Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

The Paterson Hotel


Paterson Hotel - Paterson Hisorical Society
In an article in the Newcastle Morning Herald in 1940 the old Paterson Hotel was mentioned: "The Paterson Hotel, now a private residence, was built by convicts about 115 years ago, and has been the scene of many a gay revel. In the days of crinolines, flounces and side whiskers, it was a fashionable resort of entertainment for many miles around.

Its unique staircase is built of stones protruding from the wall, while a heavily barred cellar underneath the main hall recalls the grim era of convicts and leg-irons"  - Newcastle Morning Herald 17 February 1940

The Paterson Hotel was designed by John Verge for settler James Phillips about 1835. Builder Ralph Mills Clarke. Under financial pressure around 1840 Phillips sold to Felix Wilson, owner of Tocal. The hotel remained in the Wilson family until sold to William Keppie in 1893. It was renamed Brooklyn House and used as a residence and boarding house by the Keppie family for several years. [1]

Paterson Historical Society holds a photograph and brief history of the hotel :

"William and Salome Keppie and family at Brooklyn House in the 1890s. The old lady is Salome's grandmother, Ellen Puxty. The house was built in 1838 as the Paterson Hotel, or Paterson Arms Hotel, and ceased trading about 1860. Keppie purchased it in 1893 and renamed it. It was demolished about 1957 (now 11 Victoria Street)". - Paterson Museum

Below are some of the Paterson residents who held a Publican's Licence for the Paterson Hotel over the years:

William Pragnell

William Pragnell was granted a publican's licence for the Paterson Hotel from June 1838 to 1839 [2]. He died at Paterson in September 1839. [3]

William Dear

In June 1840 William Dear was granted the licence. [4]

James Atkins Cook

James Atkins Cook was granted the licence in June 1841 and in 1842 and 1843.

Edwin Brown

Edwin Brown held the licence for the Paterson Hotel from June 1844 - 1846.

Visited by Governor Gipps

Governor Gipps visited the Paterson Hotel in November 1844 while on a brief visit to the district. He arrived in Paterson with Mr. Merewether, Captain Day and Edward Denny Day at 9am after passing through the beautiful estate of Tocal. On their arrival at the Inn they sat down to an excellent breakfast prepared by Edwin Brown. Assembled at the Inn to greet his Excellency were a few of the dignitaries of the town - Major Edmund Johnstone, Mr. John Boughton, Rev. William Ross, Mr. Frederick Bedwell R.N. and Mr. Phillips. The party visited the Scots Church, the unfinished Episcopalian Church, the school house, the court house, lockup and quarry. Sir George and Lady Gipps were very pleased with the children attending the school in the Kirk and declared a holiday for all Mr. Smith's pupils. [5]

Robbery at the Inn

In 1845 Edwin Brown interrupted two men who had been drinking at his Inn during the evening, escaping from the fowl house with two muscovy ducks and a drake. Brown pursued one of the men, William Draggs and caught him by the waistband. The waistband broke and the thief escaped however as it was a moonlit night Brown managed to see his face clearly. William Draggs and Charles Thomas were later sentenced to six months labour in irons for the theft. [6]

In 1847 the following advertisement was placed in the Maitland Mercury: To be let with immediate possession, at the Paterson Township, that first rate elegantly furnished House known as the Paterson Hotel with coach house, stables and brewery. To an industrious respectable man, of small capital, the rent will be very moderate. For particulars If by letter post paid) apply to Felix Wilson Esq. Leitrim, New Town near Sydney, or to W. Dun Esq Paterson - A licence has been granted for next year [7]

Charles Robins

The Paterson Hotel was taken over by Charles Robins who had previously been innkeeper at the Settlers Arms in in West Maitland. He held the licence until at least 1856. [8]

Saul Solomon

Saul Solomon was granted a licence in 1860. [9]

Notes and Links

[1] Paterson River People

[2].New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences. State Archives NSW; Series: 14401; Item: [4/70-71]; Reel: 5055

[3] Sydney Morning Herald 12 April 1843

[4] New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences. State Archives NSW; Series: 14401; Item: [4/72-73]; Reel: 5056

[5] Maitland Mercury 9 November 1844

[6] The Australian 21 January 1845

[7] Maitland Mercury 5 June 1847

[8] State Archives NSW; Series: 14403; Item: [7/1507-1508] Reel 1239. Year 1856, New South Wales, Australia

[9] State Archives NSW; Series: 14403; Item: [7/1513]; Reel: 1242. Year 1860, New South Wales, Australia