Friday, 27 November 2015

Bunyip Hotels

In 1847 a  road was surveyed from Dandenong to Gippsland  along the edge of the ranges and when this proved to be impassable in places, a new road, which became the coach route, was surveyed in 1859 by A. Campbell.  This went through Cannibal Creek (around where Bassed road is in North Garfield) and through the old township of Buneep and onto Crossover. The Melbourne to Sale telegraph line followed this route in 1865, which eventually gave the road the name of Old Telegraph Road and where it crossed the Bunyip River was where the aforementioned town of Buneep was established (where modern day Ellis Road would cross the Bunyip River). This town was surveyed in the 1850s - it had a High Street and a Barkly Street (you can see the Survey Plan, below)  In 1857 David Connor selected  a site for an Inn and it was built in the early 1860s, this was called the Buneep Inn (later the Old Bunyeep Inn).  In 1869 John Rhoden became the proprietor, I believe he was a son-in-law of  David O'Connor.



This is the township of Buneep, surveyed in the 1850s.. Click on the picture for an enlargement


The Argus October 23, 1865

This advertisement from The Argus, October 1865 advises that you could catch a mail coach at 5.00pm  Monday to Saturday and have a 36 hour trip all the way to Sale, stopping at Bunyip or the old township of Bunyeep. That would have been a fairly rugged 36 hours!



Bunnyip Hotel, North Gippsland, c. 1880-1885 [David Connor's New Bunyip Inn]
Photographer: Fred Kruger. State Library of Victoria Image H41138/11

Around 1867  David Connor’s New Bunyip Inn, was established. It is pictured above. This was built on the Bunyip River on the Gippsland Road, as the Princes Highway was then called. It was on the south side of the Highway,  just east of A'Beckett Road and the west side of the Bunyip River.  The coach route then changed direction at Cannibal Creek and turned south east to this Inn, and became known as Old Sale Road. A small settlement developed around the Inn, including the establishment of a bakery by William Snell in 1878 and a dance hall erected by Mr Hyne, opposite the Inn. Atr some time another son-in-law of David Connor, took over this Hotel, David Devanny or Devenay  or Deveney depending on sources. He was still there in 1897, but the hotel was closed by the Licensing Reduction Board in 1917.



The red circle,  shows the location of the New Bunyip Inn and the small settlement that surrounded it. 


Dandenong Advertiser, June 14 1917

The closure of the New Bunyip Hotel was announced in June 1917.


Bunyip Hotel, c. 1890 - but is this actually in Bunyip?

This photograph is the Bunyip Hotel, George Stevens, Licensed Victualler. It's location is labelled as Bunyip, but I am not sure if that is the case. It's obviously not the New Bunyip Inn, as the building in the top photo has a sign which says, New Bunyip Hotel, and this is clearly a different building. It is not a forerunner of the Railway Hotel and Gippsland Hotel in the township of Bunyip, as the landscape is wrong and I feel it is unlikely to be the original Bunyip Inn as, I can't see that there would have been enough traffic to sustain such a large building. I believe that this building is not in Bunyip and I am suggesting that it could be the Bunyip Hotel in Cavendish - it's been around since at least the 1860s and modern day photos, show that the 1930s existing building is on a corner like this on  flat ground. More than happy to be proved wrong.


The township of Bunyip moved again after the establishment of the Gippsland Railway Line. The line was completed from Oakleigh to Bunyip in October 1877. This saw the establishment of two other Bunyip Hotels  as firstly the line from Morwell to Bunyip wasn't completed until March 1878, so travellers had to stop over at Bunyip and continue by coach, secondly the hotels serviced the locals and the workers on the railway line. The Hotels were the Butcher's Arms and the Bunyip Hotel, according to Call of the Bunyip.  John O'Brien had the licence for the Bunyip Hotel and in January 1877 he took up the licence for the Railway Family Hotel, once again, according to Call of the Bunyip.


The Argus  May 17, 1881.

John O'Brien's tenure at the Family Hotel didn't last very long as it was sold up by the Sherrifs Office in May 1881, as the advertisement in The Argus, above, attests. I am a bit hazy on the early details of these hotels -  by 1884 there are various advertisements for Lawrence Finch's Gippsland Hotel at Bunyip - this Hotel is still in existence (it's known as the Top Pub); in 1897 Sarah Alice Finch was listed as the licensee  and William Kraft took over, sometime between October 1898 and September 1899, according to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books.   It is pictured below. I don't know when the original building was replaced by the existing two storey brick building.



Gippsland Hotel and Main Street, Bunyip, 1908
Photograph from The Call of the Bunyip by Denise Nest

The other hotel in  Bunyip today is the Railway Hotel - Thomas Stacey is listed as a publican in the Shire of Berwick Rate books in 1890 and he had it for many years, but I am unsure of the connection, if any, between the Railway Hotel and early hotels - was John O'Brien's Railway Family Hotel the same hotel as the Railway Hotel or was it the Butcher's Arms? The original building is pictured below. It was destroyed by fire in 1924 and the new building, which is the existing building, opened in October of the same year.


Stacey's Railway Hotel on Main Street Bunyip, c.1915


Stacey's Railway Hotel, Bunyip c. 1925 

This photograph was taken a year after this building was opened in October 1924, replacing the original building which was destroyed by fire.



An overview of the three Bunyip townships, they moved south each time. Click on image to enlarge.

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