Glencoe Red Lion Tavern boasts over 120 years of history

Owning an icon: Glencoe's Red Lion Tavern owner Ann Ward talks about the history of the iconic pub, which has been around for over a century.

Owning an icon: Glencoe's Red Lion Tavern owner Ann Ward talks about the history of the iconic pub, which has been around for over a century.

Frozen in time, the Red Lion Tavern resembles that of a traditional 19th century roadside tavern.

And rightly so – as it holds over 120 years of New England history.

Red Lion Tavern.

Red Lion Tavern.

First established in 1885, the pub was initially called the Glencoe Hotel and operated for many years before it burnt down.

It was rebuilt and re-opened in 1969 by an Englishman and his Russian wife who, in a bid to encompass the Celtic destination, dubbed the pub as the Red Lion Tavern.

Today the tavern draws travellers from across the country, as well as many locals, owner Ann Ward said.

Ms Ward came to Glencoe from the Lockyer Valley around five years ago after already spending many years in the industry.

“This had been closed for nearly three years until we bought it,” she said.

After the fire the new owners spent around $60,000 building the pub from the ground up with many of the bricks used in construction, salvaged from the previous establishment.

Witnessing the transformation was Glencoe resident Nancy Parry.

“We were here when the [original] hotel burnt down,” Ms Parry said.

“Two people were living there ... and a boarder was also there who worked on the railways.”

The long-time local said when the hotel burnt down the family and the boarder were asleep inside, unaware of the fire.

It was the luck of a passing truck driver who saw the smoke and came knocking on the door that saved their lives.

“I remember the day it burnt down they had to serve alcohol within 24 hours or they would have lost their [liquor] licence,” she said.

“They had nothing left so they went to town and got glasses from some of the hotels.

“They got beer and they ended up even selling home made beer … from a tin shed.”

The pub, as it stands today, has been built from materials from all over the country.

“He collected the windows from different places and the anchors,” she said.

“The original tables were big rum barrels and had the square tops all varnished with stools.

“The original [hotel] was a weatherboard place and there was a chimney in each room because those days they had wood fires.

“They used parts of the chimneys in the current pub and my husband helped them put down the foundations.”

Other features include a staircase sourced from a pub in Gladstone and roof pannelling sourced from the Corindi Courthouse.

The old pub is currently up for sale and awaits its next chapter.