Lester's Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Lester's Hotel
Lester's Hotel, (BMI Collection)
Town Ballarat
Street Sturt Street
Closed 1916
Known dates 1862-1916

Lester's Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1862-1916>.

In April 1867-1869 the hotel was known as Cameron's Hotel.[1]

Site[edit | edit source]

Lester's Hotel was in Sturt Street.[2] In 1868 a cottage in Albert Street was advertised as being adjacent to the hotel.[3]

Background[edit | edit source]

When the hotel closed in 1916, the Age newspaper reported:

A BALLARAT HOSTELRY. LESTER'S HOTEL CLOSED. BALLARAT, Monday. Hotel business was permanently closed at Lester's Hotel, Sturt-street, the occupier, Mr. J. Remington, having surrendered his licence owing to the prevailing depression. The hotel will probably not again be used in connection with the business of the licensed victualler, as it is proposed to convert the premises into a coffee palace, or remodel them for shop purposes. The hotel was established 50 years ago by Mr. J. Bellair, a member of the company of the celebrated tragedian. Mr. G. V. Brooke, who was drowned in the foundering on the steamship London in the Bay of Biscay. The property, which forms portion of the Rowland estate, passed in inter years into the tenancy of Mr. Alfred Lester, whose name has been borne for more than 40 years.[4]

The hotel's closure was even reported in the Perth newspapers:

THE MIGHTY FALLEN. LESTER'S HOTEL CLOSED. PALTRY COMPENSATION. MELBOURNE, This Day. This evening 139 hotels, which have either surrendered their licences, or have been compulsorily closed, will terminate their existence. Amongst the most notable is Lester's, of Ballarat, once one of the best known in the State. Business fell away so much that, the licensee had to give up. The compensation was only £175.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

In September 1864 the hotel was offered for sale:

LESTER'S HOTEL. BALLARAT. THE proprietor of the above hotel, being necessitated from declining health to relinquish one of the best paying businesses in the colony, respectfully requests TENDERS from parties for the purchase of the same. The tenders will remain open till 1st October. Terms can be known on application to Alfred Lester, Sturt street, Ballarat.[6]

In 1884, Robert Lewis, an old colonist of Ballarat, was found dead in his room at the hotel.[7]

In June 1887 the hotel was decorated with an illuminated V.R. in a circle to celebrate Queen Victoria's fifty year reign.[8]

In December 1900 the Weekly Times included this story about the hotel:

Ranking among the identities or "sights" of the Golden City, Lester's Hotel is known throughout the length and breadth of the colony. It dates from the early fifties, when the feverish rush for gold peopled the hills and dales of the district with thousands of eager fortune-hunters, who had to be fed and lodged in the interval of digging deep into Mother Earth. Lester's began small, but grew with the wealth and importance of the city which sprang up so suddenly, until at the present day the hotel is one of the largest in Victoria. Mr Stephen Seward, two years in charge of the big business, will be remembered as secretary for a considerable period of the Echuca Shire Council, in which position he gained a name and fame that have been of great service to him in his venture. Lester's, in Sturt street, has always been noted for Its qualities and conveniences, especially for small and large family parties, but quite latterly improvements and additions have been made which have made it better than ever. A splendid balcony and tower — from which latter a grand view is obtained — have been put on, giving a more striking appearance to the whole building. The old dining room is now used for billiards; and commercial travellers are well catered for with sample rooms and parlors. The old billiard room is now a dining hall, 75 feet by 25 feet, the whole of the furniture has been renewed, and the decorations throughout the extensive buildings lend brightness and color to the general effect. Added to these attractions is a pleasant and considerate host, who spares no effort to make pleasant the stay of all visitors who select Lester's as their abiding place.[9]

From a newspaper promotion in September 1905:

"Lester's" hotel, Sturt-street, Ballarat, is one of the leading hotels in Victoria, and possesses all the latest improvements. The premises are centrally situated, and electric trams pass the door every few minutes.[10]

In October 1905 the Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, was entertained at a dinner at the hotel:

This evening, at the close of the South street demonstration at the Alfred Hall the Mayors of the City and Town will entertain at supper at Lester's the Right Hon. Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister, Messrs Laurence Campbell, elocutionary adjudicator; George Grimm, musical adjudicator; and A. Wade, band adjudicator, together with officers of the South street committee.[11]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Mining[edit | edit source]

Sporting[edit | edit source]

  • Ballarat Rowing Club, August 1880.[17]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1867 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 April, p. 4. , viewed 17 Feb 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112874048
  2. 2.0 2.1 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
  3. 1868 'For sale', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1870; 1914 - 1918), 5 February, p. 1, viewed 16 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page12091317
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 1916 'A BALLARAT HOSTELRY.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 4 July, p. 5, viewed 30 January, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155157539
  5. 1916 'THE MIGHTY FALLEN.', The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), 30 December, p. 11 Edition: THIRD EDITION, viewed 30 January, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81348741
  6. 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 September, p. 3. , viewed 26 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66348289
  7. The Argus, 1 September 1884.
  8. 1887 'THE ILLUMINATIONS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 June, p. 4. , viewed 20 Dec 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207770406
  9. 9.0 9.1 1900 'Lester's Hotel.', Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), 1 December, p. 9. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE WEEKLY TIMES), viewed 21 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223441170
  10. 1905 'BALLARAT HOTELS.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 30 September, p. 5. , viewed 31 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89592275
  11. 1905 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 October, p. 2. , viewed 11 Mar 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209030127
  12. 1865 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 September, p. 4. , viewed 19 Nov 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112878618
  13. 1865 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 4. , viewed 04 Oct 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112865967
  14. 1862 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 July, p. 4. , viewed 29 Jun 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66325682
  15. 1865 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 4. , viewed 04 Oct 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112865967
  16. 1865 'MINING INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 June, p. 3. , viewed 03 Jul 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112887801
  17. 1880 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 13 August, p. 2. , viewed 29 Oct 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202514393
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 1875 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 25 Aug 2022, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200186441
  21. 1892 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 July, p. 2. , viewed 30 Jul 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204984320

External Links[edit | edit source]