Guiding Star Hotel

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Guiding Star Hotel
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Known dates 1865-1920

The Guiding Star Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1865-1920.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Guiding Star Hotel was described as being on the Sebastopol Road (now known as Skipton Street) in 1865[1], and in Sebastopol in 1915.[2] When sold in 1920 it was described as being in Redan.[3]

Background[edit | edit source]

The early history of the area was described in a newspaper article in 1896 on the famous Guiding Star gold line:

Few, perhaps, of the present generation of mining inventors are thoroughly acquainted with the history of this celebrated Guiding Star line. It may be stated, therefore, that the lode takes its name from the old Guiding Star Hotel, which was a leading public house in the sixties and early seventies. In those days the southern portion of Ballarat West, right along to Sebastopol and on to the Bonshaw paddock, was a dense bush, in which King King Billy and his aboriginal band of dusky followers held corroboree and feasted on roast kangaroo and opossum. As a beacon for wayfarers the then landlord of the Guiding Star Hotel erected a neatsfoot oil lamp over the entrance to his premises, naming the light the "guiding star," Later a small co-operative party of diggers, of which Mr. William Hicks, late manager of the Star of the East Company, was "boss," took up from the St. George Company a block of ground adjacent to the hotel, on which they sunk a shaft to prospect for the run of reef wash being worked by the Sir William Don, Kohinoor and Band and Albion companies. The party named their small claim the Guiding Star, after the hotel, and during their operations in search of the wash they struck a reef from 2 to 4 feet wide, which was subsequently known as the Guiding Star lode. The reef proved payable, and is now called the Star of the East No. 2 line. [4]

History[edit | edit source]

The hotel publican's wife was robbed in December 1866:

DWELLING-HOUSE DEPREDATIONS,--Robert Cato, alias Curley, was charged with having stolen a box containing various articles of jewellery from the Guiding Star hotel, Sebastopol road. Mrs Wilson, the wife of the landlord, deposed that on the morning of 5th November, she left a box, containing the jewellery, in her room near the window, and she afterwards missed it. The piece of chain produced was her property, although since it had been taken away it had been altered. Her husband's evidence was taken, after which a witness named Doyle deposed to having seen the prisoner in the neighborhood of the hotel on the morning of the robbery. Solomon Jacobs, a dealer, Main street, the purchaser of the chain for the sum of 7s 6d, was next called, but he could not identify the prisoner as the man from whom he had purchased it. He said he could not remember what the man was like, but he was sure he was not a Chinaman. There not being sufficient evidence to support the charge in this case the prisoner was discharged. There was a second charge against the prisoner of having stolen a lady's brooch and two rings, of the total value of about £3, from the dwelling of a miner named Gummaw, at Sebastopol. Sufficient evidence having been produced for a prima facie case, it was remanded for a week for further evidence. The brooch which had been stolen was found in the prisoner's house, his wife stating that she had bought it from a Chinese at the door.[5]

In February 1902 there was a serious assault in the hotel:

During a disturbance that occurred at the Guiding Star Hotel, Sebastopol, on Wednesday night, whilst four young men —Henry Luke, John Grant, D. Crimmins, and Owen Murray—were in the bar, the latter received a blow from one of his companions that rendered him unconscious. He appears to have been left on the floor for a while, but subsequently was taken home. On Thursday morning his injuries appeared so serious that he was conveyed to the hospital. The Redan police were apprised of the affair, and they, with Detective Rogerson, inquired into it. Gunn when seen admitted that he struck Murray, and expressed regret that any serious result had happened. It is stated that Murray gave offence to Gunn.[6]

A REDAN EPISODE. TROUBLE IN A HOTEL. A MAN’S JAW FRACTURED. HIS CONDITION SERIOUS. Yesterday there was taken to the Hospital a man named Owen Murray, aged 40 years, a miner, residing at Redan, who was suffering from what was subsequently found to be a fractured jaw. From the peculiar circumstances surrounding the case, and the fact that no person seemed to know anything as to how Murray sustained his injuries, the matter came under the notice of the Redan police, who communicated with Detective Rogerson. This officer proceeded to the Hospital, but owing to his injuries Murray was able to say very little. He, however, wrote on a slip of paper to the effect that he had been brutally assaulted, and he named two men as his assailants. With this clue to work upon Rogerson and Constable Hooley set out to sift the matter to the bottom. They ascertained that Murray was employed at the Star of the East mine, and had knocked off work on Wednesday afternoon, and had gone to the Guiding Star hotel. Here the names of these persons in whose company Murray had been on the previous day were ascertained, and the first seen was John Maloney, a boot maker, who stated that he was at the hotel, but did not see anything occur, and, indeed, made out that he knew nothing of the affair at all. His statement was taken down in writing, but he refused to sign it. The police then interviewed John Grant, miner, who is said to be also an ex-constable. Grant stated that he was at the hotel in company with Henry Luke, John Crimmins, and Owen Murray. They were in the parlor drinking, but there was no argument. He did not see anyone strike Murray. He heard that Murray fell down after leaving the hotel, and was brought into the room, but he could not say who told him so. He saw Murray lying on the floor of the hotel, but did not know how that person got there. Murray was very drunk, and he (Grant) also had some liquor. Thus far the police had not got much headway, but the next man they saw, Henry Luke, was able to and did clear up the whole matter, so far as the source of Murray’s injuries were concerned. Luke, who was perfectly open and candid about the affair, said that he was at the hotel with Grant, Crimmins, and Murray from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the 5th inst. They were in the parlor, and Murray wanted to fight him. Murray said, "You are the best man in the world," and "shaped up" to him, but he pushed the man away, not desiring to fight. Murray, however, was persistent, and again put his hands up, and then Luke struck him a blow on the jaw which knocked him down. Murray was down for some minutes, and then a man named J. Brown, together with Grant, picked him up and placed him on the sofa, and subsequently Brown took him home. Luke expressed his sorrow at what had occurred, and to the detective and Constable Hooley said that he had had no intention of hurting Murray. When the blow was struck Grant and Crimmins were present, and Maloney was just entering the room. It is but fair to Luke to say that he, so far as is known, concealed nothing. The injured man Murray, on being admitted to the Hospital, was examined by Dr Bennett, who however, owing to the state of the man’s face, could not tell whether the injury was a dislocation or fracture. Later in the afternoon, however, Murray was put under chloroform, and a detailed examination was made by Dr Pinnock. The result of this examination disclosed that the jaw was badly fractured just below the ear and Murray will probably be in the Hospital for some time.[7]

A disturbance which recently took place at the Guiding Star Hotel, Sebastopol, was mentioned at the City Police Court on Thursday, when Constable Hooley proceeded against Harry Luke for assault. The principal witness, Owen Murray, who, it is alleged, was struck by the accused, was unable to be present. Sub-Inspector Steel said this man was suffering from a fractured jaw and an abscess, and he asked for an adjournment. Mr. Ulbrick, M.B., of the hospital residential staff, stated that when he last saw Murray there was no appearance of an abscess on his face. Mr. Johns, P.M., considered that Murray should have been in court in giving a statement as to what witnesses had been subpoenaed by the police, Constable Hooley said it was not intended to call James Cullen, who was present, when the alleged assault was committed, as he Cullen, could not give favourable evidence for the prosecution. The case was adjourned, with £1/1/ costs against complainant.[8]

In June 1904 there was trouble at the hotel which required the police to intervene:

Constable Serpell proceeded against a man named Charles Robertson on a charge of using insulting language in a public place. The constable stated that some nights ago he was called to the Guiding Star Hotel, where the accused and some others were creating a row. Serpell ordered Robertson off the premises. On going outside he went down the street, and when several yards away he turned round and called out, "Come on Serpell you ___" The accused did not appear. The P.M.—Do you know why the defendant is not here? Constable Serpell—I hear that he has cleared out. and I believe he has, too. Mr Murphy—He is fined £1, or 7 days’ imprisonment.[9]

In May 1910 the publican was assaulted by a customer at the hotel:

VIOLENT ASSAULT. A PUBLICAN MALTREATED. THE OFFENDER HEAVILY FINED. At the Sebastopol Court yesterday, Patrick Duggan was charged with unlawfully assaulting Fredk. G. Moore, licensee of the Guiding Star hotel, Redan, and with using obscene language. Mr H. M. Murphy, P.M., and Mr Madden, J.P., were on the bench and Sub-Inspector Ryan prosecuted. Accused pleaded guilty to both charges.

Dr Champion gave evidence that on the 9th. inst. he was called to the Guiding Star, hotel, and found Mr Moore suffering from injuries to the head and ribs. The injury to the ribs could have been caused by a kick. There were marks on the neck, and a swelling near the ear. Fredk. George Moore, licensee of the Guiding Star, said the accused came to his place at 2 p.m. on the 9th inst. with a companion named Murphy, who was so drunk that witness refused to serve them. At that accused assaulted him, knocking him down. Witness tried to get up several times, but accused knocked him down each time, and kicked him in the ribs. Witness said, "For God’s sake, give me a chance. You’ll kill me." Witness gave him no provocation whatever. He was slightly drunk, and it was the first time he had been at the hotel for two years. Duggan—Why didn’t you serve me? Witness—I refused to serve the other man. To Mr Murphy—He (witness) had known accused for years, but there had been no bad blood between them. When Duggan came in first he said, "Give Murphy a drink." Witness replied. "I won't. He's drunk, and he has to go to work."
Jacob Dilges, laborer, residing in Redan, said he was in the hotel when accused and Murphy came in. He heard Duggan ask for a drink, and also heard the licensee refuse. Duggan swore at the licensee, and hit him, knocking him down. When Moore got up he was bleeding like a pig. It was a cowardly attack. To Duggan—They both fell on the floor and rolled about. Mr Murphy—How can you account for the lump on the face ? Witness—I was looking out of the bar at the time. Mr Murphy—Do you mean to say you were looking outside while the fight was going on? (Laughter.) Constable Hooley deposed to going to the Guiding Star hotel. Moore was bleeding, and complained about being knocked down and kicked. Accused when arrested, was muddled with drink.

Accused made a statement to the effect that Murphy asked him to go to the hotel for a drink. Moore refused to serve them and witness must have got excited. He did not remember hitting the complainant. He was very sorry it happened, and asked for leniency as he was a married man. Duggan, who admitted one prior conviction, was fined £3 for the assault, with £1 7s costs, and £2 for the obscene language, in default 10 days’ imprisonment. Accused asked for time to pay. The Sub-Inspector objected, and pointed out that the bench had no power to grant time in cases of obscene language. Accused would have to remain in custody for three days, which was the alternative of the fine for obscene language. The bench decided to give accused 24 hours to find the money for the assault charge.[10]

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. Licensing district hearings for hotels on this list were to be held at the Ballarat Supreme Court on 11 May.[2] In March 1920 the hotel was again included on a list of hotels to have their licenses cancelled. The hearings of the Licensing Court were heard in the Ballarat Supreme Court:

In the case of the Guiding Star Hotel, Sebastopol, Mr. A. W. Long appeared for the licensee, Margaret Andrews, and Mr J. B. Pearson for the owners, the Ballarat Brewing Company. Licensing Inspector Robinson deposed that there were nine hotels in the Sebastopol licensing district, of which three had been listed. Two of these, the Exchange and the National, were close together, and he really thought that one should be left. To Mr Pearson —The National was in the best position, but the Exchange was the superior building. Senior Constable M'Farlane said there were nine rooms in the Guiding Star Hotel, three of which were bedrooms for public use. Most of the rooms were poorly furnished. The house was well conducted, and there was no conviction against the present licensee. He considered that the Guiding Star and Exchange Hotels in Sebastopol should be closed. Constable Blanchfield tendered corroborative evidence, and said the population about the Guiding Star Hotel was very scanty. Margaret Andrews, licensee of the Guiding Star Hotel, gave evidence with regard to the accommodation at the house, and witnesses testified that the place was a necessity in the locality.[11]

In March 1919 the hotel was broken into:

ROYSTERERS INVADE HOTEL BALLARAT, Saturday. When Mr F. W. Moore, licensee of the Guiding Star Hotel, Sebastopol, reached his hotel this morning, he found the bar door open, empty bottles lying about the bar, and blood-stains on the counter and floor. It was evident that a party of roysterers had entered the hotel and spent the evening consuming more than £3 worth of liquor. The police are inquiring.[12]

The hotel was sold in November 1920 for £297 10/-, one of six de-licensed hotels owned by the Ballarat Brewing Company.[3]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1865 'Advertising.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1870; 1914 - 1918), 25 August, p. 3, viewed 13 March, 2014,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1915 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 23 March, p. 10, viewed 13 February, 2014,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1920 'DELICENSED HOTELS SOLD.', The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), 26 November, p. 8, viewed 4 May, 2015,
  4. 1896 'MINING AT BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 13 November, p. 7. , viewed 04 Oct 2021,
  5. 1866 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 22 May 2022,
  6. 1902 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 7 February, p. 6. , viewed 04 Oct 2021,
  7. 1902 'A REDAN EPISODE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 February, p. 2. , viewed 02 Nov 2022,
  8. 1902 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 7 March, p. 6. , viewed 04 Oct 2021,
  9. 1904 'INSULTING LANGUAGE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 June, p. 3. , viewed 14 Jun 2020,
  10. 10.0 10.1 1910 'VIOLENT ASSAULT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 May, p. 4. , viewed 02 Oct 2021,
  11. 11.0 11.1 1920 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 March, p. 3. , viewed 16 Jun 2019,
  12. 1919 'ROYSTERERS INVADE HOTEL', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 1 March, p. 7. , viewed 04 Oct 2021,
  13. 1881 'THE ANNUAL LICENSING MEETINGS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 3. , viewed 13 Jun 2019,
  14. 1882 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 March, p. 2. , viewed 21 Jul 2019,
  15. 1889 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 June, p. 2. , viewed 17 Aug 2019,
  16. 1890 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 October, p. 2. , viewed 10 Jan 2020,
  17. 1896 'OBITUARY NOTICES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 30 November, p. 4. , viewed 03 Feb 2018,

External Links[edit | edit source]