The Broken Creek Hotel – was originally called the Vine Hotel, and was built by Henry Casey in 1869. It was on the junction of two bush tracks, one being the Major Plains Road (now the Midland Highway) and the other to the Murray River. Casey ran the hotel until 17 December 1883, then transferred the license to his son, Henry Casey Jnr, who transferred it on 16 June 1884 to Margaret Lindsay and she transferred it on to her brother Thomas Weston less than 6 months later. He then transferred it back to Henry Casey Jnr on 13 July 1885. Frederick Humphries took it on for 22 months, transferring it to Thomas Thorburn on 3 May 1887 until he lost the license in 1888 and John Godkin took over. Godkin left in May 1890 and Henry Casey took it back on until a new licensee could be found, and this was Patrick Bowe in August 1890. On Tuesday 21 July 1891 the Bowe family left the sitting room to have their evening meal and their cat apparently knocked over kerosene lamp and the hotel burned to the ground. The hotel business was conducted in temporary premises until the hotel was rebuilt and the hotel changed hands frequently after that – to George Latimer (on 14 June 1892), then to Johanna Bowe, to Elizabeth Skelton (25 June 1895), and back to Johanna Bowe again (1896), and to John Dempsey (7 December 1898). The license was not renewed in December 1903 and nothing of this hotel now remains.
The Traveller’s Rest Hotel – this was opened as a sly-grog shop on the Yarrawonga Road on 13 December 1879, with George Christian as the first publican. On 17 December 1883 the license was transferred to William Mogford. With the withdrawal of the mail-coach and the coming of the railroad, the hotel on the Yarrawonga Road began to decline, and in January 1889 the license transferred to Nicholas Goldberg – a year later he became a travelling salesman and so the license transferred to John Lauphier. In February 1891 the license again changed to Albert Vinge, and in August that year to Peter McLaughlin. With the depression causing business to fall off more and more, the license transferred to George Bain, but in 1898 he returned the license to Peter McLaughlin when he instead took over the Railway Hotel. In December 1898 the license was not renewed, although it seems likely that the house continued as a sly-grog shop for some time after this.
The Mount Ada Hotel – this was built at the junction of the Major Plains Road and the new road to the Murray (now the Tocumwal Road). Frederick Knight built it and took out the license for it in 1871. Annie Haley was publican in 1881, and transferred to Robert Roe in January 1882. In July 1882 permission was given to hold a dance there. The license lapsed later in 1882, meaning Thomas Skelton had to take out a new license for it in December 1882, which was transferred in July 1883 to William Skelton, and again in January 1884 to Alexander Wann. Two years later, on 15 March 1887, it was transferred back to Thomas Skelton, then in June 1889 to Henry Evans and in November 1889 to Ralph Weeks who remained until January 1893 when he transferred it on to John Hassett. Hassett tried to transfer the license a month later, but the police opposed the application of the incoming publican, and it was finally transferred on 11 January 1894 to Dorothy Vinge. She did not renew the license in December that year, and the hotel was closed. The remains of the garden are in the corner of Graham Hoopers’ paddock at East Mount Ada on the Midland Highway.
The Railway Hotel – the first publican’s license was granted to Joseph Hotel on 28 January 1884 after it was first built, furnished and inspected, and included a six-stall stable and paddock of 20 acres. The license was transferred to John Keane on 15 March 1886 due to Joseph’s work pressures – John Keane was granted the license despite being unmarried, due toe fact his mother and sister would be living with him and taking care of the house side of the business. On 26 March 1889 the license was transferred to David Casement, and in January 1890 to Annie Plummer (again, she was not married but her father and 3 sisters were living with her, so she was allowed to hold the license).
In 1891 Annie Plummer reported the theft of 3 bottles of gin and several bottles of brandy and whisky. The Benalla police ascertained the offenders broke open the door of the cellar on the verandah either late Wednesday night (1 July) or early Thursday morning (2 July), and that two suspicious characters had stopped at the hotel Wednesday evening and gone their separate ways Thursday morning, and neither were seen or heard of again.
Just before Christmas 1892 a bricklayer was driving along beside the railway line when his horse shied and ran up the road towards Benalla, turning the buggy upside-down in the side-drain and smashing it to pieces. The bricklayer suffered head injuries but managed to make his way back to the Railway Hotel where the Plummer sisters looked after him until he was well enough to renew his journey.
Publicans were at that time obliged by law to look after sick and injured, and also to use their cellars as a morgue if the need arose, as well as providing a room for the coroners’ inquest into the cause of unexpected deaths. Also a room for commercial travelers to display their wares, a polling booth at election times and allow election results to be read aloud from their steps, and also to provide stable, feed and water for horses of guests, provide breakfast for guests and others, and to keep a lamp alight outside the hotel all night.
In April 1895 Annie Plummer transferred the license to her brother-in-law John Bowdern, who held it for 5 years before transferring to Five Alls Hotel in Benalla and in 1898 George Bain took over. On 19 September 1907 George Day took over, transferring it to Phillip Hale in November 1909, and then on to Frank Ellis (a nephew of the original Hall Brothers) in 1912, and then back to Phillip Hale in May 1914. Hale also arranged a special license for a billiard table at the hotel, without which publicans could be taken to court and fined. In March 1920 the license was taken over by Ellen Finn who arranged for extended hours for the billiard table. She then transferred the license to Gertrude Emily Kilroy in 1921 then on to John Charles Lakin in March 1922. John Patrick Flanagan took over the hotel in October 1922 and lost the billiard license in November 1924.
The depression was kicking in, and on 20 September 1926 the new licensee was Sydney Heard, then Ada Emily Frauenfelder in July 1927, Patrick Joseph Walsh (October 1927), Charles Clarence Dight (28 April 1928), Laura Ray (29 July 1929). Laura extended her license to serve liquor with meals, and to hold special occasions such as the Cricket Club dinner, and business picked up. She transferred the license to Helena May Heard on 1 May 1933, and once alterations had been made the license passed to Lionel G Smith in March 1934, then Lindsay E Opie in June 1935 – after the worst of the depression he transferred the license back to Sydney Heard on 13 March 1939.
Further licensees were: Margueritta Beatrice Ramage (31 January 1945); Sydney Heard (28 July 1947); Joseph Thomas Carlyon (9 January 1948); Harry Warman (26 January 1949); Ruby Ellen Blakemore (2 February 1950); Edward George O’Riley (13 January 1951); Sydney Heard (15 December 1958); Wellesley Watson (6 April 1959); Allan M Murray (14 October 1968); Ernest Alfred Plunkett (9 April 1970); Maurice G Randall (15 March 1973), and onwards to the present day.
The Railway Hotel is now the only pub in Goorambat.