Family Hotel (Darling Street)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Family Hotel.
Family Hotel
Date and photographer unknown.
Town Ballarat
Street SE cnr. Darling Street and Ripon Street.
Closed 31 December 1915
Known dates 1871-1915
Other names Kohl's Family Hotel
Kohl's Hotel
Demolished February 1916

The Family Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1871-1915.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Family Hotel was in Darling Street[1], on the SE corner with Ripon Street, Ballarat.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Also known as Kohl's Family Hotel.[3][4] It was named for its publican, Peter Kohl.

History[edit | edit source]

In February 1892 it was reported that the publican had been assaulted:

A young man named Michael Dineen was presented at the City Police Court yesterday, before Messrs Stalker, Acheson, Thompson, Archer, M‘Naught, and Hunter, J’s.P., on a charge of having unlawfully assaulted Thomas Blight, licensee of Kohl's hotel, Ballarat south. It appeared that Dineen and a companion entered the hotel named and called for drinks. Blight declined to serve accused as he was then the worse for liquor. He, however, served the other, man, who was quite sober. Dineen snatched the glass, and was about to drink it when the licensee interfered, with the result that he was assaulted. Accused was mulcted in a penalty of £5, with £2 3s costs, in default 14 days’ imprisonment.[5]

P. M'lntyre, the well-known boxer, was deservedly complimented at the City Police Court this morning for protecting Mr. Blight, the licensee of Kohl's Hotel, whom a cowardly assault was made upon by a man named Dineen. The assault cost Dineen £6— £2 fine, and £3 costs.[6]

The publican, Thomas Blight, won a lottery in 1893:

The winning ticket in Tattersall’s Sweep, Sydney, for the Tattersall's Club Cup, run on Monday, is held by Mr Thomas Blight, licensee of Kohl's hotel, Darling street. Mr Blight drew Chatham, the winner, in a sweep in which the first money amounts to £2000, less the commission. This will leave £1800 as the prize for the lucky holder of the ticket.[7]

In October 1894, the "Redan Push" caused problems at the hotel which resulted in injuries and assault charges:

AN UNSEEMLY SUNDAY ROW. A RUFFIAN MEETS HIS DESERTS. A quintette of cases and cross cases, in which a Darling street publican and an alleged member of the Redan “ push” formed the central figures, occupied the attention of the City magistrates for some time yesterday, and the objectionable details were listened to by a crowded attendance in court. Thomas W. Simpson, licensee of the Family hotel, Darling street, proceeded against a young man named Thomas Hart, who appeared in court wearing a massive white turban of bandages, for assault. Hart in turn sued Simpson for a similar offence. Simpson then charged Hart with damaging and the latter charged both Simpson and his wife with inflicting grievous bodily harm. All the cases were taken together, and the evidence adduced revealed shocking ruffianism and desecration of the Sabbath. The story told by the Simpsons was to the effect that at mid-day on Sunday, 30th September, Hart, with three other members of “ the Redan push,” came to his hotel for drink, which he refused to serve, at the same time saying that he would never serve one man—meaning Hart. At this the latter became abusive and menacing, and Simpson rushed to the kitchen to get out of the way, Hart coming hot-foot after him. At the door stood Mrs Simpson, who endeavored to stop Hart and shield her husband. She was, however, knocked down by Hart, who then set about assaulting Simpson. In the fight saucepans, frying-pans, and kitchen utensils generally, were pressed into the service, each belaboring the other without mercy. Hart, it was further alleged, then went out side, sworn at the young servant girl, who was carrying the baby, frightened both of them, and then commenced to smash windows and generally behave like a madman. Simpson threw a kettle of water at him, and affairs generally became very interesting and exciting. The damage done was estimated at about £1. Mrs Simpson, Miss Bertha Craig, and Constable Stafford were called to support this view. Hart’s story was that he went to the hotel with other young men named Murray, Grant, and Morley, and asked Simpson for drinks. The latter, how ever, he alleged, swore at him and told him to clear out. Defendant followed Simpson to find out what he meant, and gently pushed Mrs Simpson aside as he went through. Mrs Simpson then hit him upon the head five times, and inflicted such injuries that he had to remain in the Hospital for a week. Dr Davies stated that he had treated Hart for four scalp wounds and a slight fracture of the skull, which he did not think was caused by contact with a window-frame. James Murray, James Grant, and F. Morley also gave evidence. For the assault on Mrs Simpson Hart was sentenced to 21 days, and for assaulting Simpson to seven days; and he was also ordered to pay 20s damages, with £5 15s costs; in default, seven days. The cross cases were, dismissed. Mr Tuthill asked that fines should be inflicted, but the bench declined to make an alternative.[8]

A man was murdered at the hotel on 20 January 1900:

FATAL BRAWL AT BALLARAT. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) Monday. A young man, named R. Watson, was arrested at Ross Creek to-day charged with the murder of Richard Hampton, aged 37, of Darling-street Redan. It is stated that Watson and Hampton, together with another man named Thomas Tudor, met at Kohl's Hotel, in Darling-street, on Saturday night. An altercation took place relative to the war in South Africa, and after Hampton left the landlady observed blood on the floor of the bar, but states she heard no scuffle. Hampton became very ill on Sunday, and Dr Teevan recommended his removal to the hospital, where it was found he suffered from laceration of the brain, and he died this morning, leaving a widow and three children. An inquest will be held.[9]

THE REDAN AFFAIR. DEATH OF ROBERT HAMPTON. TWO MEN ON TRIAL. REMANDED UNTIL THURSDAY. BALLARAT, Tuesday. Richard Watson, charged on remand to-day with the murder of Robert Hampton, at Kohl's Hotel, Redan, was presented at the City Court this morning, and Thomas Tudor, who was In the bar at the time of the occurrence, was charged with being an accessory. Inspector Young, who stated that further evidence had been procured, applied for a remand to Thursday, when Mr J. T. T. Smith would appear to prosecute. A remand was granted until Thursday. Each defendant was allowed bail, himself in a surely of L100 and one surety of L200.[10]

The coroner's inquest returned an open verdict on the death:

A DANGEROUS LINE OF ARGUMENT. THE BALLARAT FATALITY. (By Telegraph) [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] Tuesday. The mystery surrounding tho death of Robt. Hampton was not cleared up at the inquest to-day, and the jury returned an open verdict. Dr Hardy's evidence was to the effect that almost extraordinary violence had been necessary to cause the injuries which resulted in Hampton's death. How such extensive injuries were inflicted there was not an iota of evidence to show. The three men concerned, Hampton, Watson, and Tudor were in Kohl's hotel at Redan for about an hour on Saturday night, but only had one drink each during that time. According to the evidence of the wife of the licensee they were on friendly terms, proclaiming their British or Boer sympathies in a jocular manner. She was absent from the bar for a few minutes, and on her return Hampton had gone, and Watson was sitting on the floor near a pool of blood. Tudor to-day professed utter ignorance of all that happened while in the company of the other men, saying he must have been drunk at the time. The acting-coroner, Mr R. M. Serjeant, J.P., expressed the opinion that Tudor know some thing, but would not tell. Watson, who appeared in custody, on a charge of murder, was remanded to appear at the City court next Friday, and was admitted to bail, himself in £200 and two sureties of £100. In the meantime the police will endeavor to collect further evidence.[11]

THE REDAN TRAGEDY.AN OPEN VERDICT RETURNED. WATSON AGAIN REMANDED. BALLARAT, Tuesday. An inquest was held before Mr. R. M. Serjeant and a jury to day concerning the death of Robert Hampton, who is alleged by the police to have sustained fatal in juries in a quarrel with Richard Watson over the war in South Africa The accused, at he was present in custody, was represented by Mr J. T. M'Gowan and Inspector Young conducted the inquiry on

behalf of the police.

The statements of the various witnesses accorded for the most part, with the narrative appearing in "The Argus". It seems, however, from the evidence of Mrs Simpson, wife of the licensee of Kohl's Hotel in which Hampton is assumed to have been injured, that it was Watson, the accused, and not Hampton, who was sitting on the floor of the bar when she returned to it. Wilson was wiping his neck under a mistaken impression that he had been wounded. There was a small pool of blood on the floor, with drops of blood leading to the door. Hampton had gone, but Tudor was sitting behind the floor in the same position as he was when Mrs Simpson had left the bar a few minutes before. At that time Hampton was sitting on a form facing the bar, and Watson was standing up in front of him with his back to the counter. Mrs Simpson was positive that no ill temper was manifested on either side. There was no evidence to show that Tudor was intoxicated but he stated that he could not have had fewer than 20 drinks during the day and he stoutly maintained that his mind was a perfect blank in regard to anything that might have taken place.

The post-mortem examination of the body made by Mr. C. H. W. Hardy, M.B., tended to show that the injuries which resulted in Hampton's death could have been caused only by great violence. There was a fracture of the skull, extending from the light frontal bone to the left side, accompanied by extensive laceration of the brain. This, the witness stated, could not have been caused by falling on a form which was found to be bloodstained, but might have been brought about by a severe blow, or, rather, a thrust against the bone in the corner of the eye. It transpired that an iron wheel, with a spindle through it for rope quoits, was in the bar, but Mr Simpson said that it was not blood stained.

The Acting Coroner said that the evidence against Watson was extremely meagre, and if the jury thought fit they would return an open verdict. This suggestion was adopted by the jury, and Mr. M'Gowan thereupon applied for Watson's discharge. Inspector Young intimated that he would again bring the accused before Mr. Serjeant in the latter 's capacity as a justice of the peace. Accused was thereupon remanded for a week on the original charge, to reappear at the city court of petty sessions. Bail was allowed in £400.[12]

After a preliminary hearing it was decided there was not enough evidence to support a conviction:

A BALLARAT MYSTERY. MELBOURNE, February 11. The precise circumstances in which Robert Hamilton sustained fatal injuries at Kohl's Hotel, Ballarat, recently, are still inexplicable, and the police appear to be completely baffled. Richard Watson, who was rearrested after an open verdict had been returned at the inquest concerning the tragedy, was on Saturday again brought up at the Police Court on a charge of wilful murder, and Thomas Tudor, who though present when Watson and Hampton are alleged to have quarrelled with regard to the Transvaal War, maintained that he knew nothing whatever about what took place, was also charged with aiding and abetting Watson. The Crown Prosecutor, in his opening remarks, said it was evident that neither Watson nor Tudor had made truthful statements; in fact, the attitude of the witnesses indicated a remarkable conspiracy of silence. The evidence was merely a recapitulation of what has already been published, and when the case for the prosecution closed the Police Magistrate said no thing had been proved against the accused, who were thereupon discharged. The Crown Prosecutor observed that in face of the evidence elicited he could not ask the bench to take any other course.[13]

In September 1900, it was announced that one of the 30 new fire alarms being installed in Ballarat, would be outside the hotel.[14]

On 22 March 1915, the hotel was included on a list of hotels to be deprived of their licenses. This list was complied by the Licenses Reduction Board in Melbourne. The Ballarat West licensing district hearings on this list were to be held on 27 April.[1]

Evidence was taken about the hotel at a hearing on 28 April 1915:

The Licences Reduction Board continued its delicensing sittings at the Supreme Court to-day, when two hotels were dealt with — the Carbine Hotel, Sturt-street, and the Family Hotel, Darling-street...The owners and licensee of the Family Hotel produced witnesses who declared that the hotel was essential to the convenience of residents of Ballarat South and Redan, particularly on account of the closing up of the Western Ocean Hotel, Skipton-street, following on a recent fire.[15]

The hotel was one of about 40 hotels closed by the License Reduction Board and ceased trading at 9.30pm on 31 December 1915.[16] The court paid £460 compensation.[17]

In February 1916, the hotel must have been demolished, as its building material were being offered for sale in the newspaper:

BUILDING Material.--Studs doors, g.iron, lining, h.wood, flooring. Family Hotel, Darling St.[18]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Inquests[edit | edit source]

  • August 1871, into the death of Anthony Kohl, son of the publican, Peter Kohl. Died after throwing himself into mining machinery at the No. 4 Band and Albion Consols mine.[19]

Political[edit | edit source]

  • In August 1871, Mr Everingham addressed citizens at the hotel.[20]
  • In July 1886, a candidate for the South Ward, David Cooke, advertised a meeting at the hotel.[21]
  • In July 1887, another candidate for the council addressed ratepayers at the hotel:

MR JOHN WHYKES AT KOHL’S HOTEL. Mr John Whykes addressed a large and enthusiastic meeting of the South ward ratepayers last evening, at Kohl’s hotel, Darling street. The room was crowded, and many were unable to obtain admission. The candidate, on rising, was received with prolonged applause. He stated he had consented to come forward to contest the election at the request of a large number of the ratepayers. He thought a change was desirable, as the requirements of the ward had been shamefully neglected. He was not in favor of spending three thousand pounds a year on the lake and gardens until the streets of the city were put in proper repair. In reply to questions, Mr Whykes said he would be in favor of having a culvert placed at the end of Latrobe street, near the quarries. That he was in favor of additional lamps being erected when the danger surrounding the locality rendered it necessary. That if elected he would consider it one of his first duties to see that the broken bridges were repaired and the quagmires in the streets filled up. A unanimous vote of confidence was then passed in the candidate, who was loudly applauded throughout the address. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the chair, after which a strong committee was formed to secure the election of the candidate. To-night Mr Whykes will address the ratepayers at the Court hotel, Armstrong street.[22]

  • In August 1906, Mr. W. D. Hill addressed rate payers at the hotel. The meeting was chaired by Joseph Rowsell, a local quarry owner, who lived opposite the hotel:

Mr W. D. Hill addressed a crowded and enthusiastic meeting of the rate payers of the south ward at Kohl’s hotel, Darling street. Mr Joseph Rowsell, senior, occupied the chair, and introduced the candidate as one whom he had known for a quarter of a century...He pointed out that fully £1000 would be spent this year in filling up the Redan quarries, which would much improve that part of the ward, and continue Sebastopol street through to Pleasant street...[23]

  • In December 1908, Mr. A. N. McKissock, Labor candidate for Ballarat West, addressed a crowd of several hundred at the hotel.[24]

Sport[edit | edit source]

  • April 1894 - Redan Football Club, a dinner to celebrate the departure of their President, Thomas Blight, who was leaving to go to Coolgardie. Blight had also been the hotel publican from 1891-1893.[25]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1915 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 23 March, p. 10, viewed 13 February, 2014,
  2. Harris, Phil, 'Family sources', included on Historic Hotels of Ballarat Facebook page.
  3. 3.0 3.1 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Jul 2018,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 April, p. 2. , viewed 15 Feb 2018,
  5. 1892 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 February, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jul 2019,
  6. 1892 'BOXING AT BALLARAT.', Sportsman (Melbourne, Vic. : 1882 - 1904), 2 February, p. 2. , viewed 29 Jul 2019,
  7. 1893 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 January, p. 2. , viewed 14 Sep 2019,
  8. 1894 'AN UNSEEMLY SUNDAY ROW.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 October, p. 4. , viewed 21 Nov 2020,
  9. 1900 'FATAL BRAWL AT BALLARAT.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 23 January, p. 2. , viewed 29 Jul 2019,
  10. 1900 'THE REDAN AFFAIR.', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 30 January, p. 2. , viewed 29 Jul 2019,
  11. 1900 'A DANGEROUS LINE OF ARGUMENT.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 24 January, p. 2. , viewed 29 Jul 2019,
  12. 1900 'THE REDAN TRAGEDY.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 24 January, p. 6. , viewed 06 Jul 2022,
  13. 1900 'A BALLARAT MYSTERY.', Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), 17 February, p. 12. , viewed 28 Jul 2019,
  14. 1900 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 September, p. 2. , viewed 22 Jan 2018,
  15. 1915 'BALLARAT HOTELS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 29 April, p. 14. , viewed 08 Oct 2018,
  16. 1915 'DELICENSED', The Evening Echo (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 31 December, p. 4. (FOURTH EDITION), viewed 04 Feb 2018,
  17. 1915 'LICENSING ACT 1915.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 10 November, p. 15, viewed 10 September, 2015,
  18. 1916 'Advertising', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1884; 1914 - 1918), 23 February, p. 4. (DAILY.), viewed 02 Mar 2021,
  19. 1871 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 August, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jul 2019,
  20. 1871 'MEETINGS, &c., THIS DAY.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 4 August, p. 2. , viewed 29 Jul 2019,
  21. 21.0 21.1 1886 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 July, p. 3. , viewed 26 Mar 2018,
  22. 1887 'MR JOHN WHYKES AT KOHL’S HOTEL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 July, p. 4. , viewed 28 Jul 2019,
  23. 1906 'SOUTH WARD-CITY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 August, p. 6. , viewed 28 Jul 2019,
  24. 1908 'MR M'KISSOCK'S CANDIDATURE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 6. , viewed 29 Jul 2019,
  25. 1894 'REDAN FOOTBALL CLUB.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 April, p. 4. , viewed 15 Apr 2020,
  26. 1872 'BALLARAT LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 December, p. 4. , viewed 31 Jul 2019,
  27. 1875 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 25 Aug 2022,
  28. 1887 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 December, p. 2. , viewed 31 Jul 2019,
  29. 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 April, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,
  30. 1893 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 May, p. 2. , viewed 11 Mar 2020,
  31. 1915 'The Ballarat Courier.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1882; 1914 - 1918), 29 April, p. 2. (DAILY.), viewed 08 Oct 2018,

External Links[edit | edit source]