Farmers' Arms (Creswick)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other hotel with the same or similar names, see Farmers' Hotel.
Farmers' Arms
Picture needed
Town Creswick
Street 31 Albert Street
Known dates 1858-2024
Evidence The 1896 building is still operating
Google maps -37.421625, 143.894642

The Farmers' Arms was a hotel in Creswick, Victoria, <1858-2024.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel is in Albert Street, Creswick.[1][2]

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The hotel was damaged by a fire in the grocery store adjacent, owned by the Patrick Montgomery whose wife owned the hotel:

FIRE AT CRESWICK. [BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH] [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] CRESWICK, Thursday. A fire broke out here at about two o'clock this morning in a grocer's shop, the property of Mr. P. Montgomery. The premises and stock were entirely destroyed, and had it not been for the exertions of the fire brigade the whole block of buildings would have been consumed, The Farmers' Arms Hotel was considerably damaged. Mr. Montgomery's shop and stock are insured in the United Australian Fire Office for £260.[3]

The original wooden building was destroyed by a fire in August 1894:

FIRE AT CRESWICK. CRESWICK. Wednesday. Montgomery's Farmers' Arm Hotel, in the main street of the town, was destroyed by fire at 4 o'clock this morning. The building, a wooden one, was insured for £300 in the Victoria Insurance Company. Mrs. Montgomery, the licensee, went to Ballarat last night, enroute to Melbourne, having arranged to go to Melbourne with the excursion train to-day, and only one of her daughters was in the house at the time of the occurrence, some members of the family being at a dance in the orderly room.[4]

The hotel was rebuilt by Mr. J. T. Knox:

Building operations are not altogether at a standstill in the town. Mr J. T. Knox, who is just completing the new schoolroom for the Wesleyan denomination, also has in hand the erection of a brick building for the Farmers’ Arms hotel (which was recently destroyed by fire), while Messrs A. Pasco and Sons are renovating and making additions to the Masonic Hall.[5]

The hotel lease was offered for sale by tender in April 1896 after being rebuilt :

SALE BY TENDER. THE lease of Montgomery's Farmers Arms Hotel, Creswick, for a period of five years, including the whole of the furniture. which is for absolute sale. The furniture includes a magnificent new billiard table, which was purchased at a cost of £120, and which should , easily be made to pay the rent on the premises, viz , £1 per week. The hotel, which has just been erected, is a model one in every respect, and occupies an excellent situation in Albert-street. It is commodious and highly finished throughout, and handsomely furnished. The business has been profitably carried on by Mrs. Montgomery for many years, and she has now resolved to live privately. The terms the exceedingly easy—half cash and the balance as agreed upon. Tenders close with the undersigned on Monday, 20th April. WM. BELL, Estate and Commission Agent, North Creswick.[6]

The hotel's license was reviewed in January 1916 by the Creswick Licensing Court.[1] Evidence about the hotel was taken in February 1916:

The case of the Farmers' Arms hotel was next heard-owner, Misses Marguerette and Marie Montgomery ; licensee Miss Marguerette Montgomery. Mr A. W. Long appeared for both parties. The Senior constable gave evidence that the hotel was brick in front and weatherboard at the rear, containing 17 rooms, with four bedrooms for the use of the public. It was well kept and well conducted. The stabling, six stalls, was in fair order, and used a good deal by country people. He thought the hotel was required. To Mr Long: He had boarded and lodged in the hotel for six weeks. The travelling public were well served. On sports day if there was any congestion at the Bridge the people would ordinarily go to the Farmers' Arms. He knew it was well patronised on sports day. Mounted Constable Collins agreed with the senior constable's evidence, and in reply to the board, said he would close four hotels before be came to the Farmers' Arms.

Alexander Broom said he had the opportunity of observing the trade at the hotel, and in his opinion the hotel was required. To the board: There were too many hotels, and he would close three or four out of the nine. The Farmers' Arms was one of the last he would close. He thought the majority should be in the centre of the town. John B. Mader said he would not like to see either the British or the Farmers' Arms closed, Three would be a fair number to close. John Francis Moore, farmer of Glendonald said many farmers used the hotel. In reply to the board he said he thought one at North Creswick sufficient. Frederick John Eberhard, cordial manufacturer, of Clunes, said he stayed at the hotel once or twice a month, and the class of trade there was excellent. It was also also made use of by the Clunes Bowling club. Both the Farmers' Arms and British were required in his opinion. To the board: He thought the number could be reduced by three. The licensee gave evidence of her connection with the hotel, and also that of her mother. There was no encumbrance on it in any way. One sports day she had served 508 meals. Owing to the severe illness of her sister there had been a falling off in trade, as she (witness) had suggested to customers that they go elsewhere. Public servants etc., had boarded at the hotel. She had the best billiard table in the town.

The chairman said, as they had mentioned in Clunes, some did not practically want to fight against the closing of their hotels, yet did so for they thought if they agreed to the closing the compensation would be less. This was not so, it made no difference whatever. This was the last year that the board could accept surrenders, for there would be no statutory number next year, and if no local option poll be taken no compensation would be paid for licenses surrendered. At Clunes some of the owners said they had put up a fight in order that the compensation would not be reduced through want of opposition. Here they had two intimations offering no opposition to the closing of hotels - the Star and the Town Hall - and if there were any others they would be glad to know of them. Here they had some hotels close together. They did not mean that Mr. Long was putting up a fight for the Farmers' Arms for the reason mentioned. Mr Long said that was so; they desired to retain the hotel. The board also intimated that licensees came to the board and state they were not responsible for the surrender of other licenses asking for a reduction in the fees to be paid as lost license fees. If they fought to retain their licenses why should they ask the board for a reduction of the lost license fees ? These fees may be very heavy this district, and owners should look at that. The decision regarding the Farmers' Arms hotel was also reserved.[7]

On 5 December 1992, a Melbourne criminal, Edward "Jockey" Smith, was shot dead by a Ballarat policeman outside the hotel.[2]

In 2011 the hotel was damaged by flood waters from the Creswick Creek.[2]

On 19 September 2011, a fire started in a rear bedroom of the hotel. Fire crews from Creswick, Ballarat, Clunes and Kingston eventually brought the fire under control, with about 50% of the hotel damaged.[2]

On 24 November 2019, an altercation between two local men outside the hotel at 2.00am resulted in the death of David Blake. Shane Andrew Lucas was charged with manslaughter.[8] Lucas was sentenced to nine years in gaol.[9]

A group of four visitors to Creswick were involved in a bar room brawl in the hotel on 14 October 2022. A man was knocked unconscious with a pool cue when he approached the visitors to ask if he could have the next game on the pool table. Other people were punched and kicked by the group despite efforts by staff and other customers to intervene. One of the four, Trevor Towers pleaded guilty in court and was placed on a community corrections order and given 130 hours community service.[9]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1916 'CRESWICK LICENSING DISTRICT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1878; 1914 - 1918), 19 January, p. 1 Edition: DAILY., viewed 9 August, 2015,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Oliver, Jordan H., 'Creswick Farmers Arms Hotel damaged by fire', Ballarat Courier, 20 September 2011,
  3. 1885 'FIRE AT CRESWICK.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 23 January, p. 6. , viewed 25 Jan 2020,
  4. 1894 'FIRE AT CRESWICK.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 30 August, p. 6. , viewed 25 Jan 2020,
  5. 1894 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 November, p. 1. , viewed 26 Jan 2020,
  6. 6.0 6.1 1896 'Advertising', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 15 April, p. 4. , viewed 24 Jul 2019,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1916 'LICENSES DEDUCTION BOARD.', Creswick Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 29 February, p. 2. , viewed 23 Jan 2020,
  8. 2020, Williams, Erin, 'Creswick pub manslaughter death accused Shane Lucas makes offer to plead guilty', Ballarat Courier, 29 May 2020,
  9. 9.0 9.1 2023, Ellie Mitchell, 'Pub pool table punch on', Ballarat Courier, 23 February 2023, pg. 9,
  10. 1858 'CRESWICK LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 June, p. 2. , viewed 30 May 2017,
  11. 1870 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 January, p. 4. , viewed 02 Sep 2018,
  12. 1883 'BALLARAT DISTRICT LICENSED VICTUALLERS ASSOCIATION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 December, p. 4. , viewed 21 Mar 2018,
  13. 1888 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 March, p. 4. , viewed 30 May 2016,
  14. 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 April, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2019,

External Links[edit | edit source]