Sailors' Falls Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Sailors' Falls Hotel
Picture needed
Town Sailors' Falls
Known dates 1909-1919
Demolished Destroyed by fire, 23 October 1919

The Sailors' Falls Hotel was a hotel at Sailors' Falls, Victoria, <1909-1919.

Site[edit | edit source]

Sailors' Falls near Daylesford, Victoria.

The hotel was at Sailors' Falls, close to the falls and mineral springs.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was named for the nearby waterfall.

History[edit | edit source]

In March 1909, the publican's daughter, Lila Borland, wrote to the newspaper about the hotel:

"...There has been a lot of people to the hotel this week, and mother has been very busy getting afternoon teas and many other things. They generally come in the afternoon when mother has hot scones;. They do enjoy them..."[2]

In October 1914 the hotel was given permission to set up a post office agency:

SAILOR'S FALLS POSTAL CONCESSION. Regarding the granting of a Loose Bag at Sailor's Falls, we are requested to state by some of the parties interested that the petition was presented and the application granted some time before the Federal Election. It appears that the petition was presented by our State member, Mr M'Leod, in absence of Mr Hans Irvine, and the request was granted. On Mr McLeod being requested to state what were the particulars, he said that the petition was presented by him to the Postal Department in August last, and on calling again a fortnight later he was informed that it would be granted. It appears, however, that there was some delay through a Departmental regulation against opening a post office in an hotel. He was subsequently informed that the office would be opened in due course. He took no further in interest in the matter, as the Federal authorities will not send official communications on Federal matters to State members. Mr Jolley had courteously forwarded him the following letter from the Postal Department:—

"Melbourne, 19th October, 1914.— Sir,—With reference to a communication presented at this office by the Hon. D. McLeod, M.L.A., from Mr Robert Borland, Sailor's Falls, respecting the desired establishment of improved postal facilities at that place, I beg to inform you that approval has been given for the opening of a Receiving Office in charge of Mrs Elizabeth Borland, the licensee of the Sailor's Falls Hotel, and instructions have been issued accordingly. The office, which will be known as Borland, will be opened on the 26th instant. It is desired that you will kindly advise the Hon. D. McLeod to the above effect.—Yours faithfully, W. B. Crosbie, Acting Deuty Postmaster-General."

Mr McLeod added that at the time the effort to obtain the facility had been initiated, it had been arranged that he should attend to any local matters for Mr Irvine, so as to save public inconvenience.[3]

The hotel was one of a number of hotels listed for closure by the Licenses Reduction Board in 1915. A hearing was held into the hotel:

SAILORS' FALLS HOTEL. Mr Bromfield for the owner and licensee, Mrs Elizabeth Borland. Supt. Bennett said the hotel contained 14 rooms, of which seven bedrooms were available for the public. The building was of wood, in medium state of repair. The furniture was equal to requirements, and the place was kept clean and tidy. The licensee said the trade was mostly tourist. There was good stabling and fair sanitary accommodation. Immediately in front of the hotel was Sailors 'Falls. There appears to have been money spent in improving the locality, and there was a good mineral spring.

Constable Strain stated that the hotel catered for tourists. It was a mile from the Beehive and three miles from Leonard's Hill. There was no through traffic from Sailors' Falls to Mount Prospect; but considerable wood traffic from the forest past Sailor's Falls. Joseph Frost, coach proprietor, Korweinguboora, said the hotel was very convenient to the public. He passed the hotel twice daily on his coach trip between Korweinguboora and Daylesford. There was fair traffic, and he carried a number of people on his coach daily. Three parts of the people travelled by coach instead of rail. He considered all of the hotels required along the road. More men as tourists, travelled to Sailor's Falls than women. By Supt. Bennett: I have eight or ten passengers every day on an average. Some of them patronise the hotels. Mr Bromfield said the position of the hotel was excellent, inasmuch as it was quite close to the falls and mineral springs.

Mrs Elizabeth Borland gave evidence that her profits from the hotel were 100 per cent. The Lord Roberts and North Lord Roberts mines were working in the vicinity. By Superintendent Bennett: If the Beehive were closed I do not think I would benefit very much. If Mrs Southwood advertised as I do she would get us much tourist trade. If the Leonard's Hill Hotel were closed I would benefit a little. The railway station at Sailors' Falls is ten minutes walk from my place.

John Blampied, cab proprietor, stated he ran drag excursions to Sailor's Falls. The hotel was a place of necessity for local people and tourists, who made use of the hotel. He made two or three excursions per week, with an average load of 20. As many people travelled to Mount Franklin, but there was no hotel there. There was more necessity for an hotel at Sailors' Falls because there was more settlement and mining in the vicinity. Daniel Giles, Government land assessor at Yandoit said he had found the Sailor's Falls Hotel very convenient, and he had stayed there several days...

Edwin Rodgers, manager of the Lord Roberts mine, said he boarded at the Sailor's Falls Hotel. The mine was about a mile and a half due south. It was working now, and employing nine men. He thought the hotel very convenient in many ways. No other hotel on the road was of any convenience to him and he thought there were many others similarly situated. Robert Stephens stated that he lived a mile due west from the hotel. He did not see how the hotel could possibly be done without. Evidence was also given by John Thomas Aldrich, who considered the 'hotel the best on the road for accommodation all round. Decision was reserved.[1]

The hotel was destroyed by fire on 23 October, 1919:

SAILOR’S FALLS. HOTEL BURNT DOWN. The old-established hotel at Sailor’s Falls, in latter years known as Boreland’s Hotel, was totally destroyed by fire on Friday morning, together with nearly all its contents, only a little furniture being saved. The outbreak occurred in an unoccupied bedroom at the north end of the building, which was of wood, and contained a number of rooms, being in the season a popular resort for visitors. The cause of the outbreak cannot be accounted for and there are no suspicious circumstances whatever. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Boreland in their severe loss, which is estimated at from £500 to £600. There was no insurance on the furniture and contents, but a policy of £300 on the building was held in the Sun office.[4]

A boy was charged with arson in January 1920:

DAYLESFORD. INCENDIARISM ALLEGED. An unexpected development has occurred in connection with the fire which occurred at Sailors’ Falls on the 23rd October last by which Boreland's Hotel was totally destroyed. On Saturday a boy was apprehended by the Daylesford police for alleged incendiarism, and will be brought before the Children’s Court on Wednesday. The boy, it is stated, has admitted the offence.[5]

CHARGE OF ARSON Preferred Against a Boy. BALLARAT, Friday. — A boy of 11 years of age was committed to-day for trial on a criminal charge of arson. It was alleged he caused the fire that destroyed the Sailors' Falls Hotel, near Daylesford, when damage to the extent of £600 was caused. The boy declared he had been refused permission to visit his mother in Melbourne at Christmas time.[6]

Boy Charged with Arson. BAIL IS REFUSED. BALLARAT. Friday. On the capital charge of arson a boy 14 years of age has been committed for trial. Bail was refused. The charge arose from the destruction by fire of the Sailors' Falls Hotel, near Daylesford, when damage to the extent of £600 was caused. The boy, who was employed at the hotel, is alleged to have risen early one morning and set fire to the kitchen. Another employee at the hotel, whose room was separated from the kitchen by hessian and paper lining, had arisen to attend to duties in the stable, but the licensee and his wife were still in bed, and were warned by a neighbour. The boy told police that he had been refused permission to visit his mother at Melbourne at Christmas time, although he had been allowed a holiday in Melbourne quite recently.[7]

At the trial, it was successfully argued that the boy was too young to be criminally motivated, and he was found not guilty:

CHARGE AGAINST A CHILD. Setting Fire To An Hotel. MELBOURNE, Thursday. — It was argued at the Criminal Court to-day that a serious charge against a child under the age of fourteen years could not be sustained, because it could not be presumed that the child had sufficient knowledge to justify the jury in concluding that an act of an infant was prompted by malice. The case was one in which Robert E. Grant (12) was charged with maliciously setting fire to buildings occupied by human beings. The Crown case was to the effect that the boy, a son of a widow, had been staying with Mrs Elizabeth Borland, licensee of the Sailors' Falls Hotel, near Daylesford. in October last. Mrs Borland noticed that the hessian in the hotel kitchen had been burned. Next morning, at 6.30 o'clock, she was awakened by cries of 'Fire.' The building (14 rooms) was completely destroyed. On being crossquestioned, the child admitted having set fire to the hotel for revenge because Mr. Borland had refused to allow him to visit his mother at Christmas. His Honor held it was for the jury to say, first, whether the accused set fire to the hotel; and, secondly, whether he had comprehension of the wrong he was doing. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.[8]

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 1915 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', Daylesford Advocate, Yandoit, Glenlyon and Eganstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 18 March, p. 3. , viewed 02 Mar 2019,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1909 'SAILORS' FALLS.', Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), 27 March, p. 37. , viewed 25 Dec 2019,
  3. 1914 'SAILOR'S FALLS POSTAL CONCESSION.', Daylesford Advocate, Yandoit, Glenlyon and Eganstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 27 October, p. 3. , viewed 25 Dec 2019,
  4. 1919 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 October, p. 6. , viewed 24 Dec 2019,
  5. 1920 'DAYLESFORD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 January, p. 4. , viewed 24 Dec 2019,
  6. 1920 'CHARGE OF ARSON', Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), 31 January, p. 7. , viewed 24 Dec 2019,
  7. 1920 'Boy Charged with Arson', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 30 January, p. 9. , viewed 24 Dec 2019,
  8. 1920 'CHARGE AGAINST A CHILD', Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), 20 February, p. 5. , viewed 24 Dec 2019,
  9. 1914 'DAYLESFORD LICENSING COURT', Daylesford Advocate, Yandoit, Glenlyon and Eganstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 8 December, p. 2. , viewed 12 Dec 2019,
  10. 1915 'LICENSING COURT.', Daylesford Advocate, Yandoit, Glenlyon and Eganstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 16 December, p. 3. , viewed 16 Dec 2019,

External Links[edit | edit source]