Fire Brigade Hotel (Clunes)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other hotels with the same or similar names see Fire Brigade Hotel.
Fire Brigade Hotel
Picture needed
Town Clunes
Street Fraser Street
Opened 1869
Known dates 1869-1872
Evidence Building still standing
Google maps -37.293215221348646, 143.7863178260848

The Fire Brigade Hotel was a hotel in Clunes, <1869-1872>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel is at 43 Fraser Street, Clunes.[1] The building is brick two-storey, with a bluestone cellar.

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The new hotel was partly damaged in a large fire on 12 January 1870, which destroyed Mr. Jones grocery store, Mr. Price's boot store, and Morris's the tailor. Mr. Farrant's ironmongery shop was saved. The hotel was insured for £800.[2]:

SERIOUS FIRE AT CLUNES. About 11.45 o'clock on the night of Wednesday, 12th January, the alarming cry of "Fire ! Fire !" was heard in Frazer-street, Clunes. The fire bell pealed out its summons, and in a few minutes hundreds of men and women, partially dressed, might be seen hurrying towards where the ill-omened blaze was lighting up like day the street for a considerable distance. On arriving at the spot it was found that the buildings occupied by T. Jones, grocer; Morris, tailor; and Price, bootmaker; opposite to the office of the Clunes Guardian, were in flames. The members of the fire brigade were promptly on the spot with their engine, but owing to the buildings referred to being of wood it was soon found that nothing could be done to save either them or their contents. The people then turned their attention to the saving of the adjoining property. Several members of the brigade and other persons mounted the roof of Tarrant's store and kept it deluged with water from the engine, which was being worked with a will to the tune of " Marching through Georgia," while others pulled down the burning timber alongside, the fire being confined within a comparatively small space, owing to the Fire Brigade hotel, a new two-storied brick building, belonging to Mr Samuel Tarrant, being at one end, and Farrant's, the ironmonger's store of stone and brick, at the other ; mid there being no wind blowing, it was mastered in about an hour.

A small quantity of sporting powder was kept at the back of Farrant's in a brick building, and owing to the shingled roof having taken fire two canisters of the powder exploded, and very luckily the concussion of the air thereby caused dashed out the flames which had just seized upon two large casks of linseed oil in the same building. Had it not been for this fortunate occurrence, the explosion of the oil casks and the consequent scattering around of of their burning contents which would have followed would inevitably have set fire to the store of Mr Hotchin, draper, and the other wooden buildings immediately adjoining, and from the inflammable nature of the contents in all probability destroyed the whole of them. Great credit is due both to the members of the fire brigade and other citizens for the zeal shown on the occasion ; and even the explosion of the powder, and the cry which was raised that there was a great quantity of kerosene as well as powder in the burning building, did not damp the energies of those employed nor prevent the work of rescue from being carried out. Notwithstanding the height of the Fire Brigade Hotel, the galvanised iron roof has been so injured that it will coat at least L50 for repairs. The wooden scaffolding at the front was also in flames.

The origin of the fire, like most of such affairs, is at present a mystery ; some persons say the fire was first seen at Morris's, others at Jones's, but the balance of evidence leans to Jones's. The sufferers are insured in the undermentioned offices for the following amounts:-T. Jones, grocer, stock and building, L400, and also L100 on the building occupied by Morris ; Tasmanian Company. Morris, tailor, stock, L400, in Victoria Company, and L500 in Imperial Company. Price, boot maker, stock, L400, in the Sydney Company ; the building occupied by Price belongs to Mr Walton, and is insured for L200 in the Tasmanian Company. Samuel Tarrant, L800 Imperial Company. The value of the salvage in Jones's case will be about L20 ; Morris, L3 ; Price, nothing. But Farrant's goods are comparatively uninjured. The front of the building has, however, been knocked about considerably, and the fixtures damaged. Mr Samuel Tarrant, of the Fire Brigade Hotel, estimates his losses at L100 through the removal of fixtures, etc, and Mr Mason, the fruiterer, has also suffered through removal. Sergeant Delaney and the other members of the police force were present, and exerted themselves most efficiently in saving property and keeping order.[3]

A week after the fire business was back to normal and Tarrant was granted a temporary license to keep the hotel open for a ball.[4]

There was a dispute about the costs of building the hotel which ended up in court at the end of January 1870:

Enticott v Tarrant, L26 17s 6d, work and labor, Mr Jessup for plaintiff, Mr Purcell for defendant. This was an action to recover the balance of labor in plastering, &c., done to the Fire Brigade hotel. The architect proved that the amount was enormously overcharged. Verdict for L4 without costs.[5]

In June 1872, O. E. Jones was granted a license to hold a quadrille party at the hotel.[6]

After closure[edit | edit source]

After closing, the hotel was a various times a haberdashery and a fruit shop.[1]

The hotel building, in a partly restored condition, was offered for sale in July 2021 for $485,000.[1]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

  • March 1870, Clunes Fire Brigade, annual meeting.[7]
  • May 1870, a large community meeting dissatisfied with the actions and composition of the Clunes Water Commission.[8]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 2021, 'A golden opportunity', Ballarat Courier, 17 July 2021,
  2. 1870 'LARGE FIRE AT CLUNES.', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 13 January, p. 3. , viewed 17 Jul 2021,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1870 'SERIOUS FIRE AT CLUNES.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 15 January, p. 3. , viewed 17 Jul 2021,
  4. 1870 'CLUNES POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1884; 1914 - 1918), 20 January, p. 4. , viewed 17 Jul 2021,
  5. 1870 'CLUNES COUNTY COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1884; 1914 - 1918), 28 January, p. 4. , viewed 17 Jul 2021,
  6. 1872 'CLUNES POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1884; 1914 - 1918), 6 June, p. 4. , viewed 17 Jul 2021,
  7. 1870 'CLUNES FIRE BRIGADE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 March, p. 4. , viewed 19 Jul 2023,
  8. 1870 'CLUNES WATER COMMISSION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 May, p. 2. , viewed 17 Jul 2021,

External Links[edit | edit source]