Kangaroo Hotel (Berringa)

From Hotels of Ballarat
Kangaroo Hotel
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Town Berringa
Known dates 1879-1906
Other names O'Farrell's Hotel

The Kangaroo Hotel was a hotel at Berringa, Victoria, <1879-1906.

Background[edit | edit source]

In May 1906 the publican, Thomas O'Farrell, applied to have the name changed to O'Farrell's Hotel.[1]

The hotel surrendered its license in 1917:

That the old Kangaroo hotel at Berringa is to spring clean off its tail on 31st December, never to return any more. The present owner, Mrs Collins, is surrendering.[2]

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was at Berringa.[1] In 1914 the hotel was described as being on the north east corner of a block: "Allotment 4, sec. 6, is perhaps better known to residents as the Kangaroo hotel."[3] This site is the corner of of Derwent Jacks and Snow Gum Road.[4] In 1882 it was described as being next to the Prince Alfred Hotel.[5]

Map[edit | edit source]

Approximate position:

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History[edit | edit source]

In February 1882, Timothy Maher, another Berringa publican was arrested on a charge of trying to burn down the hotel:

SUPPOSED INCENDIARISM. At the Smythesdale Police Court on Tuesday, before Mayor Proctor, and Mr John Lynch, J.P., Timothy Maher, proprietor of the Prince Alfred hotel, Kangaroo, was brought up on bail, charged with having unlawfully and feloniously set fire to the dwelling of one William Bryson, at Kangaroo, on Friday, the 10th instant, Mary Bryson and other persons being in the house at the time. Mr Gaunt appeared for the accused. The prosecution was conducted by Senior-constable Crampton.

Ann Cicironi, deposed, that she was a married woman, and lived at Kangaroo. Know the prisoner Timothy Maher, also William Bryson. Remembered Thursday, the 9th instant was at Bryson’a all that day and stopped there that night. Went to bed about half-past 12 on Friday morning; got up at 3 o’clock to have a smoke, and was sitting at the side of the kitchen door, beside the fireplace. One of the boards between the kitchen and fireplace was open about a foot. Looked through the opening—it was bright moonlight—and saw the prisoner coming from the direction of a tree with fire. The fire was of red coals, and was either on a shovel or piece of iron. I turned away, and in about five minutes after I heard three cracks as of fire; about three minutes after I saw a blaze through the side of the window, the end furthest from the Prince of Wales hotel. (A plan of the premises, prepared by Constable Allen, was here produced.) The window looks towards prisoner's hotel. I then called Mr Bryson, and he jumped out of bed, and went outside. I followed him. He (Bryson) threw a bucket of water on the fire. I knew the prisoner for about five years. I used to be in his employment. When coming towards Bryson's house he was dressed in black, and I saw his face distinctly. Had two half gallons of beer during the day. Six persons drank the first, and five drank the other. Cross-examined —My husband is a charcoal burner, and comes home sometimes once a week, and sometimes once a fortnight. I (witness) went to Bryson's on the Tuesday before the fire. The Brysons took the house from the prisoner. There was a spree on the evening I came to Bryson's. I was not drunk. Some persons had been throwing stones at the house (Bryson's) on Wednesday and Thursday. There is a broken fence between the prisoner's and Bryson’s house.
William Bryson deposed that he was a miner, living at Kangaroo. (The witnesses' previous depositions were here read.) In consequence of what I saw and heard, I gave the prison in charge for setting fire to the house. I found that a candlebox had been placed on two sods and a brick, and laid against the house (remains of box produced). I had my eyelashes and whiskers burned whilst putting the fire out. Was sober at the time. Saw the previous witness (Ciceroni) when I went home; she was quite sober. I knew the prisoner, and never had a row with him.
Thomas Dennis deposed that he was a miner, living at Kangaroo. Had been living with the Bryson's off and on for the last 13 years. Was at his place on the 9th instant. Slept there that night. The fire occurred on Friday, a little after 12 o'clock. I was perfectly sober when I went to bed. Saw no one drunk in the house that night. Cross-examined —Denis —— was at the place on Tuesday with Muir, I cannot say whether Muir was sober or not. He (Muir) went back to Happy Valley on Friday morning. He did not sleep with me on Thursday night.
Mary Bryson deposed that she was the wife of William Bryson. On Thursday night there were five persons in the house. Witness corroborated her husband's evidence. Mary deposed that she was the licensee of the Kangaroo hotel, and had supplied the first witness with 4s worth of beer on the 9th inst.
Mounted-constable Allen deposed that he was a police constable, stationed at Staffordshire Reef. Remembered Friday, the 10th last., and in consequence of what he heard went to Kangaroo on that day, accompanied by William Bryson. Saw the prisoner, who was sitting in his bar. I called him (the prisoner) into the bar parlor with Bryson, and said to him Wm. Bryson charges you with having set fire to bis house at half-past 3 this morning, and insists on giving you into custody. I then arrested the prisoner and cautioned him. The prisoner replied, "Is a man not at liberty to walk at any hour of the night be chooses for the protection of his property?" "I know nothing of the charge made against me." I then took him to the police station at Staffordshire Reef. On the way the prisoner remarked that “ Bryson's drunken mob are an annoyance to one." Cross examined— I have heard that the first witness Cicironi is a woman of drunken habits. In my opinion the burning of the place would not endanger the prisoner’s own hotel. The prisoner told him (witness) that the Bryon's had obtained no drink at his (prisoner's) hotel that day.

The bench considered that a prima faci case had been made out, and committed the prisoner to take his trial at the Ballarat Assizes, on the 14th July. Bail was allowed to the sum of £200.[5]

The hotel had 27 rooms, including 14 bedrooms.[4] It is claimed that it had the longest bar in Australia, 76 yards (69.5 metres) long. There are stories of the local miners having foot races along the length the bar.[4][6]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

In February 1879 the hotel was the venue for a public meeting, which resolved to ask the Minister of Education to build a new, bigger, and more centrally located school. The existing school at Moonlight was overcrowded.[7]

A community meeting was scheduled at the hotel in February 1879, to discuss replacing the fence around the Staffordshire Reef Cemetery, which had been destroyed by a bush fire.[7]

In 1880 the hotel was the venue for a fund raising concert:

An entertainment consisting of songs and readings, in aid of the funds of the reading room at Berringa, was given at the Kangaroo hotel on Wednesday evening, and was fairly attended; Mr Baker efficiently occupied the chair. The following gentlemen carried out the programme;—Messrs Baker, Nankerville, Williams, Sawyer, Coates, Prentice, and the Masters Debbie, with songs; Messrs Baker and Haig, with readings; and Mr Davidson well pleased the audience with hornpipe dancing. Some of the songs were capitally sung; eliciting encores, more particularly Mr Sawyer’s in character, Mr Young played the accompaniments.[8]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1906 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 5 May, p. 15, viewed 26 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189374276
  2. 1917 'It is said.', Berringa Herald (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 8 December, p. 3, viewed 30 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119786580
  3. 1914 'The Common', Berringa Herald (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 18 July, p. 2, viewed 30 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129365096
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Berringa Historic Walk, http://berringa.com.au/uploads/Beringa_Historic_Walk.pdf.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 1882 'SUPPOSED INCENDIARISM.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 February, p. 3. , viewed 01 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200667025
  6. 1917 'TOWN DISAPPEARING.', Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 - 1954), 13 December, p. 3 Edition: Daily, viewed 30 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89300246
  7. 7.0 7.1 1879 'BERRINGA.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 February, p. 2, viewed 30 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200132664
  8. 1880 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 August, p. 2, viewed 8 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202514640
  9. 1879 'PIGGOREET LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 12 December, p. 4, viewed 7 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199821658
  10. 1881 'TOWN COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 December, p. 4. , viewed 12 Jul 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202597811
  11. Victoria Police Gazette Indexes. CD-ROM. Ridgehaven, South Australia: Gould Genealogy and History
  12. 1884 'SCARSDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 4. , viewed 01 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207630518

External Links[edit | edit source]