Morgan Lees' Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Morgan Lees' Hotel
Picture needed
Known dates 1880
Other names Isbell's Family Hotel
Belle Vue Hotel
All Nations Hotel
Carbine Hotel
Google maps -37.561068,143.846121

Morgan Lees' Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1880>

Site[edit | edit source]

Morgan Lees' Hotel was on the south east corner of Sturt Street and Windermere Street.[1] This is now the site of an ANZ bank branch.

Location[edit | edit source]

Address: 927 Sturt Street. Google Maps: -37.561068,143.846121

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Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was first named:

Hargreaves reported that an old resident had also said the hotel traded under other names, but he was unable to confirm this:

The Morgan Lees' Hotel was named after its publican, Morgan Lee.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

In January 1880, quick thinking by the publican's wife was able to rescue a young girl who had been abducted:

Late on Thursday night the Windermere street police had the following strange case placed in their hands by Mrs Morgan Lee, landlady of Morgan Lee's hotel, at the intersection of Sturt and Windermere streets. At a little before that time a man of respectable appearance, and of apparently about fifty years of age, called at the hotel in company, with a little girl of seven years named Annie Nelson, and asked for a bed for himself and the child. Mrs Lee made some few enquiries, and in response to a question as to whether the man was the little one’s father, was told that he was not, but was a friend. The application was very properly refused under the circumstances and while the man was ejected from the hotel the girl was detained in Mrs Lee’s care, and was taken to the police station, to be conveyed home. Constable White at once on learning the girl's residence conveyed her to her mother, who resides in the neighborhood of Lexton street, near the Old Cemetery and who was in great distress at the little one’s absence after a long and fatiguing search for her. Having so far accomplished this mission, the police made every search for the man, of whom the little girl, an intelligent child, was able to give a very good description. The police were successful in their endeavors for on Friday morning, about 11 ’ o’clock, Senior-constable Crowley, on looking in at the Lydiard street railway station, found his man, and having questioned him, discovered that the fellow had been at the Botanical Gardens, the place from whence the child was stated to have been abducted. The man, was arrested on a charge of abduction, gave his name as Elisha Brown, and in reply to the charge said that he had taken the little girl with him in obedience to the commands of the Saviour, who had ordered that little children should he sent to Him, and had rebuked those who had forbidden them to go to Him. He also indulged in several Scriptural quotations, exhortations which tended to show that either he was the victim of religious monomania, or was acting a part in his defence. Crowley took his man to the City police station, where be was locked up. Upon being searched, be was found to have in his possession a small reticule, belonging, we believe, to the little girl. An examination of certain papers, also found upon him, leads the police to infer that he has recently arrived from Sandhurst. The little girl's statement to the police and Mrs Lee is substantially as follows: —She had visited the Botanical Gardens on Thursday in company with some young relatives and in playing about alone, near the monkey sheds, at a little after 2 p.m, was accosted by Brown, who took her hand and showed her various portions of the gardens in a friendly sort of way. He subsequently took her for a trip on the lake in one of the steamers, and returned to the gardens with her. It appears that while in company with the man, the little one saw an elder sister in the gardens, and begged to be allowed to go to her; but Brown seems to have remonstrated with promises, and then to have treated her to fruit, and presented her with a threepenny-piece. At dusk he crossed the lake to Wendouree Parade, and visited the Parade hotel. There he asked for a bed, but was'refused by Mrs Saunders, the landlady. Thence be proceeded with the girl to Morgan Lee’s hotel, with the result stated. Brown will be formally charged with the offence at the City Court this morning. Some further particulars ascertained, show that the little girl has not been tampered with in any way. The man Brown it also appears, went to the Devon and Cornwall hotel (Mr Collins’) in Sturt street with the little girl, and there solicited accommodation, which was refused. Brown describes himself as a miner, and appears to be a respectable man in fair circumstances. He took up his quarters at the Unicorn hotel, but appears to have had his meals at one of the Lydiard street restaurants. The police are making further enquiries into what is at present a mysterious affair.[3]

On 22 March 1915, the Carbine 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. The Ballarat West licensing district hearings on this list were to be held on 27 April.[4]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 18, 1943, Ballarat
  2. 1915 'LICENSING ACT 1915.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 10 November, p. 15, viewed 10 September, 2015,
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 1880 'STRANGE ABDUCTION CASE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 January, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2019,
  4. 1915 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 23 March, p. 10, viewed 13 February, 2014,

External Links[edit | edit source]