Morning Star Hotel (Elaine)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Morning Star Hotel.
Morning Star Hotel
Picture needed
Town Elaine
Closed 31 December 1908
Known dates 1878-1908

The Morning Star Hotel was a hotel in Elaine, Victoria, <1878-1908.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Elaine[1], at the northern end of the town.

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In November 1878 a man died after showing off with feats of strength in the bar of the hotel:

SINGULAR FATAL ACCIDENT. DISPLACEMENT OF THE CERVICAL VERTEBRA. TUESDAY'S BALLARAT STAR. An inquest on the body of the late Mr. H. Laity, of Elaine,was held on Monday morning at the Hospital, by Mr. A. P. Akehurst, P.M. Dr. Owen, resident surgeon at the Hospital, stated that on Friday, the 22nd November, Mr. Laity was admitted to the institution. He was suffering from complete paralysis of the body from the shoulders down, and on examining him the doctor found that there was a displacement of the cervical vertebra. Next day a consultation with the honorary medical staff was held, and an attempt was made to reduce the dislocation, but with only partial success. Laity's lungs became gradually congested, and he died on the evening of the 23rd from paralysis of the muscles of respiration, arising from a dislocation of the neck. Laity told the witness that the injury was done while he was "larking with another man."' It might have been caused by a fall on the back of the neck, and it seems that the man had been suddenly overturned. Joseph Steel Ditty, commercial traveller, Ballarat, stated that he called at Horner's hotel, Elaine, shortly after noon on the 21st November. There he met Laity, and after a little conversation they spoke of different feats of strength, and Laity began to display some tricks. The witness then stood behind Laity, placing his arms under Laity's, and the latter, stooping suddenly, threw the witness over his head. Neither had made any unusual effort, and the witness at once got up. Laity, who was reclining on the floor, using his left arm as a support, said, "I can't get up." The witness and Mr. Horner raised him and put him on a chair. He then seemed unable to use his legs, and said rather cheerfully, "These legs are not mine." He appeared paralysed, and they gave him water and bathed his head, placing him on a sofa. The witness offered to take Laity to Ballarat, but he declined, and the witness came up by train. He had often met Laity at Elaine, but never before saw him trying any tricks of strength. To a juror—The deceased was quite sober, and there was no anger on either aide, I thought that he was hurt in the loins. We had never quarrelled. He did not grasp my hands when I was on his back. William Horner, licensed victualler, Elaine, stated that he saw the accident on the 21st. He corroborated Ditty's evidence, and said that when Laity was throwing Ditty over his head, be suddenly collapsed and fell. When Ditty had gone, he took Laity into a bedroom, and at his request pulled at his legs, but without effect, as the deceased could feel nothing. Thinking the case serious, he telegraphed to Dr. Nicholson, but that gentleman could not come down. He then brought Laity to the hospital. To a juror —There was no anger or annoyance shown by either party during the time they were in my bar. This closed the evidence, and the verdict was— "That the deceased, Henry Laity, died from the result of injuries accidently received on the 21st inst. at Elaine."[2]

In June 1882 there were reports of a major gold discovery near the hotel:

"...It is reported that Mr O'Farrell, a resident of Elaine, has discovered a reef, which if report speaks truly, rivals the richest reefs in the colonies. It is said that from a crushing of less than 100 tons 1100 oz of gold have been obtained. The reef, which is situated to the rear of Horner’s hotel, and close beside the old road to the Minerva, is said to be a true lode, having defined walls and a westerly underlay. It is over 2 feet wide, and Mr O'Farrell states that, some of it has yielded over 50 oz to the ton..."[3]

In September 1889 the newspaper carried this report on the hotel:

Mr Horner of the Morning Star Hotel in the northern township is left pretty lonely since the Bank was removed but seems to be doing a very fair business, and fairly satisfied with his location, looking forward to the revival which must inevitably take place before many months have passed away.[4]

The hotel was one of 47 Ballarat district hotels listed for closure in 1908 by the License Reduction Board.[1] The owner was paid £150 compensation and the licensee £5.[1]

Mr H. G .Morrow, who appeared for the owner and licensee, Lucy Sutherland, said that his client wished to surrender the license. Licensing-Inspector Balchin said that the statutory number of licenses in the Buninyong district, in which the house was situated, was 11, and the existing number 24. The hotel was a wooden building, clean and well furnished and well kept. The house was not required. The nearest hotels were about two miles away. Connelly’s and the Railway Hotel would benefit most by the closing of the hotel. Mr Morrow asked that, the license should be surrendered at the end of the year. The surrender was accepted.[5]

The compensation hearing included details of the hotel:

MORNING STAR HOTEL, ELAINE. Mr H. G. Morrow appeared for the licensee. W. H. Chandler said the hotel contained billiard-room, two sitting rooms, four bed-rooms, and bath-room. It was in very good repair. There were three other hotels in the same district, and mining had of late been revived. He thought 12s 6d was a fair weekly rental. There was a quarter of an acre of land belonging to the hotel, but it was of poor quality. If the license were taken away, he did not know what the hotel could be used as. In answer to the chairman, witness said he would consider £150 a fair compensation for the owner. John Ferguson Sutherland, husband of the licensee, said he was for some years prior to 1900 a mine manager. He paid £65 for the hotel in 1900, and since then had spent £300 on repairs. He paid a rate of 1s in the £. Seven shillings, he thought, was a fair rental.[6]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

In January 1881 the hotel was the venue for a farewell dinner for Mr. A. J. Nugent, manager of the Bank of Australasia, who was moving to Talbot.[7]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1908 'BALLARAT HOTELS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 19 May, p. 3. , viewed 12 May 2016,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1878 'SINGULAR FATAL ACCIDENT.', Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), 29 November, p. 2. , viewed 24 Jun 2018,
  3. 1882 'A DISCOVERY AT ELAINE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 June, p. 3. , viewed 25 Jun 2018,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1889 'ELAINE.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 11 September, p. 4. , viewed 22 Jun 2018,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1908 'MORNING STAR HOTEL,.ELAINE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 April, p. 4. , viewed 06 Feb 2018,
  6. 1908 'Licenses Reduction Board', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 May, p. 4. , viewed 17 Dec 2017,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1881 'ELAINE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 January, p. 3. , viewed 22 Jun 2018,

External Links[edit | edit source]