Star of the West Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Star of the West Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Bridge Street
Known dates 1869-1870

The Star of the West Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, <1869-1870>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was near Bridge Street.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The hotel was one of many buildings in Ballarat East damaged by a flood in October 1869:

"...and at the hotel of Mr Benson, near to it, a clean sweep has been made of everything in the place, causing damage to the amount of £200."[2]

In June 1870, an accident nearly resulted in the hotel burning down:

There was a narrow escape from what might have been a serious fire on Friday, at the Star of the West hotel. Mr Benson, the landlord of the hotel, informs us that finding daylight had vanished from the bar some time previous, to the usual hour of lighting the gas, he took down a small flat bedroom lamp, which has lately come into use here, with an oil peculiar to itself, and commenced filling it from a bottle. When he thought he had the lamp nearly filled he lighted a match to see if there was enough oil in the lamp, when a large body of flame immediately arose, as if some easily ignited gas or vapor was rising from the oil. The match he states, was not within six inches of the oil when the flame burst forth. He caught hold of the lamp and carried it away as far as within, a yard or two of the street entrance, but there he was compelled to drop it, and a cloud of flame spread in every direction over the floor. An old man: named Facey and three friends who were in the hotel, came to the rescue however and with their coats extinguished the flames. Facey was burnt in two or three places, and Mr. Benson’s hand came in for a share, while his daughter’s dress caught fire and was burnt in two or three places. No further damage was caused.[3]

In November 1870 there was a dramatic flash flood in Ballarat, and the hotel became refuge:

At this time there was an exciting scene at the corner near Mr. Vale's shop. A man waded waist deep out of Lewis-street, and after a narrow escape of being washed away handed a baby to one of the crowd, who took it to Benson's Star of the West Hotel. Then the man called out for someone to save his wife, and a few volunteered to go across the rushing water. Three or four men arm in arm, tried to cross from Grenville-street to Lewis street, to get at the back of one of the Bridge-street shops where the woman was, but after being nearly washed away they had to return. The man who had brought out the child then made a rush before he could be stopped, and as if by a miracle he managed to cross the deep gutter and reach the road. Another man then tried to follow him but could not. A cabman, after a deal of persuasion, managed to get across and with the aid of some ropes the woman was rescued.[1]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

  • In June 1870 the publican was named Benson.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1870 'BALLARAT.', Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918), 5 November, p. 14. , viewed 23 Feb 2017,
  2. 1869 'DAMAGE BY THE FLOOD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 October, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE BALLARAT STAR), viewed 02 May 2019,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1870 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 June, p. 2. , viewed 27 Jun 2017,

External Links[edit | edit source]