Darebin Bridge Hotel
The first mention we have of the Darebin Hotel is on the 27 April 1844 when the Annual Licensing Meeting for the County of Bourke and District of Port Philip met. At that meeting the Magistrates granted a licence for the hotel was granted conditionally. The Argus did not state what those conditions were. The first publican was David Bowman. The following April his license was renewed.
A topographical map from 1859 shows the hotel was located near the corner of Heidelberg Road and Como Street in Alphington. The location of the hotel on the west side of the Darebin Creek was very much influenced by a ford which had been constructed in 1842 by the Colonial Government. Flooding washed away the ford several times, making the Darebin Creek unpassable at times. It was not until 1852 that a wooden bridge was constructed across the creek. The first bridge was constructed about 100 yards south of the current bridge.
The Launceston Examiner in February 1847 stated that five armed men, faces cover with black crape, robbed David Bowman of the Bush Inn, Darebin Creek. Presumably the Bush Inn referred to the Darebin Hotel, which Bowman was still the landlord
In March 1848 the Licensing Magistrates approved the transfer of the liquor license for the Darebin Inn, Darebin Creek from David Bowman to Walter Thompson. The following month there is a reference to the licence of the Darebin Hotel passing from Walter Thomas to Edwin Tolme. Walter Thomas is probably a reference to Walter Thompson. By April 1849 Thompson was listed as the licensee.
In May 1849 the hotel was the subject of an armed robbery. Three unidentified thieves robbing the landlord and lodgers, taking from them a quantity of cash. Three men were later apprehended, James Murray, Lawrence Burns and Isaac Branchett were indicted for assaulting Thompson and stealing a watch, snuffbox and twenty-four half crowns. During the court case, James Green, barman, stated that the men came into the hotel between 8 and 9pm and asked for to stay the night. After consuming a glass of rum, they produced pistols and robbed Thompson, threatening to return if he reported the incident. They also took six bottles of wine.
Green had provided a description of the men.
“…one of the men was marked with small pox…..the short man had a scar on his face on the night he committed the robbery; he has no scar now……one of the men was very dark…”
Thompson stated that the hotel had no firearms as they were all decent people about the Darebin Creek. The defence made a point that none of the three men actually matched Green’s description and that two of the three men had witnesses to testify they were in Melbourne at the time of the offense. Green positively identified all three men whilst Thompson only identified Burns.
Burns was found guilty and Branchett and Murray released. Branchett and Murray were promptly returned to custody as they were wanted, along with Burns for an “outrage” against the keeper of the bridge across the Yarra. The Daily News reported that the evidence against the three in the latter case was “perfectly conclusive.” The same men were also suspected of assaulting a man a little distance from the hotel, punching him and running off into the bush afterwards. Burns received seven years hard labour on the roads.
These incidents are a clear reminder that Alphington in the 1840s was on the very edge of civilisation in the new Colony. But land sales were booming in the area, bringing in new settlers. The hotel was well situated on the Plenty Road (as Heidelberg Road was then known) and would have picked up plenty of passing trade.
In 1850 Walter Thomson applied for a renewal of his license however it was revoked due to the poor physical condition of the building. He resubmitted in September of the same year, a new building having now been constructed.
In the same year a passionate letter from a local, Mr R. G. Durham, to The Argus argued that the Government needed to invest more in building a bridge across the high side of the Darebin Creek next to Thomson's hotel. Durham's complaint was that the £100 allocated to the construction of the bridge was woefully inadequate.
In 1851 Thompson's annual licence review meeting was granted without comment. Later that year the Government allocated £1,500 to the construction of bridges and embankments on Merri and Darebin Creeks along Heidelberg Road.
At the February 1853 Licencing Board Meeting the licence for the Darebin Creek Hotel was transferred to William Lewis. The following month Lewis played host to a meeting to build a school house in Heidelberg on land donated by McClaren. Lewis donated £5 and was designated as one of the four people with whom subsequent donations could be left. A significant vote of confidence for a man who had only been the publican for a month. Later that year local farmer Rodger Crocker held a sale of some of his livestock at the hotel, including milk cows, horses, bullocks and drays. It went so well that it became a weekly event.
Despite money being allocated to the construction of bridges along Heidelberg Road, it had clearly not been undertaken by October 1853 as The Argus sadly told the tale of a young man trying to cross the Merri Creek in Clifton Hill and getting washed away and drowned. A second man was lucky to escape after trying to come to the young man's aid. The newspaper reported that up to twenty people had died trying to cross the Merri and Darebin Creeks. Tenders to build the bridge eventually appearing in the newspapers in September 1854, three years after funding was approved.
When Lewis's publicans licence was renewed in April 1855 the hotel was listed as the Darebin Hotel, Darebin Creek. This highlights the inconsistency in recording hotel names with several variants often used. The following month Lewis contributed £5 towards maintenance of Heidelberg Road. Again the hotel was listed as Darebin Hotel. But in September it was referred to as the Darebin Creek Hotel when the candidates for the candidates for the East Bourke Ward spoke at the hotel.
The hotel was sold to William Dunn in 1856 along with 9 acres of land. The hotel continued to be operated by Lewis.
In April 1857 Lewis decided to try his hand at bringing in more trade by running a pigeon shooting exhibition at the hotel, first prize an air gun. Quoits and other "manly games" also taking place. Pigeon shooting was a popular past time (though maybe not for the pigeons), and often used by hotels to attract extra customers. Other activities included auctions, with Mr J. L. Grundy conducting a mortgage sale at the "Darebin Creek Hotel" on the 28th April 1858. In the same month Lewis's licence for the Darebin Creek Hotel was extended for another year. Had the hotel change its name?
In October 1858 Lewis advertised in The Argus for a man to milk cows. His advert would hardly be acceptable today.
"WANTED, a man that can milk well, an Englishman. No other man need apply to Mr. William Lewis, Darebin Creek Hotel, Heidelberg-road."
On 3rd February 1859 a dramatic accident on the bend of Heidelberg road just above the Darebin Bridge Hotel. Mr H. Macfarlane had engaged the use of an omnibus to take a party of 21 people to Heidelberg and back. On the return journey James Tighe, the driver began to drive very fast. The other passengers called out for him to slow down but Tighe ignored them. As they came down the hill from Ivanhoe towards the creek he had the horses at full gallop. About 30 yards from the bridge, almost in front of the hotel, the carriage capsized throwing the passengers onto the road. One child had two ribs broken, another his collar-bone. Mr Hagger, another passenger had two also had two ribs broken after falling against a fence. A witness stated he saw Mr. Tighe remove his foot from the brake and heard his shout at his horses which were at full gallop. Tighe was found guilty.
The hotel was clearly a focal point for the local community and when local landowners wished to employ people they would direct them to the hotel as the first point of call. In May 1859 for example 12 stonebreakers were required and asked to apply at the Darebin Creek Hotel. The following January Mr G. Bennett was selling his residence Lucerne, which was located on Heidelberg Road adjoining the Darebin Creek Hotel. It is become more evident that a name change had happened for the hotel. Maybe the lack of a permanent bridge inspired the name change. It is hard to call a hotel Darebin Bridge is there is no bridge. However by April 1860 a new bridge had been built over the Merri Creek.
On the evening of the 28 September 1860 Henry Ford and Henry Scott arrived at Lewis Inn wanting something to drink. They were soon heavily intoxicated. A local, James Lowe, noticed them ill-treating their horses and remonstrated with them. Ford got off his horse and threatened him with a whip. Mrs Lewis came and advised Lowe to ignore them. Lowe left shortly afterwards only to be followed by Ford and Scott. Ford snatched the reins of Lowe's dray away from him and led the horse and cart back towards the hotel. When Lowe moved to follow him he was threatened with a whipping by Ford and Scott threw stones at him. Mr Lewis and Mr Lowe then went to the police and Ford and Scott were subsequently arrested and charged with robbery. In front of Sir Redmond Barry (later the judge who sentenced Ned Kelly to hang), a court was told that the charge of felony (i.e. the theft of the horse and dray) could not be sustained and both men were acquitted after only a few moments of deliberation by the jury.
On the 5th December 1860 the licence to the Darebin Creek Hotel was transferred to J O'Halloran Kelly. On 21st December the reason for the change in licensee became apparent when William Lewis announced that he had taken over at the Old England Hotel in Heidelberg. Early the next year auctioneer Mr Stubbs conducted an auction at the hotel for the rights to run the road tolls on the Heidelberg and Nillumbik roads. Mr Stubbs was obviously a well known auctioneer as he was conducting land and property sales right across Darebin.
In March 1861 the Licensing Board granted a license to Thomas Freeman for a new hotel across the creek from the Darebin Creek Hotel in Ivanhoe. The following month Kelly renewed his license for the hotel.
The following year John Ward found himself on the wrong side of the law after an incident with Constable Clugston outside the Darebin Creek Hotel. Ward was coming down Heidelberg Road from Ivanhoe with a saddle strapped to his back which he claimed was his own. He stated that his horse had been left in Penders Paddock. As Pender's Paddock lay on High Street Thornbury this seemed unlikely unless Ward had done a wide detour towards Melbourne via Ivanhoe. Ward claimed he was allowed to drink two glasses of ale at the hotel after being arrested. The constable claimed the ales had been drunk previous to his arrest. A witness to the event was David Wise Kelly of the Darebin Creek Hotel. As the pair had left the hotel another witness at the hotel Mr Begg had stated that someone should accompany Clugston as Ward was a "dogged looking man".
The two men left the hotel and that's where things escalated. Clugston claimed he felt his right arm go numb and believes it was hit by a stone through by Ward. The two men struggled with Ward attempting to throw Clugston down the embankment into the creek. Clugston fought back, using his baton as he was unable to use his right arm. Ward kicked and thrushed around, possibly having convulsions. Ward then commenced banging his head against nearby stones. Clugston called out for help and a police sergeant was fetched to remove Ward to the watch house. The saddle was stolen from Mr Young at the Ivanhoe Hotel.
A doctor, T. C. Wigg, was called to evaluate Ward and discovered a number of injuries to Ward's head, inflicted by Constable Clugston. Ward had been charged with stealing a saddle and being a prisoner of the Crown illegally at large (i.e. an escaped prisoner). Clugston was charged with violent assault, although the Magistrate dismissed that charge. Ward was also known as John Devereux, a ticket-of-leave convict who had run away from his owner.
On 12 August 182 the Fitzroy Select Quoiting Club and the Heidelberg Quoiting Club challenged each other to a match. The match took place at the Darebin Creek Hotel. It was by all accounts a good match with Fitzroy Select enjoying the fruits of victory. At the end of the match a "first class dinner by mine host Kelly, of the hotel," was enjoyed by more than forty people. It proved a swansong for John Kelly who transferred the license to David Wise Kelly the following month.
In November 1862 the Heidelberg Road Board announced the construction of a bridge on Heidelberg Road over the Darebin Creek was their highest priority. The previous wooden bridges never seemed to have survived the annual floods. The foundation stone for the new bridge was laid in February 1863. The Age noted that the previous bushman's bridge was a challenge to use as it was erected at the bottom of a steep ravine and that numerous accidents had occurred there. The new bridge was aligned differently to the previous bridge and ran along Old Heidelberg Road.
In May 1863 there was an auction notice for the sale of furniture, fittings, etc at the Darebin Creek Hotel. In July David Wyse (sic) Kelly of the Darebin Creek Hotel was declared insolvent under the pressure of his creditors. His had liabilities of £265 and assets of only £72. Despite this setback Kelly was still around. In December he applied for a liquor license for a building he had erected on Heidelberg Road.
The construction of the new bridge had resulted in the Darebin Creek Hotel no longer lying along Heidelberg Road so he had constructed a three roomed hotel on the new section of road. The Board reluctantly refused the license as the new hotel did not contain the required amount of accommodation (it was only three rooms in size). This building presumably located on the east side of the Darebin Creek in Ivanhoe. Sometime between now and 1864 the hotel was rebuilt, this time a substantial stone building.
A heavy flood in December caused much damage to the district and although the new stone bridge in Alphington survived, it was described as looking "insecure."
By January 1864 the hotel was referred to as "Crook's Darebin Bridge Hotel" indicating a change in both name and ownership. January also revealed that the new bridge was "only just passable" and in desperate need of repair.
The confusion around the Darebin Bridge Hotel and the Darebin Creek Hotel got even more confusing in February 1864 when David Kelly, landlord of the Darebin Creek Hotel got into an argument with John Crooks, landlord of the Darebin Bridge Hotel. The fight was over the ownership of a saddle, the issue they decided to settle over a bet. Kelly won and the saddle and monies were exchanged. Alcohol was consumed and then Kelly struck down a young man. Crooks protested and Kelly then punched Crooks. Crooks admitted under cross examination in court, that he had been needling Kelly about being insolvent. Kelly was fined 20s and 15d costs. Suddenly one hotel appears to be now two.
On the same day Crooks was also defending himself in court after J. N. Morse brought a case before the Heidelberg Magistrates Court that Crooks paid him for the care and movement of six cows owned by Crooks and that Crooks refused to pay. Crooks argued that the charges were vague and that whilst he had agreed for Morse to move the cows up to Morse's paddocks, he had not asked for them to be returned and therefore should not have to pay for the return journey of the cows. The Magistrates agreed that Crooks was only liable for the keep of the cows and not the transportation of the cows to and from Morse's paddock. If that was not enough Crooks also faced the court asking for money for a saddle that he had sold to Mr Seymour who had not paid him.
In April 1864 the Darebin Hotel was advertised for let, including 10 acres of land. The building was described as a new stone house, 10 acres of land, a dwelling, gardens and three small paddocks. No immediate indication whether that meant the Darebin Bridge Hotel or the Darebin Creek Hotel. Further clarification came later that month when the Darebin Creek Hotel was put up for sale with all household furniture and effects.
Bizarrely on 20 April 1864 John Crooks renewed his license for the Darebin Creek Hotel yet at the same time David Kelly's application for the Darebin Creek Hotel was postponed for a week as the new hotel was not furnished and there was no stabling. Was there now two Darebin Creek Hotels? A fortnight later Kelly failed to reappear before the Magistrate's Court. The police pointed out to Magistrates that the petition for a new hotel had a number of signatures, all of which appeared to be the same handwriting. The license was refused.
On 21st June the following add appeared in the Argus newspaper.
"To the BENCH of MAGISTRATES at HEIDELBERG - I JOHN CROOKS, now residing at Alphington, district of HEIDELBERG, do hearby
give notice that it is my intention to APPLY to the justices sitting at Court of Petty Sessions to be holden at Heidelberg
on the 1st day of July for a CERTIFICATE authorizing the issue of a PUBLICAN'S LICENCE for a house situated at Darebin Creek,
Alphington built of stone, containing three sitting-rooms and four bedrooms exclusive of those required by my family and
licensed under the name of Darebin Bridge Hotel.
15th day of June, 1864.
The license was approved.
In September 1864 the question of who was at what hotel got even murkier.
William Hooper was indicted for forgery after attempting to pay off a cheque at Crooks' Darebin Bridge Inn (note the hotel name). Crooks appeared before the court not only as the complainant but also served as the prosecutor! Crooks alleged that Hooper had arrived at the hotel with a young woman he claimed was his wife and booked under the name of William Lewis. After staying a fortnight Hooper was presented with a bill for £13 7s 6d. Hooper paid by cheque which subsequently bounced. The defence stated that Hooper had removed the cheque from a cheque book whilst staying at another hotel and intended to pay his bill when money he was expecting from England arrived which would let him settle his accounts. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 12 months with hard labour.
Interestingly in November the case was appealed on the grounds that Hooper had never claimed to be Lewis and therefore it was not fraud but deception which was a lesser crime. The Supreme Court was unmoved and the verdict stood. However the hotel was now described as the Bridge Inn. On the 23 March 1865 John Crooks passed away at his home the Darebin Bridge Hotel, aged only 40.
In May 1865 the annual auction of the right to run the tolls on Heidelberg Road were auctioned at Dunn's Darebin Bridge Hotel. William Dunn being the new publican at the Darebin Bridge Hotel. Dunn passed away in November 1865, leaving behind a wife Elizabeth Ann Dunn. Early next month the executor's of Dunn's will auctioned at the Darebin Creek Hotel the contents of the hotel.
"The whole of the household furniture, horses, cattle, implements, utensils, &c, comprising -
The furniture, &C., of the above hotel.
7 first class horses, draught and light harness,
5 very fine milch cows
A number of prime pigs, poultry, etc.,
ploughs, harrows, drays, water-cart
Horse hayrake, hand tools, dairy utensils
A great variety of sundreis too numerous for an advertisement.
Note again that Darebin Bridge Hotel and Darebin Creek Hotel seemed to be used interchangeably. The two hotels had apparently become one again.
In January 1866 William Young applied for a liquor license for the hotel on the Darebin Creek known as the Darebin Bridge Hotel, comprising on three sitting rooms and four bedrooms outside those required for family use. The description matches exactly the application Crooks had made a year previous for the Darebin Creek Hotel. Young stated that the property was currently being rented by him from the trustees of the estate of William Dunn.
What are we to make of this? It would seem that the Darebin Bridge Hotel and the Darebin Creek Hotel are once again the same building. This is seemingly confirmed in March 1866 when the Fairy Hills First Annual Race was set to be held from Wm. Young's Darebin Creek Hotel. Presumably the original hotel was no longer operating.
By June Edward Courtney, managing the insolvent estate of William Young, applied to transfer the license of the "Darebin-bridge Inn" to James Cunningham, shoe maker of Alphington.
After a string of deaths and insolvencies the Darebin Bridge Hotel slipped from the news. In June 1868 a new bridge was opened across the Merri Creek in Alphington. After the ceremonial opening was concluded the crowds moved off to the Alphington Hotel for refreshments. The new bridge was on a different alignment from the previous bridge which crossed the creek along the line of Old Heidelberg Road. The old bridge was auctioned off.
In early September 1870 massive floods swept Victoria. The Age went through the damage inflicted across the state and noted that Mr. Cunningham of the Darebin Bridge Hotel had lost his supply of oats as the Darebin Creek swelled its banks, being described as a roaring torrent two to three hundred yards wide. As a side line, Cunningham also sold milk from the hotel.
In July 1874 Mr Cunningham was woke up early one morning by the sounds of his dogs barking furiously. Upon investigation he saw a man walking towards the gate. Mr Cunningham asked him what did he want and the man explained he was down on his luck and had used the stable to get some sleep. Mr Cunningham accepted that and the man left. Later Mrs Cunningham found a swag and some rope with noose at one end. The man had been planning to steal chickens when interrupted by the dogs! And in a new variation of the hotel name, The Age called it the Darebin Creek-Bridge Hotel.
In December 1874 James Cunningham renewed his license for the Bridge Hotel, Darebin Creek. He had plenty of competition. Abigail Foulkes ran the Alphington Hotel (on the site now occupied by Dan Murphy's liquor store), John Lees had the Half-Way House Hotel (now the defunct Tower Hotel) and Sarah Ann Crocker had a wine license for her hotel next to the Alphington Hotel. Three hotels and a wine bar, all within a few hundred metres of each other. The following May both Cunningham and Lees were fined for not having a lamp lit in front of their hotels from sunset until sunrise. For Cunningham it was a 2s 6d fine. Lees was fined 5s as he had a previous conviction for the same offense.
On the night of 4th February 1879 a fire broke out at the Darebin Creek Hotel. The night had been "oppressively hot" when Mrs Cunningham had put the youngest two of their eight children to bed. She did not put on a lamp or light a candle. Around 10 o'clock she had noticed a light under door and upon opening it found the room ablaze. Mr Cunningham raced into the blazing room but the children had already left the room. He was badly burnt around the face. Although everyone escaped with their lives the hotel was destroyed. Built of brick and stone and at three stories the largest building in Alphington it was completed gutted with no
"vestigate of the floors, joists, rafters or roof remaining. The outer and and partition walls, which of great thickness,
are apparently uninjured, the plastering and papering still remaining on the inner walls, and the cement on the outside."
The hotel was described substantially and even elegantly furnished, having just been renovated. The building was not insured.
On 6 March 1879 tenders were announced in The Age for the rebuilding of the Darebin Bridge Hotel. Work had commenced by June as some workmen were injured when their wagon collided with another near the Darebin Bridge whilst returning from working on the hotel site.
In June 1879 Elizabeth Ann Dunn transferred the license of the Darebin Bridge Hotel to Sophia Greenway. Clearly whilst Cunningham had been the licensee of the hotel, Mrs Dunn had retained ownership and after the fire had transferred the license to Sophia.
In her application for the license in December 1879 Sophia stated that the hotel known as the Darebin Bridge Hotel, Heidelberg Road, contained 12 rooms as well as those rooms required for the use of family. Presumably the hotel rebuild was now complete.
In 1882 Catherine Cunningham became the new publican at the Darebin Bridge Hotel. The following year the body of a man was removed from the Darebin Creek and brought to the hotel by Constable Hamilton of Heidelberg police. The 50 year old man, dressed in corduroy trousers and blue checked shirt was presumed to be that of a inmate of the Kew Lunatic Asylum. The subsequent inquest, conducted at the Darebin Bridge Hotel by Mr. Chandler, identified the man as Newman Haggar, an escapee from Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum. He had been in the water a week before being discovered.
The following month a robbery was reported at the hotel, a watch and gun being the primary things taken.
In 1884 an athletics competition was held, Lawrence, Bruin and Adams played the part of "Hares" and were chased by the "Hounds", 25 of their colleagues from Melbourne University. The chase started outside the University and continued past the Fitzroy Cricket Ground, twice across the Merri Creek and down the Darebin Creek and past the Darebin Creek Hotel. The end of the chase seeing the entire group having a well deserved dinner at the Old England Hotel in Heidelberg.
By now Alphington was becoming a popular place for people to "promenade", although it was also attracting its share of "roughs". To discourage them, and their drinking, two Northcote policemen, Senior Constable Marke and Constable Jones, dressed in civilian clothing, acquired a wagonette and visited the Halfway House and Darebin Creek hotels. There they found they could easily obtain a drink (Sunday trading being illegal). Both publicans subsequently found themselves prosecuted. The law, as it stood was difficult for publicans. They could serve alcohol to "bono fidi" travellers (i.e.. had travelled more than 10 miles), however since there was no drivers licenses or other ID the publicans were often just forced to take the word of the "travellers" that they were genuine. This cut little muster with Magistrates however. Catherine Cunningham, the landlord of the Darebin Bridge Hotel, however did receive an excellent recommendation from the police and received only a 40s fine compared to the £6 fine received by W. Luscombe of the Halfway House Hotel. Even that seemed a tad unfair as only one customer was in the bar and he lived over 12 miles from the hotel and was therefore a legitimate customer.
In February the following year Brighton Police Station sent constables Noona and Maneny to catch out Mrs Cunningham. A small fine of 20 shillings perhaps reflecting the view of Magistrates about this underhand tactic being used by police, especially ones operating outside their own area.
In July 1886 Mr Brookes Peters addressed electors at the Darebin Creek Hotel. Political meetings were a common occurrence at hotels and provided an opportunity for elected representatives to connect with their communities. At the time Mrs Brookes was standing for election as the Riding representative for the district. Captain W. E. Adams chaired the meeting and introduced the candidate to the large crowd present. The following week Mr. J. Porta presented his case to an equally impressive audience that he would be the best candidate for Councillor. Mr Porta pointed out his extensive previous history of road building, a positive in an area where roads were the no. 1 issue.
In December 1888 tragedy struck just behind the hotel. William Ellis and James Curran had been wandering the country for the last thirty years, working a wide variety of jobs. Both were known to be "hard working honest men." They had both been working in Mr Adam's quarry. In the day in question Ellis had taken a couple of billies to collect some water. On the way he stopped at the Darebin Creek Hotel for a beer before heading down to the creek for the water. When he did not return Curran went looking for him. Unable to find him, Curran assumed he had just fallen asleep on the way back and return to their hut. The next morning it was reported to Constable Cummins that a body was near the Darebin Creek railway bridge. Upon investigating he found the body of Ellis. The body was badly broken and it was assumed that he must have been struck by a train as he walked along the railway bridge. Due to the steep embankment it was common to use the bridge as an convenient way to cross the creek. Ellis was reported to be sober but it was commented that he was slightly deaf and near sighted.
In 1889 a new publican, M. E. Cullinan took over. The following year Cullinan sold two black horses. The horses were described as "quiet, suit undertaker."
In June 1890 another body was found at beneath the railway bridge at Alphington. This time the victim was an elderly man named John Bryce. John Cullinan, named as the publican of the Darebin Bridge Hotel, stated the man had visited the hotel on the evening of the 23rd June, just after 9pm. He asked for a rum but did not consume it and left after ten minutes. He was "a little under the influence of drink." Bryce stated he was going up the road and it was supposed that he was using the railway bridge as a short cut on the return trip. The bridge had no safety guards or fencing. Bryce had a reputation as a drinker.
In June 1892, Cullinan reported that a stray horse and a pony had wandered onto the hotel grounds, presumably together. Owners please call into the hotel. In August of the same year invited friends to "follow the remains of the their dearly beloved brother-in-law, Mr. George Hill, to their final resting place, Melbourne General Cemetery." The Cullinan's also advertised for a "girl, young, respectable, for house work and assist bar." A year after the loss of her brother, Mrs Cullinan lost her mother Ellen Jones. She was also buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.
In August 1894 the Burwood Hounds met at the Darebin Bridge Hotel for a hunt. A large crowd gathered to see the hounds released. They promptly raced for the Yarra River, crossing Mr Adam's property. The trail then shifted and headed towards Bell Street and Heidelberg Heights before changing direction again and headed for Preston. The unfortunate quarry was eventually cornered at Bundoora Park, but not before one of the leading riders took a heavy fall. The newspaper said it was a "pleasant gallop of about 11 miles." One suspects it was not so fortunate for the quarry. It was not stated whether the quarry was a fox or a deer.
On Saturday 3rd November 1894, John Cullinan was out riding when his horse threw him and he suffered a heavy fall. He fractured his skull and despite the best efforts of doctors died the following day. Thus in three years Mary Cullinan had buried her brother, mother and husband.
The next time we hear of the hotel was in 1896 when the Sands and McDougall directories listing showed Mrs. A. Phelan as the publican. The following year another trade publican listed J. Phehan as the publican. In August the Burwood Hounds began their chase from the hotel. There was a good field of riders including several women. Mr. George Wrigley had an unfortunate fall and broke several ribs when his horse fell at a fence and toppled onto the unfortunate rider. It was commented that Mrs Phelan put on an excellent lunch for the riders with the ladies being "especially loud in their praises."
There was another death in the hotel in February 1897 when Mr. Dixon, late of North Melbourne, passed away there. Dixon was married to Mrs Phelan's sister. In May the same year a horse, buggy and harness were offered for sale from the Darebin Bridge Hotel.
In June 1898 John Phelan, Mrs Phelan's husband, was in court sued with assault. It was stated that he had knocked down Frederick Smith without provocation. It was stated that Phelan had been drinking at the time. He was fined 20 shillings.
In February 1899 Agnes Phelan applied to transfer the license of the Darebin Bridge Hotel to Martha Langdon, of Bath Street Collingwood. Martha did not last long and by April she was transferring the license to Harriett Louisa Stubley, of Station Street Fairfield.
The turn of the century saw Messrs. G.D. Langdrige and Son auctioning household furniture at the hotel. In July the Council reported the fence opposite the Darebin Creek Hotel was dangerous and needed replacing. Cr. Latham suggested the fence to moved further back to facilitate widening the road. Yet again we see the changing name. By November the Council was in discussions with the property owners for the Council to lease part of the land opposite the hotel. presumably for the road widening.
November 1900 also saw a new publican at the hotel, Margaret Glynn. She soon found herself in the Heidelberg Court, charged with neglecting to cancel a beer duty stamp. Found guilty, she was fined £2. The same year Margaret married Albert Louis Kings. In June 1901 Margaret's oldest daughter, Mary Lillian passed away and was buried at Boroondara Cemetery. Mary was only 19 years old.
By February 1902 Mrs Margaret A. Waldron was the proprietress of the hotel. In December that year, Mrs Waldron' father John Butler passed away at the hotel. He was 89 and had been in the colony 61 years, making him a very early settler in Victoria. On the last day of the year Mrs Waldron discovered that there had been a break in at the hotel and several bottles of alcohol, a box of cigarettes, a box of cigars and 6s in silver had been stolen.
In August 1903 Margaret Waldron advertised that she was transferring the license of the Darebin Bridge Hotel to Henry Thomas Brailsford.
Death continued to haunt the hotel with the murder of the unfortunate William Carey outside the hotel on Tuesday 18th December 1904. Carey, native of Mauritius carpenter from Brunswick had been working at Warrandyte. He had planned to travel back home with his wife by coach, but the coach was full and only had room for his wife. So whilst she took the coach he started the long walk home. Normally a temperate man, he had had several drinks along the way. At the Yarra Hotel he was refused service as he appeared under the influence. After this he managed to get a lift towards the city. He got as far as the Darebin Bridge Hotel.
Later that night Carey was discovered lying outside the hotel, unconscious and bleeding from the right ear. At first the assumption was that he had fallen whilst intoxicated and injured himself. Constable McCann called an ambulance and he was taken to hospital but died that night. Upon further investigation McCann discovered that Carey had got into a fight at the hotel with a man called John Hewitte Rouse. Rouse stated that Carey had arrived at the hotel with the group he had travelled with from the Yarra Hotel. Carey and another man started to quarrel and Roused admitted he had walked over and hit the "little dark chap."
Carey was knocked down but subsequently got up and walked outside. Later Rouse and a friend discovered Carey outside unconscious next to the water trough. With the help of the publican (Brailsford), they moved Carey over to the fence to "let him sleep it off." A post mortem examination discovered five lacerated wounds and two bruised on the scalp. Rouse, a popular local footballer was arrested for murder. The multiple injuries and the discovery of a large number of footprints and blood near Carey's body suggesting that more than a single blow had been struck.
Detective Sergeant O'Connell's investigations discovered Rouse had been one of several young men acting in "a riotous manner and interfering with passers-by." They pelted wagons with potatoes and threatened people with fence pickets. Further investigations indicated that Rouse was there as part of the Fiddle Breaker Push, a "larrikin mob." Pushes were the contemporary name for gangs of violent youths who terrorised Melbourne's suburbs during the early 20th century. The inquest suggested that a number of blows and possibly kicks had been administered to the unfortunate Carey.
The inquest found that whilst Rouse had struck Carey, the blow itself was insufficient to be fatal. However Carey was later the victim of a deliberate assault by "some person or persons unknown." The police stated they intended to take no further action.
A bit more positive news in September 1907 when Henry Brailsford's daughter was born at the hotel. After seven years at the Darebin Bridge Hotel, in 1910 Brailsford passed the license onto Georgina Landvoight. It proved a temporary move and within the same year she passed the license onto John Martin Kiene or Kieni. In February 1913 the license was passed onto Edmund Burn. It was an ominous time to take over a hotel. The Hotel Reduction Board was starting to work its way around Victoria, closing down hotels.
In January 1914, William James Capewell was charging with animal cruelty after he was caught beating a horse with a one metre piece of wood. Capewell had the horse attached to a light jig and as they tried to enter the hotel yard the horse resisted and, according to Capewell, threw herself down on the ground. Capewell than began beating her to encourage her to get up and continue the journey up the hill. Capewell was fined 40 shillings with £1/7/- in costs. There is no mention of anyone from the hotel intervening.
In what was now becoming a revolving door, in February 1914 Alexander John Freeman became the latest publican at the Darebin Bridge Hotel.
In July there was a potentially fatal incident when Mr. Spira's car ran off the road at the Darebin Bridge outside the hotel. Mr. Spira had swerved to avoid another vehicle and ran down the embankment. He suffered potentially broken ribs whilst his wife and ten year old daughter escaped largely unhurt but shaken.
On Sunday June 24, the newest publican at the Darebin Bridge Hotel, Emma Dight found herself in trouble with the police. Constable's Williamson and Burrows had entered the hotel around noon to find two men "under the influence of liquor". Dwight said they were friends of her son who had dropped in on their way home from church. She pleaded guilty to having having the bar door open and serving alcohol and was fined £5 with 7/6 in costs. It was her second such offense that year.
In July 1922 the Licensing Reduction Boar declared that the license for the Darebin Bridge Hotel would not be renewed at the end of 1922. It declared that three hotels were not required for Alphington, the other two being the Alphington Hotel and the Tower Hotel, both which kept their licenses. Furthermore there was also a hotel at Fairfield and another in Ivanhoe and that the Darebin Bridge was deemed to have the weakest position. The Board awarded £825 in compensation for the loss of license.
The actions of the Licensing Reduction Board sent ripples through the hotel industry with dozens of hotels or the contents of hotels for sale throughout 1923 as the hotels closed down. A year later in 1924 Emma Dight was still showing as living at the former hotel. In the 1930s it was the home of Malcolm McDonald and in 1940 Impressionist painter Lina Bryans moved into the former hotel. At the time the household included a family (possibly the McDonald family) and a fellow artist Ambrose Hallen.
In 1942 Lina Bryans purchased the building, refurbishing and repainting and it became known as the Pink Hotel, a home for artists. These include Ian Fairweather, Ada May Plante and William Frater. The hotel became a gallery with art works strewn everywhere.
In 1948 Bryans left the Pink Hotel and moved to Harkaway. In 1951 the building was sold to the Australian Paper Manufactures who converted the old hotel into a research lab. Remarkable the company kept the hotel and grounds in excellent condition, allowing it to retain much of its original charm (at least externally). It was later used by the Sick Erwin Corporation and is currently used as office space.
1844 David Bowman
1848 Walter Thompson
1848 Edwin Tolme
1849 Walter Thompson
1853 William Lewis
1860 John O'Halloran Kelly
1862 David Wise Kelly [Darebin Bridge Hotel]
1864 John Crooks [Darebin Creek Hotel]
1865 William Dunn [Darebin Bridge Hotel]
1866 William Young
1866 James Cunningham
1879 Elizabeth Ann Dunn
1879 Sophia Greenaway
1882 Catherine Cunningham
1889 M. E. Cullinan
1890 John Cullinan
1895 Mrs Agnes. Phelan
1896 J. Phelan
1898 Mrs. Agnes Phelan
1899 Martha Langdon
1899 Harriet Subley
1900 Margaret Glynn
1901 Margaret Kings [nee Glynn]
1902 Margaret A. Waldron
1903 Henry Thomas Brailsford
1910 Georgina Landvoight
1910 John Martin Kilne
1913 Edmund Burns
1914 Alexander J. Freeman
1917 Emma Dight
1918 T. Dight
1922 Emma Dight
The District Court. The Argus. 10 March 1848, p.2
Launceston Examiner, 24 February 1847
Domestic Gazette. Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal. 1 May 1849, p.2
The Melbourne Daily News. 20 June 1849, p.4
The Argus. 21 November 1851, p.4
The Argus. 24 February 1853, p.5
The Argus. 4 October 1853, p.3
Bell's life in Victoria and sporting chronicle. 25 April 1857, p.1
Fitzroy Police Court. The Argus. 2 October 1860, p.6
Charge of violent assault against a constable. The Age. 21 August 1861, p.5
Heidelberg Police Court. The Argus, 10 February 1864, p.2
Auctions. The Argus. 5 April 1864, p.2
Heidelberg Police Court. The Argus, 20 April 1864, p.7
The Queen vs. Hooper. The Argus, 17 September 1864, p.6
Fire at Darebin Creek - narrow escape of children. Mercury and Weekly Courier, 15 February 1879, p.3
The Argus, 11 June 1879, p.5
Advertising. The Argus. 5 December 1879, p.1
Shocking fatality at Alphington. Mercury and Weekly Courier, 13 December 1888, p.2
Fatal fall from a railway bridge. Weekly Times, 5 July 1890, p.21
Assault. Mercury and Weekly Courier. 3 June 1898, p.3
Application for the transfer of license. Mercury and Weekly Courier, 10 February 1899, p.2
Application for the transfer of license. Mercury and Weekly Courier, 28 April 1899, p.2
An unfortunate blow. The death of William Carey. The Age, 30 December 1903, p.5
The Alphington tragedy. The Age, 5 January 1905, p.6
The death of William Carey. Result of ill-treatment. The Age, 18 January 1905, p.10