Thomas Field

From Hotels of Ballarat
Thomas Field
Occupation Publican
Years active 1870-1877
Known for Whim Holes Hotel
Home town Whim Holes

Thomas Field was a publican in the Ballarat district <1870-1877>

History[edit | edit source]

Field held the license for the Whim Holes Hotel, a mining area near Enfield from at least 1870 to the end of 1877

In May 1870, a man attempted to rob Field at gunpoint:

A MYSTERIOUS BUSHRANGER. Mr Thomas Field, landlord of the Whim Holes hotel, has lodged the following singular information with the Smythesdale police. On Monday evening, about eight o'clock a man,. whom Mr Field supposed to be an Englishman, and about twenty eight years of age, five feet ten inches in height, medium build, and who had fair hair, slight moustache, small goatee, called at the Whim Holes Hotel and had a few drinks at the bar. The stranger represented himself as a detective from Melbourne on leave of absence, and on his way to Giblins', Break-o'-day, to shoot rabbits. About eleven o'clock, he suddenly presented a revolver, demanded money, and commanded them to show him through the house. Mr Field said there was no money to be had, whereupon the fellow snapped his revolver at the barman, but the pistol did not go off. The stranger then loaded his revolver, and immediately decamped. Mr Field's man instantly got a double barrelled gun and went out after the fugitive, who, however, got away. A short time afterwards his visitor came back to the window and asked for a drink, but the alarm being raised he scampered off and managed to escape. It was further stated that there could be no doubt as to the traveller having ammunition with him, as some cartridges were found in the house where he had dropped them:. It was supposed that he had gone in the direction of Rokewood. On Tuesday evening Mounted constable M'Grath, of Smythesdale, with others, started off in search of the alleged offender, and up till after four o'olook on Wednesday had not returned. It was then. beginning to be apprehended that something serious must have caused the delay.[1]

In March 1874 his children were lost in the bush:

THE Smythesdale correspondent of the Star writes:—" Anybody who knows the character of the bush country between the Whim Holes and Monkey Gully must be struck with the almost miraculous escape of two little boys belonging to Mr. Thomas Field, landlord of the Whim Holes Hotel, who were found wandering in the bush. The children, who are only seven and four years of age respectively, were returning home from school, when they missed their way and strayed into the bush. After wandering till nightfall, they sat down on a log. In this situation they remained till morning, when they again started off in a contrary direction from home. About 4 or 5 o'clock in the evening they were found by Mr. John Marsh, a miner, in the bush, near Mr. Steele's place, in the direction of Monkey Gully, a distance of about nine miles across the country from their father's house. Mr. Marsh at once took them to the Smythesdale police camp."[2]

In July 1877 a fire destroyed the hotel building:

FROM Ballarat we learn that on Tuesday morning a fire occurred at Field's Whim Holes Hotel, the premises being destroyed, and Mrs. Field narrowly escaping with her life. The place was insured.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1870 'A MYSTERIOUS BUSHRANGER.', Kilmore Free Press (Kilmore, Vic. : 1870 - 1954), 26 May, p. 3. (MORNING.), viewed 29 Mar 2017,
  2. 1874 'COUNTRY NEWS.', Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954), 28 March, p. 16. , viewed 30 Mar 2017,
  3. 1877 'CITY AND SUBURBS', Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954), 14 July, p. 16. , viewed 29 Mar 2017,

External links[edit | edit source]