Camp Hotel (Learmonth)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For hotels with the same or similar names, see Camp Hotel.
Camp Hotel
Picture needed
Town Learmonth
Street 340 High Street
Opened 1861
Closed March 1916
Known dates 1861-1916
Demolished 1916

The Camp Hotel was a hotel in Learmonth, Victoria, 1861-1916.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Learmonth.[1]

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

Learmonth's first hotel was built by a local store keeper, Mr. Hedricks, who was granted a publican's license for a new hotel in June 1861.[2] The historical society claim that Matthew Ryan, formerly of the Golden Well Hotel at Dowling Forest, became the first publican. After Hedrick's death later that year, Ryan purchased the building.[3]

After the hotel buildings were removed, the site was used for a house. The first house was destroyed by a fire on Christmas morning 2023, leaving only a brick chimney.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

A young teenager was looked after at the hotel after breaking his leg in August 1886:

On Saturday evening a lad named George Loader, aged 14 years, in the employ of Mr James Spiers of Miners’ Rest, whilst driving a three-horse team with straw from Mr J. Lester’s, of Coghill’s Creek, fell from the shafts and sustained a fracture of the left leg near the ankle. The limb (writes our Learmonth correspondent) was soon so much swollen that the extent of the injury could not at the time be ascertained. The lad rode 15 miles after the accident, first to Miners’ Rest and then to Learmonth, for surgical aid. He was located at the Camp hotel here, where every kindness was shown him, and on Sunday he was removed to the Ballarat Hospital. Dr Gurdon attended the sufferer whilst at Learmonth.[5]

An attempted theft at the hotel was prevented by quick action in January 1906:

LEARMONTH. ATTEMPTED LARCENY. Whilst Miss Ryan, of the Camp Hotel, Learmonth was doing business in the bar parlor with Mr Joseph Ditty, traveller for the Ballarat Brewing Company, she observed through the window a man behind the counter. On opening the door, she saw that the man had a bottle of whisky in his possession, which he had taken from the shelf. She called out, and the man put the bottle on the floor, and jumped over the counter. Mr Ditty rushed out just in time to grasp the man by the arm, but in the struggle he managed to wrench himself free, and made off. The alleged would-be thief, however, was soon afterwards captured, and lodged in the local lock-up by a Mr Shaw. There were two other men in the bar at the time. Constables Jones, and Spottiswood were out of the township investigating other cases.[6]

In December 1906 the police opposed the renewal of the publican's license, but no reason was given in the newspaper report:

The renewal of the license asked for by Anastasia Ryan, Camp Hotel, Learmonth, was opposed by Sub-Inspector Balchin. The applicant did not appear. Mr Must (Cuthbert, Morrow, and Must), who appeared for the owners of the hotel, asked that the matter be adjourned to give owners opportunity of finding a suitable licensee. The application was adjourned till the 28th inst.[7]

In September 1913, there was court case over the sale of the hotel to John Doolan:

SALE OF HOTEL. CLAIM FOR COMMISSION. LEARMONTH, Monday. At the Court of Petty Sessions to-day before Messrs S. J. Goldsmith, P.M., M. Ryan, J. Dickie, W. Baber, J. M. Feery, and Dr Courtney J's.P., the adjourned case in which J. P. Wilson, commission agent of Ballarat, sought to recover from John Doolan £48 commission on the sale of the Camp hotel, Learmonth, was dealt with. Mr Gribble appeared for plaintiff, and Mr D. Clarke for defendant. Geo. Charles Ashmole, licensee of the Camp hotel, gave evidence as to visiting the hotel in company with his wife and Wilson, the offer of Mr Doolan for £3000 and his subsequent purchase of the property through Mr. Early, commission agent, at £1960. He told Doolan and Wilson that the property was no good to him unless he had the chance of purchasing the adjoining block of ground, which was owned by Mrs Thompson, of Upper Beaconsfield. Wilson showed him a letter from Mrs Thompson shortly after this, in which she said she would not sell the land. He saw Early subsequently, and he said to witness, "If I get an offer to sell the land will you do business?;" Witness said “Yes.” . Early showed him a telegram a few days afterwards from Mrs Thompson offering to sell the land at £250. Mr Clarke—If it had not been for the intervention of Early would you have purchased the Camp hotel?—No. Mr. Gribble — Have you yet purchased the half-acre of ground?— No. This. concluded the evidence for the plaintiff. Mr Goldsmith announced that the case would be dismissed, and an order was made for the payment of costs amounting in all to £7 11s. A stay of three weeks was granted.[8]

The delicensed hotel was sold for removal in 1916:

LEARMONTH. SALE OF CAMP HOTEL. On Saturday the oldest and best known local landmark, the Camp Hotel, which was delicensed lately, was sold for removal. When Learmonth township was more going ahead, this hotel was the scene of many stirring times. It was here that the newly elected shire Councillor would be borne shoulder high to drink his health. Where the stump orators of by gone days would mount the water trough in support of their candidates and around whose bar the aftermath of many exciting football matches were played, where the potato digger and the stone breaker told their tallest and where the thirsty interval individuals from the Mechanics' Institute would quench their thirst when at a concert or dance. By. the irony of fate the beer pumps that oft responded to the call of "fill me up again", failed to elicit more than a bid of 4/, and were knocked down to the call of a teetotaller. Whether they were bought as a memento or not is not known. While a similar fate befell several pint pots. The building was sold in lots, and together with the stabling realised about £143. Mr A. M. Greenfield conducted the sale on behalf of the owner, Mrs M'Kenzie."[9]

LEARMONTH. LANDMARK TO DISAPPEAR. What has been known in the township as the Camp Hotel is about to disappear. All the buildings on the property were disposed of by auction on Saturday and will be removed in a few days. Of late years the property has changed hands frequently, the last purchaser being Mrs M'Kenzie, of the Stag hotel, the licence of which was surrendered last March. Between 40 and 50 years ago there were six hotels in the township, the Stag Hotel being the only one now remaining. The removal of the old Camp hotel will make a considerable blank in the township.[10]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Political[edit | edit source]

  • January 1894, committee to support Vear in the state election met at the hotel.[11]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1872 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 December, p. 3. , viewed 19 Apr 2016,
  2. 1861 'GENERAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 23 Jan 2017,
  3. Camp Hotel, Learmonth District Historical Society,
  4. 2023, Michele Smith, 'Family loses house in Christmas morning blaze', Ballarat Courier, 26 December 2023,
  5. 1886 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 August, p. 2. , viewed 01 Dec 2019,
  6. 1906 'LEARMONTH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 January, p. 6. , viewed 02 May 2016,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1906 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 December, p. 3. , viewed 14 Jun 2018,
  8. 8.0 8.1 1913 'SALE OF HOTEL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 September, p. 8. , viewed 25 Feb 2018,
  9. 1916 'LEARMONTH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 July, p. 6. , viewed 21 Apr 2016,
  10. 1916 'LEARMONTH.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1878; 1914 - 1918), 25 July, p. 5. (DAILY.), viewed 21 Apr 2016,
  11. 1894 'THE WINDERMERE ELECTION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 January, p. 4. , viewed 14 Jan 2020,
  12. 1863 'LEARMONTH POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 7 July, p. 4. , viewed 27 Apr 2016,
  13. 1873 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 December, p. 3. , viewed 20 Apr 2016,
  14. 1880 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 December, p. 4. , viewed 29 Nov 2018,
  15. 1882 'LEARMONTH LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 December, p. 3. , viewed 02 May 2016,
  16. 1883 'LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 December, p. 4. , viewed 25 Feb 2018,
  17. 1885 'LEARMONTH LICENSING COURT', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 3. , viewed 06 May 2016,
  18. 1894 'LEARMONTH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 April, p. 4. , viewed 21 Apr 2016,
  19. 1903 Victoria Electoral Roll, Learmonth
  20. 1905 Victorian Electoral Roll, Learmonth
  21. 1910 'LEARMONTH. Transfer of Lease', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 January, p. 6. , viewed 21 Apr 2016,
  22. 1913 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 4 October, p. 16. , viewed 25 Jan 2020,

External Links[edit | edit source]