morgan, published 28 May 1857
  15. 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 11 Aug 2017,
  16. 1857 'LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 June, p. 3. , viewed 25 Dec 2018,
  17. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 July, p. 2. , viewed 05 Nov 2017,
  18. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 June, p. 2. , viewed 02 Nov 2019,
  19. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 June, p. 2. , viewed 05 Dec 2019,

External Links[edit | edit source]