Verdon Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Verdon Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Skipton Street
Closed 1868-1871
Known dates 1871
Demolished Destroyed by fire, 5 April 1871

The Verdon Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, <1868-1871.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Skipton Street[1], possibly on the corner with Dawson Street.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

There was a problem with renewing the license in March 1871:

An application was made by Mrs Usher for a new license for the Verdon hotel, Skipton street. The police authorities objected to the issue of the license, on the ground that the accommodation was insufficient. It was urged that the license was really only a renewal if granted, but Mr Gaunt said though the case was a hard one he could not help it, as the circumstances arose from the City Council having issued a license in mistake, not having the power to renew a license for a house other than that in which the applicant had been previously licensed; Mr Finlayson pointed out that the bench could grant an adjournment of the case, as no notice of objection had been given by the police. The bench therefore adjourned the application till next Thursday four weeks, and Mr Howard, the applicant’s landlord, said that he would make good the accommodation in the mean time.[3]

The hotel was burnt down in 5 April 1871:

About three o’clock this morning the Verdon hotel, Skipton street, was totally destroyed by fire.[1]

FIRE AT BALLARAT. (FROM THE BALLARAT EVENING MAIL, 5TH APRIL.) At about a quarter past three o'clock this morning the Western fire-bell rang out the alarm of fire. The building on fire proved to be the Verdon Hotel, a large two-storied wooden structure, which was untenanted. The fire had got too firm a hold to admit of any portion of the building being saved. The efforts of the brigades were, therefore directed to the adjoining houses, one of which was inhabited by Mr. Hale, timber merchant, who, by the way, had only effected an insurance some three weeks ago. How the fire originated is unknown, but facts will possibly yet come to light which may assist in unravelling what, at present, is shrouded in mystery. One fact in connection with the affair, although in itself unimportant, may be here mentioned. While hastening to the scene we were joined at the corner of Dawson and Eyre streets by a youth about sixteen years, who took up the running by our side. Little passed between us for the time, as we were unknown to each other, but, on arriving at the corner of Dawson and Urquhart streets, the blazing pile shone full in our face, when the lad exclaimed, " Oh, it is there; we have only left, that place four days since. We were ordered to clear out, or, we would be burnt out!" The youth also informed us that a licence could not be obtained and that the premises were insured, for £400. A constable overhearing the conversation halted, and turned to interrogate the lad who did not seem disposed to reiterate his statements. We were afterwards requested not to mention the circumstance. Various rumors were current as to the origin of the fire. It was stated that some workmen had been employed doing something to the building, and had left a fire smouldering in the hearth ; it was, likewise stated that kerosene had been smeared over the premises ; but, of course, we only give these reports as hearsay, as the inquest will, doubtless, in some measure, clear up the strange occurrence.[2]

In May 1871, J. Howard wrote to the cancel asking for a refund of rates paid on the hotel which had recently burned down.[4]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

  • June 1868, a meeting with councillors and ratepayers about the proposed market for Ballarat.[5]

The People[edit | edit source]

  • In March 1871 the publican was a Mrs. Usher.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1871 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 April, p. 2. , viewed 20 Aug 2021,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1871 'FIRE AT BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 6 April, p. 3. , viewed 21 Aug 2021,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1871 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 March, p. 3. , viewed 21 Aug 2021,
  4. 1871 'CITY COUNCIL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 May, p. 4. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,
  5. THE BALLARAT MARKET QUESTION. (1868, June 29). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), p. 3. Retrieved August 6, 2023, from

External Links[edit | edit source]