A Hotel in Castlemaine

I wouldn’t like to count the number of times I have walked around this corner  But that was many years after this photo was taken in 1906 at the corner of Barker and Templeton Streets in my home town of Castlemaine  in Central victoria.

Sepia Saturday tempted us this week with a photo of an imposing but austere hotel. I am much fonder of Australian buildings with their verandahs to protect us from the sun or to provide a place to sit and catch the evening breeze in the hot weather.

Castlemaine Council Club Hotel bThis well worn postcard  has 1906 handwritten on the back, but no message.  The hotel was originally built in 1875 as a single storey building  but in 1906 was converted to a fine two storey building. The next image shows the re-opening in 1906.

Castlemaine council club p-aitken-openingThis image came from  The Hub at 233 Barker St Castlemaine which is the present name of the building. They have a fine collection of photos of the Hotel over the years. De-licenced in 1970 in its present life The Hub is home to fifteen offices and one restaurant.

This is how Google Earth saw it in 2010 when it was undergoing its most recent renovation.

Castlemaine Council Club corner 2010 google earthBut my imagination takes me down the hill in the 1940s past, among others in the first block , the lawyers where for a while I thought that might be a good thing to do on leaving school, the bike shop where once stood a bike which was  labelled with my name as it waited for my birthday, the hairdresser – first perm, the shop where I spent my first ever earnings on a Toby jug for my mother,  the shop where I bought a hat with money i had earned myself,  the cafe where I washed dishes one school holidays, the newspaper shop where the morning paper cost tuppence,  the excellent photographer and the dreaded dentist.

As I said, I knew that corner well though I was never to go into the hotel.

More interesting hotels and big buildings can be seen through the links in

This Week’s Sepia Saturday

15 thoughts on “A Hotel in Castlemaine

  1. jofeath

    Wonderful memories from your youth! I love the verandahs and iron lace too, but the public bars of hotels like that weren’t places I would have ever frequented either, nor would I have stayed in them, even when women were allowed.

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  2. Wendy

    The ironwork and gallery remind me of the architecture in New Orleans. Impressive hotel. But I’m even more impressed you remember the various shops nearby.

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  3. kristin

    I was going to say it reminded me of New Orleans too. Wonderful memories of every place but there. Would you have a chance to one day step inside just to have been there?

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  4. La Nightingail

    I would hope the original ironwork railing was cleaned, repaired, and put back in place – so pretty. But some prefer to modernize rather than memorialize. Still, the shops around the old hotel appear to have been kept somewhat in their original condition, so perhaps there’s hope for the old hotel to remain as it was as well – just in better condition.

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  5. gluepot

    A fine building indeed, and a wonder that it survives. Sadly, I find that so many old hotels from this era end up as being very seedy indeed and not the sort of place that I would go into for a quiet refuge from the heat of the day either.

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  6. jamestaylor

    A hotel with an interesting past, including a suicide by it’s then proprietor, John Dale, way back in 1892 when it was still a single-storey. I’ll email you a couple of pics of this hotel from that era.

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  7. boobook48

    I was picturing the birthday bike in the store’s window, your name on a label hanging from the handlebar:)
    But really I suppose it was out the back in the storeroom.

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    1. boundforoz Post author

      No, it was in the row of bikes in the shop. I was in there looking lovingly at the bikes and it had the surname on the label. Was told it was for a different family than ours. It was probably being paid for in instalments.

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  8. Mike Brubaker

    Always interesting to see handsome historic buildings like this. I’m intrigued that despite knowing the town, you never went into the hotel. I’m sure everyone has similar hometown landmarks that they’ve managed to miss. After all, why go to a hotel if you already have a home nearby?

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    1. boundforoz Post author

      It was a different world. The pubs shut at 6pm then – no alcohol sold after 6pm. No women in the bar. They were served in a separate Ladies Lounge. No-one i knew ever went out for a meal – we all ate at home. And on re-visiting the town when older I had no reason to visit a hotel.

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  9. Susan Donaldson

    Like you, I have always been attracted to homes with verandas – not something we see here in Scotland. The popularity now is for conservatories/sun lounges/garden rooms – delightful to sit in in summer, even when the temperatures outside are not particularly warm.

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