Club Hotel (Clunes)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For othe hotels with the same or similar names, see Club Hotel.
Club Hotel
Club Hotel, Clunes
Town Clunes
Street Fraser Street
Known dates 1870-2014
Evidence Building still standing

The Club Hotel was a hotel in Clunes, Victoria, <1870-2014.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel is in Fraser Street. This site is now number 34 Fraser Street. Location -37.29351, 143.78620

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The hotel opened in about 1870, according to the date on the front of the building.

On 31 July 1884 the Ballarat Star reported:

On Friday next Mr A. Nelson, of the Court house hotel, takes possession of the well known Club hotel, having obtained a lease from the proprietor. Mr Nelson's occupancy will be the second since its creation, some 18 years. Mr Robert Hunter succeeds Mr Nelson in the Courthouse hotel.[1]

Sinclair described it in 1879 as:

"... Wiles' Club Hotel, a splendid two-storey building, which would do credit to Ballarat or Melbourne. From what I can remember this must be erected on the site of the wooden building with verandah on front, once occupied by Mr. Ethersay as a private school. Just on the other side of the street from this, I recollect in 1863 seeing a bullock team laden with potatoes, stuck fast in the black soil, and can remember stopping for a couple of hours watching the excited oxen conductor running up and down the team and indulging in dreadful fits of profanity, whipping the poor cattle in great style, trying them on the near lock and the off lock all to no receiving advice from the Cornish miners who had collected on the spot, and probably had never seen a bullock team stuck fast before. After receiving all sorts of advice from these clever novices, he had to at length set to work and to unload to the last tier of bags before he could extricate the waggon. I can hardly realise this as the same green grassy street or roadway where this happened, but I believe if the bullock driver is alive yet, and been absent from Clunes ever since, and arriving now, he could point out the precise spot where he had been anchored in the black glue pot.[2]

In August 1886 the publican was fined:

W. B. Burn of the Club hotel, under the 107th Clause of the Act, for neglecting to lock all doors, of the bar during prohibited hours; fined £5 and 7s 6d costs. Both of the above cases occurred on the night of the 10th August, on which occasion the Catholic ball was held in the Town Hall, some of the patrons of which had prevailed upon the landlords to supply them with drinks, hence this action. As a rule both hotels are well conducted.[3]

In March 1889 the hotel was the venue for an event to thank the local M.L.A.:

Mr J. H. Wheeler, M.L.A., was met by a number of his Clunes friends at the Club hotel last evening, for the purpose of congratulating him on his return unopposed for the Daylesford district. Fully 70 gentlemen were present, and the chair was occupied by the mayor, Mr Nicholls. The usual loyal toasts having been duly honored, Mr John Beveridge proposed the toast of "The Late Parliament," coupled with the name of Mr Wheeler, and alluded to the latter gentleman in very complimentary terms. Mr Wheeler, in responding, referred to the harmonious manner he and his late colleague had worked together, and especially alluding to Mr Cooper as having proved himself to be one of the ablest and best men in the House, and none took more pains or was abler m debate than Mr Cooper, and were they to lose his services it would be a national loss. Mr Wheeler was most attenlively listened to throughout, and frequently applauded. Several other toasts, songs, etc., concluded a very pleasant gathering.[4]

In February 1897 there were rowdy guests from Ballarat:

Some disgraceful conduct is alleged to have been indulged in on Sunday last by 10 young men from Ballarat, They put up at the Club hotel, where they rendered the day unbearable by their behavior, breaking the furniture, singing, dancing, and other unseemly conduct. A couple of Japanese trays are also missing, and the landlord (Mr Burn) expresses his intention of not allowing the matter to rest at its present stage.[5]

In December 1932 the hotel was one of a number of district hotels whose licenses were renewed, but with a warning:

"...granted after evidence tendered regarding police suspicions of betting had been considered...Mr. Barr referring to betting on hotel premises said that it had been going on for years and nothing the police or Court could do so far had stopped it. If the licensees did not willingly stop it and the owners would not stop it the Court would try another very drastic way. There were still a number of hotels in Ballarat to disappear under the law.[6]

The hotel was closed after 2014.

In 2019 it was offered for sale for $950,000.[7]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Politics[edit | edit source]

  • May 1871, meeting of delegates of Land Selection Leagues, to discuss proposed government legislation.[8]

Sporting[edit | edit source]

  • February 1918, annual meeting of the Clunes District Coursing Club.[9]

The People[edit | edit source]

  • In December 1871 the license was granted to G. Wiles.[10]
    • It was renewed in December 1876.[11]
  • In December 1882 the license was granted to M. A. Wiles.[12]
    • It was renewed in December 1883.[13]
  • In August 1884, A. Nelson took over the hotel license.[1]
    • He was declared insolvent in June 1885.[14]
  • In August and December 1886 the publican was W. B. Burn.[3][15]
    • He held the license until about 1902.[16]
  • In January 1921 the license was transferred from Olga L. Kershaw to David A. Wrathall.[17]
  • In the 1950s the publican was Horace Henry Hauser (Harry), whose wife Amy died on 23 October 1959.[18] Harry has later moved to the Eldorado Hotel in North Melbourne.
  • The publicans in 2014 were Rod and Yvonne Elliot.[19]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1884 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 31 July, p. 4. , viewed 06 Jun 2016,
  2. J. M. Sinclair, Clunes in 1863 and 1879, first published in 1881, edited by Mac Jenkins,, accessed 28 February 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 1886 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 August, p. 4. , viewed 01 Feb 2020,
  4. 1889 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 March, p. 4. , viewed 10 Apr 2024,
  5. 1897 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 25 February, p. 1. , viewed 27 Jul 2023,
  6. 1932 'BALLARAT AND DISTRICT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 6 December, p. 10. , viewed 25 Apr 2020,
  8. 1871 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 May, p. 2. , viewed 05 Jan 2020,
  9. 1918 'Clunes Guardian & Gazette.', Clunes Guardian and Gazette (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 22 February, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jan 2023,
  10. 1871 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 December, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  11. 1876 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE. CITY COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 4. , viewed 22 Jul 2019,
  12. 1882 'CLUNES LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 14 December, p. 4. , viewed 09 Feb 2020,
  13. 1883 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 4. , viewed 05 Feb 2020,
  14. 1885 'NEW INSOLVENT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 June, p. 3. , viewed 17 Nov 2022,
  15. 1886 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 31 May 2016,
  16. 1904 'CLUNES', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 July, p. 3. , viewed 27 Jul 2023,
  17. 1921 'LICENSING COURT', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 January, p. 2. , viewed 14 Feb 2020,
  18. 1959, 'DEATHS', The Age, 27 October 1959, pg.16,
  19. Club Hotel website,, accessed 2 March 2014

External Links[edit | edit source]