Missing: A Photograph of the Merriang Hotel (1858), Victoria, Australia
Whatever happened to Victoria's Merriang Hotel (1858)?
The Merriang Hotel vanished. There are no traces – no ruins, no rubble, not a stone. The hotel was built by William STRANG on the ‘new’ Merriang road in 1858. He built the hotel on land purchased from John CHANDLER. He then sold the capital-improved land back to CHANDLER a year later for £460. CHANDLER then became the licensee and ran the pub until 1865 when he sold and moved to Healesville.
A First Class Property
The 12-room hotel sounds impressive in The Argus classifieds of 5 May 1865 where it was described as “first-class” and “built of stone and wood”. The extensive outbuildings it said, included a cellar, kitchen with large oven, a six-stall stable and a three-rail fence surrounding the property. The hotel also had a ballroom which Mr Stephen Skinner, the resident school teacher, mentioned in his diaries.
The property situated on 183 acres of partially cleared and cultivated land was complemented by a four-room stone cottage with attached post-office and a five-room stone house on over an acre of garden land. The entire property bounded by the Merri Creek was ensured a ready water supply.
Cobb & Co Terminus
The hotel was also the terminus for the Cobb & Co coach from Melbourne. You can imagine the noise and bustle when the coach arrived with passengers and mail every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons and when it departed at 7 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Not only did the hotel vanish but the Merriang Shire itself ‘vanished’. The Shire was created in 1871 but strangely enough, it didn’t include the Merriang village. The village was put into the adjoining Epping Shire and in 1915 the Merriang Shire was incorporated into the Broadmeadows Shire. So, not only are there no traces of the hotel, but there are also no traces of the local school, the local store or the any of the small houses from the area.
J.W PAYNE provides a rollicking account of the Merriang area and surrounds. He addressed the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) on 23 March 1966. His address, ‘The Merriang Road – Its Discovery and Development (1824-1860’s)’ was reproduced in the 148th Issue of the Journal and Proceedings of the RHSV, May 1967, Vol. 38, No. 2, p.30-67. Most of the information I have used comes from this source.
John CHANDLER is my 3G Grandfather.