Golden Well Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Golden Well Hotel
Picture needed
Town Mount Blowhard
Opened 1862
Known dates 1862-1877

The Golden Well Hotel was a hotel in Mount Blowhard, Victoria, 1862-1877>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Mount Blowhard.[1] It was described as being on the opposite corner to the Rose, Shamrock and Thistle Hotel.[2] In 1874 the hotel was described as being at the foot of Mount Blowhard, at the intersection of five roads, one of which is the Clunes and Avoca Road, about one mile from Miner's Rest. See map for the location matching the description.

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In February 1863 a man was charged after trying to pay for his drinks with an old miner's right. From the description of the case it appears that most of the people involved may have been illiterate and unable to read the document:

NOT AN EQUIVALENT.-George Brown was charged with passing a flash note, purporting to be a one pound note, to Mary Hannon, at Mount Blowhard. The prosecutrix deposed that she was barmaid the Golden Well Hotel, Mount Blowhard. On the previous night the prisoner had had several drinks in the house for himself and other persons. The worn-out miners-right now produced he gave witness for a note, and asked her to take the change out of that. She took it to her mistress and she saw at once that it was not all right. The prisoner insisted on receiving change, and took hold of witness. The prisoner here said he had the miners right only few minutes in his possession, and took it himself for a £1. Inspector Kabat said it very much resembled an Australasian bank note. Mr Clissold said Inspector Kabat had better not say so to the manager. Mounted Constable Corbett, of Miners' Rest, deposed that he arrested the prisoner and got the miner's right from the landlady of the hotel in question, who said she thought it was not a note. Witness was present. The prisoner behaved very violent, and took a brass candlestick to strike witness. Got assistance and secured the prisoner. The Bench remanded the accused.[3]

More information about the incident was revealed a couple of days later in court:

RATHER SUSPICIOUS.-George Brown, on remand, was charged with attempting to obtain money by false pretences by representing a miner's-right to be £1 note and asking change for the change. Morris Donovan, for the defence, deposed that he knew the accused, and on the previous Wednesday he was in company with him. He was drunk, and knew nothing of the affair. He did not recollect giving the prisoner either a miner's-right or a £1 note. He however had a miner's right in his pocket with some £1 notes. He could not say if he had the miner's-right in his pocket on Wednesday. He could not say that he gave it to the prisoner. The prisoner said he borrowed a £1 note from the witness, and he received the miner's-right and put it into his pocket and thought it was "all right," when he gave it to get changed. Mr Clissold said that the Bench had no doubt that the prisoner was guilty, as he was very violent and resisted the police. A clause in the Vagrant Act would just meet this case. He should go to gaol for six weeks.[4]

The publican then had Brown charged for damaging glasses and plates during his arrest:

Digby v Monaghan, for wilfully destroying glasses, plates, and other property at the Golden Well Hotel, Mount Blowhard. The damage was estimated at £1 10s. The row was occasioned during the arrest of the prisoner in the last case. Mr Clissold remarked that it appeared that the prisoner performed a sort of war dance in the house, fined 20s and 35s damages or seven days in gaol.[4]

In March 1863 the publican, Thomas Digby, was granted permission for an extension of hours for a supper to be held at the hotel.[5]

In January 1865 the publican took action against a man who had kicked in the hotel door:

Digby v Mulqueen, damaging the door of the Golden Well Hotel, Miners' Rest. The defendant had broken open the door at an early hour that morning, when refused admission to obtain drink. He was fined £2 and 33s damages, or in default, seven days' imprisonment.[6]

In June 1865 Denis Cleary was charged with causing damage at the hotel:

On Monday, before Messrs Thomas Learmonth and James Baird, Justices of the Peace, Denis Cleary was charged with having on the 15th instant, destroyed the private property of Thomas Digby, of the Golden Well Hotel. He was fined ls and 11s damages. On a second charge of having been drunk in a public place, he was fined 5s or twenty four hours' imprisonment. The same prisoner was further charged with destroying the uniform of Constable Gibson to the value of 7s, and was fined 1s and 7s damages.[7]

One week later in June 1865, John McDonald was charged with several offences at Mount Blowhard:

On Monday, before Mr James Baird, J.P., John M'Donald was charged with having maliciously broken a window, the property of Thomas Digby, of the Golden Well Hotel, on the 16th inst. Sentenced to twenty-four hours' imprisonment. (Mr Thomas Bath, J.P., here joined the Bench.) The same prisoner was then charged with having used obscene language in a public place, at Mount Blowhard, on the 24th inst., for this offence he was fined £1 or one week's imprisonment. A third charge was then preferred against the prisoner for having, on the 24th inst., stolen a side of mutton from Margaret Muir, at Mount Blowhard Hotel, value 7s 6d. The Bench sentenced the prisoner to one week's imprisonment, to commence at the expiration of previous sentences.[8]

In April 1867 there was a wedding at the hotel:

WARD—POTTER.—On the 1st April, 1867, at the Golden Well Hotel, Blowhard, Victoria by the Rev. W. Smythe, Mary A. Glenham Potter, youngest daughter of the late W. J. Glenham Potter, of Launceston, Tasmania, to Thomas Ward, late of Lurgan, Ireland.[9]

In November 1868 Thomas Buttery complained about another hotel to the Ballaratshire:

From Thomas Buttery, of the Golden Well-hotel, Ascot, bringing under the notice of the council an encroachment on the public road by Mrs Mary Robinson, of the Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle hotel, extending her promises on to the said road. Such encroachment the writer considered not only an annoyance to himself but detrimental to his business.—Mr Buttery appeared in support of his letter, which was referred to the engineer for action and report.[10]

The matter was resolved by the next council meeting:

The encroachment on the main Amherst road, near the Golden Well hotel, complained of by Mr Buttery, at the council's last meeting, had been removed by the shifting of such part of the building as stood on the road for a short time.[11]

The hotel was offered for sale in 1869:

LOT THREE.—Portion nine of the parish of Ascot, in the county of Ripon, in the colony of Victoria, containing by admeasurement fifty-one acres and thirty-three perches, be the same more or less. Upon this land is erected a weatherboard and iron building known as the Goldon Well Hotel, and also a butcher's shop adjoining,[12]

The hotel and farm was put up for sale in July 1874 by the magistrate's court:

SATURDAY, 1st AUGUST, At Twelve o'clock. SALE BY AUCTION ; OF A VALUABLE 51-ACRE FARM, PARISH OF ASCOT, Formerly known as the Golden Well Hotel Property, at the foot of Blowhard, on the Clunes, Avoca, and Smeaton Roads, and occupied by Mr Thomas Buttery. MUST BE SOLD. By. Order of Magistrate. JAMES ODDIE and CO. are instructed by the mortgagee to sell by auction on Saturday, 1st August, at Twelve o'clock, at their office. FARM, known as portion 9, parish of Ascot, county of Talbot, containing 51 acres and 33 perches, on which are a Seven-roomed Weatherboard House, formerly the Golden Well Hotel, Five-roomed Cottage, Stable, &c., fenced with a post-and-rail fence ; perfectly cleared, and now under grass; excellent agricultural land, and well situated, being at the foot of Mount Blowhard, and at the junction of five roads, and adjoining Mr Clarke's estate.[13]

In July 1875 the hotel was the venue for coursing, with the Dowling Forest Cup events. The event chased hares around paddocks near Mount Hollowback.[14]

The publican was found dead outside the hotel in August 1877:

SUDDEN DEATH.—A very sudden death, the cause of which is as yet unknown, occurred (says the Ballarat Courier) near Mount Blowhard on Saturday morning. A publican named Barber, landlord of the Golden Well Hotel, and a resident in the above-named locality, went out of his house in order to harness up his horses. He was not seen again until some person passing by found him lying dead near the horses.[15]

In October 1881 the Deep Leads and Quartz Mining Company were attempting to attract investors to their plans to search for gold on the Dowling Forest Estate. They commissioned Norman Taylor to survey the gold leads. His report mentions a shaft dug at the hotel:

"...The depth shown, by the bore on the Ballarat racecourse (south of Mount Pisgah), and also in the shaft at the Golden Well Hotel, although indicating a lead, and probably the main one, is on the south side of the Main Dividing Range..."[16]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

Publicans[edit | edit source]

  • In June 1862 a license for a new hotel was granted to Thomas Digby.[17]
  • In November 1867 the publican's license was granted to Thomas Buttery.[19]
    • It was renewed in September 1871 and December 1872.[2][1]
  • In August 1877 the publican was Barber.[15]

Barmaids[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1872 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 December, p. 3. , viewed 19 Apr 2016,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1871 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 September, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1863 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 20 February, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1863 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 February, p. 4. , viewed 22 Dec 2023,
  5. 1863 'LEARMONTH POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 31 March, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  6. 1865 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 January, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  7. 1865 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 June, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  8. 8.0 8.1 1865 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 June, p. 4. , viewed 02 Sep 2019,
  9. 1927 'Family Notices', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 1 April, p. 1. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  10. 1868 'BALLARATSHIRE COUNCIL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 10 November, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  11. 1868 'BALLARATSHIRE COUNCIL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 November, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  12. 1869 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 February, p. 3. , viewed 25 Sep 2016,
  13. 1874 'Advertising', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1886; 1914 - 1918), 31 July, p. 3. , viewed 22 Dec 2023,
  14. 1875 'COURSING.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 10 July, p. 7. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  15. 15.0 15.1 1877 'MAILS OUTWARD', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 14 August, p. 2. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  16. 1881 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 8 October, p. 3. , viewed 23 Dec 2023,
  17. 1862 'LEARMONTH POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 3. , viewed 18 Jan 2020,
  18. 1864 'LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 July, p. 3. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,
  19. 1867 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 November, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2023,

External Links[edit | edit source]