George Hotel (Lydiard Street)

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For other hotels with the same or similar names, see George Hotel.
George Hotel
George Hotel
History
Town Ballarat
Street Lydiard Street
Opened 1853
Known dates 1853-2024
Other names George Inn
Evidence Hotel (1902) still in operation

The George Hotel is a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, 1853-2024.

Site[edit | edit source]

It was originally called the George Inn. The George Hotel is on the west side of Lydiard Street North, Ballarat, now known as 27 Lydiard Street North.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The George Inn was licensed in 1853, a few months after Thomas Bath opened the Ballarat Hotel.[2] The first owners and publicans were George Howe and Francis Herring.[2] Howe and Herring had been at Golden Point digging for gold in 1851.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

In January 1855, only weeks after Eureka, a soldier was flogged after trying to sell a stolen watch:

On dit that a soldier was flogged on the 2nd at the Camp for having "annexed" Capt. Wyse's watch, when he fell at the Stockade ; and in addition, having offered it for sale at the bar of the George Inn, on the Township.[3]

In January 1856 the hotel had a bar set up at the Ballarat races:

The building, which is composed of the best timber, is 64 feet long, 20 high, by 18 broad. Underneath the grand stand, to which persons paid 5s. to be admitted, Messrs. Howe and Herring had fitted up a bar, where liquors of every description were to be had. Behind this bar was a room, in which luncheon or dinners could be had.[4]

The hotel was offered for sale in August 1863:

FRIDAY, 14th AUGUST. PRELIMINARY ADVERTISEMENT. At Twelve o'clock. First-class Hotel Property in Ballarat, the well-known GEORGE HOTEL, AND PREMISES ADJOINING. To Capitalists, Speculators, and Others in Search of First-class Freehold Property. GEMMELL, M'CAUL and CO. have received instructions to offer for sale by public auction, at the George Hotel, on the premises, on Friday, 14th day of August, -at twelve o'clock Government Allotment 5, and Portion of Government Allotment 6, in Section 4, Township of Ballarat, on which is erected that magnificent and justly celebrated hotel, THE GEORGE, At present occupied by Mr Charles Forster, situated in Lydiard street, Ballarat, and in immediate proximity to the Railway Terminus, and acknowledged to be the first hotel in all the Western District, And which from the first opening of the gold fields has done a most lucrative business ; also, through the facilities now afforded by the opening of the railway, is capable of being increased to any extent. The block of land extends from Lydiard street to Armstrong street. The hotel contains Large Dining and Club Rooms, Parlors, Drawingrooms, And upwards of 40 Bedrooms, Billiardroom, &c. The rooms over the cigar shop on the north of the hotel will not be included in the sale. Attached to the hotel are extensive coachhouses and stabling. The space fronting Armstrong street could be made available for either horse bazaar, coach-building establishment, or other money-making business. The Western coaches all start from The George Hotel. The auctioneers can with confidence recommend the above property as well worthy the attention of hotel proprietors, speculators, and others in search of good investment. Further particulars will appear in future advertise A plan of the property is being prepared, showing the lots in which it will be offered. particulars can be had on application at the rooms of the auctioneers, 36 Collins-street, Melbourne. Terms Liberal, Declared at Sale.[5]

In May 1864 a hotel employee was charged with theft:

A young man, named Henry Brett, was arrested on Wednesday forenoon, on the charge of stealing several articles of jewelry from Bignell's George Hotel. He had been employed in the hotel for a fortnight, as pantryman, and on Tuesday gave notice that he was about to leave. Accordingly, on Wednesday morning he was paid his wages, but something in his appearance having awakened the suspicious of the barman, the latter, before the accused had time to leave the house, examined his own box and found his watch and chain, some rings, and a stud had been stolen. Detectives Hyland and Hudson were instantly communicated with, and they accordingly followed Brett after he left the hotel. He first entered a jeweller's shop and ascertained the value of the watch, and then went to a pawnbroking establishment in Humffray street, where he offered it in pawn but, whilst in the act of effecting a bargain, he was arrested. The rest of the jewelry was found in his possession. The case will be investigated at the District Police Court to-day.[6]

In November 1872 a fight between two servants in the kitchen ended in court:

The case of Hill v Hamilton, heard in the City Police-court on Tuesday, was one which arose between two servants in the George hotel. Plaintiff sued for £10 damages for an assault, in the course of which he alleged that he had been wounded by defendant in the hand with a knife. Defendant’s story was to the effect that he was in the act of peeling some potatoes when the plaintiff attacked him, and that it was in raising his hand to save himself that the knife which beheld in it came accidentally in contact with Hill. The bench thought that £2 damages, with 10s 6d costs, would meet the merits of the case.[7]

In December 1883, the newspaper reported on the poor condition of the footpath outside the hotel:

Accidents prevented ere better than any number of homilies after they have occurred. We, therefore, call the attention of the authorities to the exceedingly dangerous state of the paving in Lydiard street in front of the George hotel. Apart from the unsightliness of its generally uneven surface there is one hole in particular which it admirably adapted for tripping any unwary passer-by, and either breaking the leg or spraining the ankle of the victim of municipal neglect.[8]

In September 1887 the publican successfully applied to open a second bar in the hotel:

Charles Forster, licensee of the George hotel, Lydiard street, applied for permission to have a second bar at his hotel. It was stated that this bar would be in the front of the premises, at the place now occupied by the commercial room.—The application was granted.[9]

In June 1889 Forster applied for permission to relocate the second bar:

Mr Charles Forster, licensee of the George hotel, applied to the Licensing Court yesterday for permission to change the second bar, granted to him at the last sittings of the court, to a room on the north side of the passage. No objection was offered, and the application was granted.[10]

In December 1893, the hotel unsuccessfully applied for a late night license:

Miss M. J. Fern, licensee of the George hotel, Lydiard street, applied to the annual sittings of the Licensing Court yesterday, for permission to keep the hotel open until 1.30 a.m. Mr H. S. Barrett, who appeared to support the application, urged that such a privilege would be a great convenience to mining men who arrived home by the late trains, but on its being pointed out that already there were four hotels in Lydiard street holding late licenses, the court refused the application[11]

The original hotel was demolished in 1902, and a new 75 room hotel was built, designed by Ballarat architects, E. and B. Smith.[12]

From a newspaper promotion in September 1905:

The George hotel, Lydiard-street, Ballarat, is a very handsome structure, and possesses all the comforts required by visitors and tourists -- hot and cold baths, fine dining-room and billiards rooms, and good stabling.[13]

In 1917 the hotel was issued with a special permit to serve alcohol with meals between 6.00pm and 8.00pm.[14]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Community[edit | edit source]

  • Ballaratshire Anti-Transportation Committee, meeting, September 1864[15]

Mining[edit | edit source]

Sporting[edit | edit source]

  • Ballarat and Creswick Creek Turf Club, meeting of stewards, 12 January 1857.[19]

The People[edit | edit source]

Publicans[edit | edit source]

Employees[edit | edit source]

  • Henry Brett, pantryman, May 1864.[6]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.georgehotelballarat.com.au/ George Hotel website
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 2, 1943, Ballarat
  3. 1855 'BALLARAT.', Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857), 13 January, p. 2. , viewed 17 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8778809
  4. 1856 'BALLARAT RACES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 17 December, p. 3. , viewed 08 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article250439388
  5. 1863 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 August, p. 3. , viewed 04 Oct 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72516204
  6. 6.0 6.1 1864 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 5 May, p. 2. , viewed 28 Jun 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66344680
  7. 1872 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 November, p. 2. , viewed 19 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article219195968
  8. 1883 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 December, p. 2. , viewed 20 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201620608
  9. 9.0 9.1 1887 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 3 September, p. 2. , viewed 08 Jun 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207774046
  10. 10.0 10.1 1889 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 June, p. 2. , viewed 17 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204045056
  11. 1893 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 2. , viewed 03 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209801684
  12. George Hotel, Victorian Heritage Database, http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/73
  13. 1905 'BALLARAT HOTELS.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 30 September, p. 5. , viewed 31 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89592275
  14. 1917 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 19 January, p. 4, viewed 30 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1591243
  15. 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 September, p. 3. , viewed 26 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66348289
  16. 1867 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 September, p. 4. , viewed 26 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112870720
  17. 17.0 17.1 1867 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 April, p. 4. , viewed 17 Feb 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112874048
  18. 1868 'SIR WILLIAM DON COMPANY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 April, p. 2. , viewed 23 Dec 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113602296
  19. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 9 January, p. 4. , viewed 08 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66040388
  20. The Geelong, Ballarat, and Creswick's Creek commercial directory and almanac for 1856 : with a map of Geelong, 1856.
  21. 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66042654
  22. 1857 'POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 July, p. 2. , viewed 31 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66043368
  23. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 2. , viewed 25 Jul 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048627
  24. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT. Friday, 18th June.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 21 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048774
  25. 1859 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 28 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66053306
  26. 1860 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 9 June, p. 3. , viewed 10 Sep 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66056337
  27. 1860 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 July, p. 4. , viewed 09 Apr 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66057047
  28. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 03 Oct 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66339909
  29. 1862 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 2, viewed 12 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66324917
  30. 1863 'BALLARAT WEST PUBLICANS' ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 4, viewed 10 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72514938
  31. 1864 'DISTRICT PUBLICANS' LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 4. , viewed 10 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66346137
  32. 1871 'CITY LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 September, p. 4. , viewed 28 Feb 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197566256
  33. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 4. , viewed 26 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201608890
  34. 1874 'CITY LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208250343
  35. 1875 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 21 Aug 2022, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200186441
  36. 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 3 June, p. 2. , viewed 26 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209715941
  37. 1893 'TRANSFERS OF LICENSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 September, p. 3. , viewed 18 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209796547
  38. 1917 'OBITUARY', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1884; 1914 - 1918), 21 June, p. 4. (DAILY.), viewed 02 Aug 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74575253
  39. 1940 'Advertising', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 16 March, p. 27. , viewed 03 Oct 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12434578
  40. Australian Electoral Roll, Victoria, 1942, Ballarat, Ballaarat.
  41. 2018, Kirkham, Rochelle, 'Community mourns Ballarat businessman with a big heart', Ballarat Courier 7 May 2018, viewed 7 May 2018, https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5384158/community-mourns-ballarat-businessman-with-a-big-heart/


External Links[edit | edit source]