Mack's Hotel (Victoria Street)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Family Hotel.
Mack's Hotel
Ballarat Historical Society
Town Ballarat
Street 43 Victoria Street
Known dates 1856-1943
Demolished 1971
Google maps 37°33'44.2"S 143°51'59.5"E

Mack's Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat East, Victoria, <1856-1943>, also known as Mack's Family Hotel.

Site[edit | edit source]

Mack's Hotel was in Melbourne Road[1], which was later renamed Victoria Street.[2] The site in 2021 was the car park of a Pizza Hut.

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was most likely named after its publican, George McKay.

History[edit | edit source]

Mack's Hotel, 1914

In June 1858, the license was granted with a caution:

Michael Mack, Macks Hotel, Melbourne Road. Granted, with the information that unless the house was enlarged the license would not be renewed next year. The same remark to other licensed victuallers whose premises were inadequate to the wants of the public.[3]

In January 1861, Michael Mack was fined for having an unlicense bagatelle table:

The Queen v Mack for having a bagatelle table on his premise without a license. Mr Dunne, for the prosecution said that if the defendant, who had been summoned for not having bagatelle table and night licenses, would agree to take out licenses, he would withdraw the prosecution. Mr Cuthbert appeared for defendant Mack, who was fined 1s and 20s costs and agreed to remove the table.[4]

In May 1866 a six year old girl was charged and then gaoled for stealing onions from the hotel's store:

THE EFFECT OF EXAMPLE.-Mary Ann Sheldon, a little girl about six years of age, was charged with having on Saturday evening stolen a few onions about sixpenny worth-from the door of Mr M'Mananany's shop in Victoria street. The prosecutor, a hotelkeeper and storekeeper, deposed that he had frequently had onions stolen from bags at the door of his shop. On Saturday evening he marked with a cross half a dozen onions which were lying on top of the bag. He then stationed himself on the balcony overlooking the footpath, and he saw the accused and a boy taking onions from the bag. The children were accompanied by their mother, and on passing the door they suddenly put their hands into the bag. Witness immediately went down to the front and caught hold of the girl when he found three of the marked onions in her possession. The boy ran away. The prosecutor's assistant, E. O'Donnell, deposed to having seen the prosecutor taking an onion from the girl. The mother of the children was called by Mr Vining, who appeared for the defence, when she positively deposed that the prosecutor took no onions from the girl. She was cautioned as to what she said, as an information for perjury might be laid against her; but she persisted in the statement, which was accordingly taken down in writing and sworn to. The accused was ordered to be imprisoned for forty-eight hours. The mother of the child, who was evidently the cause of the theft, was then cautioned that her evidence might be used against her.[5]

In April 1867 a ball was held at the hotel:

A GRAND BALL and SUPPER will be held at Mack's Hotel, Melbourne road, on Easter Tuesday, 23rd April, 1867. Tickets to admit Lady and Gentleman, 10s 6d. Michl. M'Manamny, Proprietor.[6]

The hotel's license was reviewed by the Licensing Court in June 1888:

Mack’s hotel - Michael Grey, licensee ; William Bones, agent for trustee, Bishop Moore. A two-story brick building, 13 rooms; fairly good accommodation; chiefly a bar business; fairly well conducted: a four stall stable; and nine beds for the public...Michael Grey, licensee of Mack’s Family hotel, said he had a large country connection. He supplied about four beds a night, and had occasional boarders. Charles Fitzgerald, grocer, gave evidence as to the business.[7]

On 29 June 1888, the Licensing Court determined that this hotel and another 42 should be de-licensed.[2] This process was legally challenged by Richard Woofe of the Robert Burns Hotel.[8] A new local options poll was held, and Mack's Hotel was not closed, and was still open in 1943.[2]

In July 1906, the young daughter of the publican was knocked down by the Buninyong stage coach near the hotel:

ACCIDENT TO A CHILD. A NARROW ESCAPE. A child-named Grace Maloney, aged 3 years, daughter of the licensee of Mack's Hotel, Victoria street, had a narrow escape from fatal injuries to-day. She was in the roadway at the intersection of Victoria and Humffray streets, when the Buninyong coach came along and knocked her down. When picked up the youngster was taken to Dr. Champion's surgery, where it was ascertained that she had sustained severe bruises and scratches, and that the forefinger on her right hand was broken. Fortunately, the wheels of the vehicle did not pass over her body, the injuries she received being, caused by the horse's hoofs.[9]

In December 1914 the Ballarat Star reported on the renovations at the hotel:

MACK'S HOTEL VICTORIA STREET. It is not generally known that one of the show hotels of Ballarat is Mr M'Mananiny's modest looking property in Victoria street, just a few doors east of Humffray street. The place has been completely re-modelled since the present proprietor took charge, and a wonderful transformation has been effected. Money has not been spared to make everything as choice and comfortable as possible, and the rooms are models of high class artistic working, and good taste and the appointments are most complete to match. Beautiful violet and pale blue leadlight windows have been installed throughout by Melbourne's leading manufacturer in this line, and the two large windows in the bar would beautify, any edifice. The paneling, skirtings, and mantels are choicely papered with quaint friezes, while the ceilings are of stained metal. In the passage is a high border of repoussé work, in an aesthetic shade of brown, while the stair pillars are covered with handsome designs in beaten copper. Similar hammered copper designs ornament the chimney pieces, augmented in some cases with pretty house tiles. The dining-room boasts of a massive oak sideboard and mantelpiece to match, the cane chairs in the sittingroom are very comfortable, and the parlor and bar in fact the whole building speaks of restfulness and comfort. About the bar and public rooms pot plants in handsome brass jardinieres, contribute to the general aesthetic appearance. Only the best brands of liquors are stocked and the many friends who drop in for a quiet drink and chat receive a warm welcome and a glass of "the best." from the unassuming host. The billiard room is in keeping with the rest of the house, is large and roomy excellently lighted with electricity and well fitted up. There are two well kept tables upon, which it is a pleasure to play and the "cush" will take all the side imparted by the cueist to the ball. Off the passage is a cool fernery furnished with lounge chairs and lawns, nicely painted cyclone fences, make the back garden and yard quite a picture. Taken all around "Mack's" hotel is readily an ideal home in the city, and yet away from it. The general appointments are perfect, and visitors will find their highest desire fulfilled both in cleanliness, quietness, and comfort at "Mack's," a property that has been in the one family for over 60 years.[10]

In February 1916, the publican Thomas Francis Macmanamny was charged with serving soldiers in the hotel during prohibited hours:

SOLDIERS AND DRINK. BALLARAT HOTELS RAIDED. BALLARAT, Wednesday. In Ballarat East court to-day, Annie Mong, licensee of the Red Lion Hotel, Main-road, was fined £1, with £2 9/6 costs, on a charge of Sunday trading. Defendant pleaded guilty, and a prior conviction was admitted. Thomas Francis Macmanamny, of Mac's Hotel, Victoria-street, charged with having traded during prohibited hours, was also fined £2, with £2 9/6 costs. It was alleged that in each case drink had been served to soldiers, and evidence for the prosecution was given by the military police.

Mr. J. M. Kirkpatrick said Inspector Sampson, licensing officer attached to the local police force, knew nothing of the cases before the court. The men, who were to give evidence had been sent to Ballarat by the Defence department to find out what hotels were serving soldiers during prohibited hours. Many hotels had been visited, and only a few of the proprietors had been charged. The men themselves knew nothing regarding the nature of their mission, except that it was military duty; they had had no idea they were to be brought as witnesses. The Defence department had been put to great expense to train men to fight; but men could not, as the bench knew, train on beer. The Minister of Defence had referred the reports to the Chief Secretary, who passed them on to the Commissioner of Police, and they had come to Ballarat in the ordinary way. Mr. R. Murphy, P.M., said it was a serious matter to serve soldiers with drink. The court, however, was not concerned with the methods of the Defence department, and the whole of the cases would be determined on the evidence adduced.[11]

In December 1925, charges were laid against a man police alleged was drunk at the hotel:

Very contradictory evidence was given in the City Court on Monday in a case in which Ernest Stanley Bath was charged with having been drunk on November 28 on the licensed premises of Mack's Hotel. The evidence of Senior Constable Elliott and Constable Perkins was that Bath was drunk, and was taken to the watchhouse. Constable Absolam, the watchhouse-keeper, said that defendant was unsteady and rolled along the verandah. Bath stated that he had four drinks in the afternoon, but none after tea. In the evening he went for a walk and called at the the hotel, where he had an appointment with a man to arrange about paddocking a horse. He had been at the hotel only 15 minutes when the police arrested him, he denied that he was drunk. The licensee of the hotel and two other men corroborated him on that point. Dr Crawford said that he examined Bath at the watchhouse. He did not smell any drink on the man, who in his opinion was not drunk. The case was dismissed.[12]

In March 1940, the hotel was one of three Ballarat pubs targeted by a scammer:

IMPRISONMENT ON IMPOSITION CHARGES. Twelve months' imprisonment, a sentence the bench declared was lenient, was imposed in the city court on Thursday on Patrick Gregory Walsh, 58 years, laborer, no fixed place of abode, on three charges of imposition, the four months' sentence on each charge being made cumulative. Evidence was given that on March 23 Walsh posed as a Postal department employee, and obtained on false orders sums of 30/- from John Doyle, husband of the licensee of the North City Hotel, and £1 each from Timothy Daniel Hishon, licensee of Meagher's Hotel, Victoria-street, and George Malcolm Cameron, of Mack's Hotel. Walsh, who pleaded guilty, admitted prior convictions for numerous offences.[13]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1863 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 4, viewed 4 February, 2014,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 12, 1943, Ballarat
  3. 3.0 3.1 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 June, p. 2. , viewed 04 Dec 2019,
  4. 1861 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 5 January, p. 2. , viewed 24 Feb 2021,
  5. 1866 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 May, p. 3. , viewed 08 Nov 2022,
  6. 1867 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 April, p. 3. , viewed 06 Nov 2022,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1888 'VICTORIA STREET HOUSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 June, p. 4. , viewed 28 Sep 2018,
  8. Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 6, 1943, Ballarat
  9. 1906 'BALLARAT. Monday. ACCIDENT TO CHILD.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 31 July, p. 4. , viewed 08 Sep 2021,
  10. 1914 'MACK'S HOTEL VICTORIA STREET.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 6. , viewed 04 May 2017,
  11. 1916 'SOLDIERS AND DRINK.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 17 February, p. 9. , viewed 24 Dec 2021,
  12. 1925 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 15 December, p. 17. , viewed 08 Sep 2021,
  13. 13.0 13.1 1940 'BALLARAT', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 29 March, p. 4. , viewed 01 Apr 2021,
  14. The Geelong, Ballarat, and Creswick's Creek commercial directory and almanac for 1856 : with a map of Geelong, 1856.
  15. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 June, p. 2. , viewed 01 Dec 2019,
  16. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 July, p. 2. , viewed 02 Nov 2017,
  17. 1860 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 May, p. 2. , viewed 08 Dec 2019,
  18. 1861 'LICENSING SESSIONS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 6 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 02 Oct 2020,
  19. 1869 'Advertising.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 April, p. 3, viewed 3 August, 2015,
  20. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 2. , viewed 27 May 2017,
  21. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 7 November, 2015,
  22. 1887 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 June, p. 2. , viewed 03 Aug 2019,
  23. 1899 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 March, p. 2. , viewed 25 Sep 2016,
  24. 1922 'TRANSFER OF HOTEL LICENSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 January, p. 8. , viewed 28 Jun 2023,
  25. 1925 'LICENCES TRANSFERRED.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 3 March, p. 13. , viewed 24 Dec 2019,
  26. 1937 'HOTEL LICENCES TRANSFERRED', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 13 Jul 2018,
  27. 'Law Courts', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 7 December 1943,

External Links[edit | edit source]