White Swan Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
There was also a White Swan Hotel at Creswick.
White Swan Hotel
Ruins of the White Swan Hotel, (BMI Collection)
Town Ballarat
Opened 1 January 1856
Closed 31 December 1915
Known dates 1856-1915
Demolished March 1947

The White Swan Hotel was a hotel near Ballarat, Victoria, 1856-1915.

Background[edit | edit source]

Site[edit | edit source]

The White Swan Hotel was described as being at "Springs".[1] In Angela Taylor's book, "A Forester's Log: The Story of John La Gerche and the Ballarat-Creswick State Forest 1892-1897", she includes a photo from the Ballarat Library Collection, captioned "White Swan Hotel, Springs, Dead Horse.[2] This area is now known as Glen Park.

The hotel was pulled down in March 1947 and the site was flooded as part of the White Swan Reservoir.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Photo: A. Potter, 1938
Barn at the hotel. Photo: A. Potter, 1938

On 22 March 1915, the hotel was included on a list of hotels to be deprived of their licenses. This list was compiled by the Licenses Reduction Board in Melbourne. Licensing district hearings for hotels on this list were to be held at the Ballarat Supreme Court on 11 May.[4] The hotel was one of about 40 hotels closed by the License Reduction Board and ceased trading at 9.30pm on 31 December 1915.[5] The court paid £230 compensation.[6]

The hotel's history was mentioned in the Ballarat Evening Echo on the day it closed:

FAMOUS OLD HOUSE CLOSED. ON EVE OF DIAMOND JUBILEE: THE WHITE SWAN HOTEL. If it was allowed to live a year and a day longer the White Swan Hotel, situated in the Daylesford Road, on the verge of the Creswick State Forest, would have celebrated its diamond jubilee. This picturesque old inn was opened on New Year's Day, 59 years ago to-morrow, and during that long period the names of only two licensees have appeared over the door, the late Mr. Ritchie who opened it and who died 18 years ago, and his daughter, Miss Lottie Ritchie, the present licensee, who succeeded him. Father and daughter became inseparably associated with the old house, and they imparted to it much of their own personality, and a very kindly, lovable personality it was. The White Swan seemed to radiate hospitality, not the hospitality that is associated with roystering, reckless spending, but the sort of hospitality that Charles Dickens loved to portray in connection with the Blue Dragon, the May Pole, "Markis o Granby," and other hotels that that he has immortalised. The White Swan was just such a place, as caused Shenstone to exclaim : "Who'er has travell'd life's dull round. Where'er his stages may have been, May sigh to found think he still has The warmest welcome at an inn." The founder of the White Swan picked on a beautiful site for his hotel. It is surrounded by some of the most lovely forest country in the district. Only the road separates the forest from the front door, and one steps almost from the back door into another stretch of beautifully timbered country. It was so when the house was built, and it is so to-day. The old place strangely harmonises with its surroundings, which after all is not to be wondered at, for in truth it is part and parcel of the forest. It was built of timber cut in a sawmill close by, and after a lapse of 60 years the timber is still sound and strong. There is a moral here as to the value of Australian timber. The old house saw many ups and downs. The whole district hummed with prosperity once. That was in the alluvial mining days. Gradually peace and quietness fell on the scene, and then instead of the hustling miners there grew up round the old White Swan a colony of aged fossickers and pensioners. These in the sunset of their life found a warm and constant friend in the licensee of the White Swan. Now the White Swan is no more, that is, as a licensed house. Its diminishing trade give the Licenses Reduction Board the excuse to put it on this list of doomed. It has fallen victim to the law of the survival of the fittest. Still, many a bigger and more pretentious hotel would leave a much smaller void.[7]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Inquests[edit | edit source]

  • September 1863, inquest into the death of John Edwards:

On Friday, at the White Swan Hotel, Springs, parish of Bungaree, Dr Clendinning held an inquest on the body of John Edwards, whose death, according to the evidence and the verdict of the jury, took place at the Springs, and arose from natural causes, being caused by serous apoplexy of the brain. His wife, Jane Edwards, deposed that the deceased was a native of London, the son of James and Charlotte Edwards, sixty-one years of age, had been married to witness for eight years, and was the father, by her, of seven children, of whom three were living. Witness further stated that her husband had formerly been a sailor, was for seven years a barman in the Royal Hotel, at Geelong, had lived for seven subsequent years near Ballarat, and was generally a healthy man until two months ago he received a blow on the left side and breast from Henry Appleton in the bar of the White Swan Hotel. Subsequently to that, deceased had never been free from a liability to take fits when exerting himself unusually, as for instance in chopping wood. He could not, latterly, lift his left arm. When he took the fits would sometimes fall down, and at others manage to sit down till they passed off. On the occasion of his death, he was engaged in chopping wood, and died shortly after he was brought into the house suffering under one of these fits. Edward Kirby deposed to the fact that the deceased was often drunk, and would always drink whenever he could get liquor. James Sutherland, M.D., tendered the medical evidence, which went to show that the brain, stomach, and heart displayed the usual signs of serous apoplexy of the first-named organ having been the cause of death.[8]

Politics[edit | edit source]

  • August 1865, polling booth for the Bungaree Road District.[9]
  • July 1868, Mr. Doane met with about 40 electors and answered question.[10]
  • August 1884 - George Lord, meeting of ratepayers. to support his election in western riding.[11]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1862 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 2, viewed 12 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66324917
  2. Taylor, Angela, (1999)"A Forester's Log: The Story of John La Gerche and the Ballarat-Creswick State Forest 1892-1897", Melbourne University Press
  3. 1947 'IN THOSE UNRATIONED DAYS OF THE 1880's.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 1 April, p. 4, viewed 12 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22436930
  4. 1915 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 23 March, p. 10, viewed 13 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1504941
  5. 1915 'DELICENSED', The Evening Echo (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 31 December, p. 4. (FOURTH EDITION), viewed 04 Feb 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241695876
  6. 1915 'LICENSING ACT 1915.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 10 November, p. 15, viewed 10 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1578545
  7. 1915 'FAMOUS OLD HOUSE CLOSED.', The Evening Echo (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 31 December, p. 4. (FOURTH EDITION), viewed 05 Feb 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241695882>
  8. 1863 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 5 September, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72516982
  9. 1865 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 August, p. 3. , viewed 28 Jan 2023, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112877788
  10. 1868 'MR DOANE AT THE SPRINGS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 July, p. 2. , viewed 12 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113846090
  11. 1884 'BUNGAREESHIRE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 12 August, p. 4. , viewed 10 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201117148
  12. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 2. , viewed 08 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048627
  13. 1859 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 28 May, p. 2. , viewed 18 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66053306
  14. 1863 'BALLARAT WEST LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 June, p. 4, viewed 29 April, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72515139
  15. 1877 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 25 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199282991
  16. 1880 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 December, p. 3. , viewed 21 Mar 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200652822
  17. 1884 'BUNGAREE POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 25 December, p. 4. , viewed 13 May 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207630933
  18. 1885 'LICENSING MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 December, p. 4. , viewed 11 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206305585
  19. 1898 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 November, p. 2. , viewed 25 Sep 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215233831

External Links[edit | edit source]