Speculation Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Speculation Hotel
Town Allendale
Closed 1922
Known dates 1881-1922
Other names Dibdin's Hotel
Demolished Destroyed by fire 15 April 1939

The Speculation Hotel was a hotel in Allendale, <1882-1922.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Allendale.[1] It was originally located at Broomfield Gully, shown on the 1880 Creswick Goldfields map, which is 1.8kms south of Allendale, closer to Broomfield.[2]

The hotel was moved to the new town of Allendale, on the south west corner of the Creswick-Newstead Road and Elizabeth Street:

Dibdin’s Speculation Hotel was originally located near Broomfield Gully and it was decided to hoist the hotel on to junkers and remove it to the new village of Allendale without an actual suspension of business – the contents, including liquors, were to remain on the premises. The operation created great hilarity, and when the building reached Allendale there was a memorable rush of thirsty customers who thronged the bar and its surroundings. John Graham[3]

Map[edit | edit source]

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Background[edit | edit source]

In the estate of publican David Murray in 1896m the hotel was described as having bar, drawing room, dining room, two bar parlours, and 11 bedrooms. There was also the kitchen, washhouse, bathroom, five stall stable, harness room and assorted outbuildings. The estate also included the Dramatic Hall (100 X 30 feet) with a dressing room and stage, as well as two double fronted shops.[4]

The hotel was closed by the License Reduction Board in 1922.[1] The owner received £680 compensation, and the publican £150.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

In February 1882, the hotel was a venue for members of a visiting Russian fleet:

Admiral Aslanbegoff, and the officers of the Russian warships accompanying him on his inland trip, to day visited Creswick, and inspected the Madame Berry mine. At Creswick they were the guests of Mr Luttet, the mayor, and the Creswick Council, at the mine they were entertained by the directors of the company; and at Allandale, a new township which sprang into existence with the Kingston mines, they were feted at Dibdin's Hotel. They drove out to Creswick and the mines, but, taking the railway cars at Creswick, came into Ballarat in the afternoon, and went through to Melbourne by the 3.25 pm train[6]

In February 1886 the hotel hosted the first meeting of the Creswick and District Mine Managers' Association. The president, Robert Miiler Smyth, was later the publican of the Ristori Commercial Hotel in Allendale:

The first annual meeting of the Creswick and District Mining Managers Association was held on Thursday afternoon at Smyth's Speculation hotel, Allendale, Mr R. M. Smyth, J.P., vice-president, presiding. The secretary (Mr R. F. Bryant) submitted a report, which was adopted, and the following officers were elected, viz.:— President, Mr R. M. Smyth; vice-president Mr Thos. Hewitson; secretary, Mr Bryant re-elected.) After the meeting, the members sat down to an excellent dinner provided in the dramatic hall by Host W. Smyth. Several toasts were duly honored, and a very enjoyable time was spent. At the next monthly meeting of the association the secretary is to read a paper on the drainage of wet mines.[7]

In March 1912 the publican Henry Collins was fined for serving watered down gin:

GIN UNDER STRENGTH. Mr A. M. Allan, inspector of Public Health, proceeded against H. Collins, licensee of the Speculation Hotel, Allendale, for selling gin not up to standard (to wit) six degrees under proof. Defendant pleaded guilty. Mr Hilary Dowling, Government Analyst of Public Health Department, stated that be had analysed a sample forwarded to him and found it to be six degrees under proof. The defendant explained how the gin came be reduced. lie said he had been in business in the same hotel for twelve years, and had never been cautioned. Under cross-examination by defendant the inspector stated that be had examined the defendant’s draught whiskey, and found it to be 15 per cent stronger than required. The P.M. stated that he believed the statement, but the law was not his law. and he would impose the minimum penalty, £l, with £2 12s costs.[8]

In August 1913 stolen blankets were returned to the hotel:

ALLENDALE. A TEMPORARTY THEFT. Some time early on Sunday morning the premises of Mr H. Collins, licensee of the Speculation hotel, were entered, and a couple of pairs of blankets and a quilt taken. On Tuesday evening Mrs Collins had a surprise by receiving the parcel, with a note thanking her for the use of same. No doubt the coldness of the night tempted the marauder.[9]

In April 1916, the publican was charged with having used the building as a concert hall:

At the Allendale Police Court on Wednesday, before Mr D. Berriman, P.M , Inspector Sampson proceeded against H. Collins, proprietor of the Speculation Hotel, for having used portion of his premises as a concert hall without the necessary permission. The inspector said that his attention was called to the matter, as the practice was apt to lead to illicit traffic, and, moreover, certain alterations should be effected, so as to ensure better supervision. The defendant, on promising to have the necessary alterations made to comply with the law, was discharged.[10]

Inspector Sampson, of Ballarat proceeded against Henry Collins of Allendale, that he did on the 19th February, 1916, allow part of his premises, to wit, the Dramatic Hall to be used for a concert by the Blind Entertainers without obtaining a permit from the court to hold such entertainment. The inspector said it was the only local public Hall, and since the new Act of closing hotels at 9.30 was instituted it was essential that a permit should be obtained. Providing that Mr Collins would give an undertaking that he would not use the hall in future without permission from the court he would withdraw the charge. He had a special reason for doing this. Mr Collins, who was called, agreed to consent to the proposal.[11]

Attached to the hotel was the Dramatic Hall. This building, erected in 1881 was dismantled in 1918 following damage in a cyclone:

CYCLONE AT ALLENDALE. SOME DAMAGE CAUSED. Allendale. Saturday. What might be termed a cyclone passed over this town on Saturday, and, whilst it lasted, was very severe. The contractor. Mr. J. M Burke, and his assistant, Mr. P. J. Fryer, for pulling down the Dramatic Hall, formerly owned by Mr. H. Collins, but which has been disposed of to the Progress Association West Footscray, were busy at work, but fortunately saw the hurricane approaching, and had just ample time to get down off the ladder before the gale struck the building. Fortunately the roof had been dismantled, but the sides and other parts suffered severely. The Speculation Hotel, to which it is adjoined, stood the strain, but the rooms adjoining suffered damage. Fortunately no person was hurt. A considerable amount of damage was done to the timber, which is of the best available. The building was first erected by the late Mr. T. J. Dibdin J.P., in the early part of 1881.[12]

In December 1918 the publican was fined for Sunday trading:

SUNDAY TRADING ALLEGED. Licensing Inspector A. Nicholson charged Henry Collins, licensee of the Speculation hotel, Allendale, with .Sunday trading; Wm. Ward, with carrying away liquor from licensed premises on a Sunday; and J. K. Vague and McGann with being on licensed premises on a Sunday.

Constable Scales gave evidence that he visited the hotel at noon on 27th October, by the back gate. He saw Wm. Ward, J. K. Vague and McGann coming from the back door and hurrying away. Took a bottle (produced) from Ward. Vague and McGann gave reasons' for being there. Asked Collins if he served Ward with the bottle of beer, and he replied that he did not get it from him that morning. Ward said he got the bottle the previous night. Witness had the hotel under observation for a quarter of an hour.

Henry Collins stated that he sold the bottle on the previous Saturday before 6 p.m., and did not know where Ward put it. The bench fined Ward 10/, accepted the reasons given by Vague and McGann for being on licensed premises, and fined the licensee £5, with 7/6 costs.[13]

A fire nearly destroyed the hotel in 1921:

SMEATON. — Prompt action averted a fire at Collins's Speculation Hotel, Allendale. A spark from a stove caught the shingles and ceiling. The licensee climbed through the manhole and extinguished the fire. He was badly burnt about the hands. The damage is estimated at £25.[14]

FIRE AT HOTEL. On Saturday afternoon, while the football was in progress between Newlyn and Allendale, a fire broke out in the roof of the billiard room in the Speculation hotel. Fireman Collins, who is owner and licensee, and his wife were the only persons in the building when the fire was detected by a piece of cinder falling from the roof through in the ceiling that carries the stove pipe. When Mr Collins saw the live cinder drop he said to his wife, “The roof is on fire,” and immediately rushed to the fire station, which is about 50 yards distant, and secured a ladder that would reach a man-hole in the roof. On opening it he found the roof, which is of shingles, covered with iron, ablaze for about three feet around the stove pipe. He tried to check the fire by pulling down the burning shingles, until Mrs Collins arrived with a bucket of water, just in time to save the burning debris from going through the ceiling. A few more buckets of water, and what might have been a disastrous fire was averted, through the timely action of Fireman Collins. The fire was caused by a fault in the pipe above the ceiling. The damage is estimated at £20. The building and contents were insured in the North British and Mercantile Company for £900.[15]

The old hotel building was destroyed in a fire on 15 April 1939:

FOUR BUILDINGS DESTROYED. Allandale Fire. CRESWICK, Sunday. Four buildings were destroyed by fire at Allandale on a Saturday night, the largest being the former Speculation Hotel, a familiar landmark in the early history of the new township.

Hundreds watched helplessly as the Allandale Fire Brigade tried to pump water from a well alongside the burning building. The flames, however, broke through the wall, forcing the men to remove the manual engine to save it from destruction. A detachment from the Creswick brigade, with a motor pump, was also helpless.
Water was eventually poured on the embers from a farm dam by using 1,200 feet of hose, but everything was razed.
The buildings comprised the former Speculation Hotel, 15 rooms, three rooms forming two shops, and a 5-roomed a cottage, all owned by Mr. H. Collins, of Geelong, father of Jack Collins, the Geelong League footballer.
The hotel was delicensed about 19 years ago, and was occupied by Mr. Hope Collins, who conducted a soft drink and confectionery business in it. He was absent when the alarm was given about 10.40 p.m. Then the hotel and building were a mass of flame.

Residents stripped the cottage of every item of furniture, even the floor linoleums being removed to safety. The cottage was occupied by Mr. J. Hartup, who was in his trapping camp about 12 miles away. Mr. Hope Collins estimated his personal loss in furniture and clothing at £500 and his father's loss, including the building, furniture, and a billiard table, approximately £1,000. The loss was only partly covered by insurance. The cause of the fire is unknown.[16]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Community[edit | edit source]

  • Presentation to J. T. Sloan, 6 September 1909. Sloan was the manager of the National Bank at Smeaton and was transferring to Korrumburra.[17]
  • Presentation to Senior Constable Gardiner, 20 March 1914. Gardiner had been the policeman at Allendale for 26 years. The presentation was made by Sir Alexander Peacock, M.L.A.[18]

Political[edit | edit source]

  • Allendale Eight Hours demonstration committee meeting, May 1893.[19]

Sporting[edit | edit source]

  • Allendale Angling Club
    • 26 August 1907, meeting to form the club. Henry Collins elected as one of the vice-presidents.[20]
    • June 1908 - end of season meeting, prize for the best basket of fish caught on Easter Monday presented by the publican, Henry Collins.[21]
  • Allendale Cricket Club, 14 September 1881, meeting to form the club.[22]
  • Allendale and Broomfield Cricket Club, 3 October 1910, meeting to amalgamate the two clubs, Henry Collins elected President.[23]
  • Allendale and Broomfield Football Club, October 1914, the hotel was the venue for a farewell for Mr. F. L. Appleby, the club secretary. Appleby worked for the railways and was being transferred to Gordon.[24]
  • Allendale Rovers' Football Club, 27 April 1915, meeting. At the meeting the club joined up with Smeaton to form a stronger side in the competition.[25] Publican Henry Collins was elected as President of the new club.[26]
  • Allendale Racing Club, November 1886, committee meeting.[27]
  • Creswick District Football association, 16 May 1910, meeting of clubs to organise the new season. Henry Collins elected as one of the Vice-Presidents.[28]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1922 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 18 February, p. 20, viewed 24 December, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4700592
  2. Creswick Goldfield 1880, Energy and Earth Resources, Victorian Government, http://earthresources.efirst.com.au/product.asp?pID=400&cID=26&c=44141
  3. 'The Transient Towns', Buried Rivers Of Gold, https://www.buriedriversofgold.org/the-transient-towns
  4. David Murray, Probate Records, Victoriam 1896, Victoria, Australia, Wills and Probate Records, 1841-2009
  5. 1922 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 September, p. 2. , viewed 23 Oct 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article213329862
  6. 1882 'BALLARAT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 8 February, p. 7. , viewed 25 Dec 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11531535
  7. 1886 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 February, p. 4. , viewed 11 Apr 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206307825
  8. 8.0 8.1 1912 'GIN UNDER STRENGTH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 March, p. 3. , viewed 28 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218538943
  9. 1913 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 August, p. 1. , viewed 28 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article217975880
  10. 10.0 10.1 1916 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 April, p. 6, viewed 20 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154542803
  11. 1916 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 27 April, p. 1 Edition: DAILY., viewed 27 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74509316
  12. 1918 'CYCLONE AT ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 October, p. 6, viewed 27 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154778614
  13. 1918 'SUNDAY TRADING ALLEGED.', Creswick Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 3 December, p. 2. , viewed 28 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119527416
  14. 1921 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 22 June, p. 10, viewed 20 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1768687
  15. 15.0 15.1 1921 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 June, p. 6, viewed 13 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211966724
  16. 1939 'FOUR BUILDINGS DESTROYED', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 17 April, p. 4. , viewed 27 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12118509
  17. 1909 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 8 September, p. 6. , viewed 01 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218790781
  18. 1914 'Allendale.', Creswick Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 20 March, p. 2, viewed 27 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119517377
  19. 1893 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 12 May, p. 1. , viewed 03 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209786301
  20. 1907 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 August, p. 6. , viewed 01 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211070013
  21. 21.0 21.1 1908 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 1 July, p. 6. , viewed 28 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218551921
  22. 1881 'CRICKET.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1886; 1914 - 1918), 17 September, p. 4. , viewed 01 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article249277760
  23. 1910 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 October, p. 6. , viewed 01 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216380265
  24. 1914 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 30 October, p. 5 Edition: DAILY., viewed 27 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73903311
  25. 1915 'ALLENDALE ROVERS' CLUB.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 27 April, p. 5 Edition: DAILY., viewed 27 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73959392
  26. 1915 'ALLENDALE ROVERS' CLUB.', Creswick Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 30 April, p. 2. , viewed 27 Feb 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119521467
  27. 1886 'ALLENDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 November, p. 4. , viewed 11 Apr 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article210838332
  28. 1910 'FOOTBALL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 May, p. 6. , viewed 01 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article216057611
  29. 1883 'ALLANDALE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 January, p. 3. , viewed 25 Dec 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202702467
  30. 1886 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article210840183
  31. 1890 'THE SHIPPING DIFFICULTY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 November, p. 4. , viewed 03 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204140778
  32. 1895 'ALLENDALE', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 December, p. 4. , viewed 03 Mar 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203767667
  33. Clunes Licensing Court, 1897, http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS/2000-09/0967937618

External Links[edit | edit source]