History Matters || A time of optimism in Glen Innes

The Royal Hotel on the corner of Ferguson and Grey Streets c. 1875. At that time the hotels numbered five and the stores seven.
The Royal Hotel on the corner of Ferguson and Grey Streets c. 1875. At that time the hotels numbered five and the stores seven.

The Glen Innes Examiner's brief history of the district published on August 4, 1875, was also for transmission to the Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne that year and the 1876 Philadelphia International Exhibition.

And the outlook for the town was very optimistic!

The town for some years enjoyed the name of Sleepy Hollow, but its character during the previous five years had completely changed, and the progress made by the inhabitants truly wonderful.

Sometime before the 'tin fever' broke out evidence of advancement became apparent in the erection of new stores, hotels, and the settlement on the magnificent lands in the neighbourhood of a thrifty and industrious population. After the township was proclaimed Mr John Ross of Balaclava pitched his tent on the site of the Royal Hotel, and erected another store, which still stands.

After the township was proclaimed Mr John Ross of Balaclava pitched his tent on the site of the Royal Hotel.

As population increased at this rapid rate, it was only natural that a public house should spring up.

The Telegraph Hotel (site of present Great Central Hotel) was, therefore, built by Captain Ditmas, and was kept by his overseer the late Mr Samuel Regan. The population of the municipal district is now estimated at 1500. The principal societies are - The Masonic, Oddfellows, Sons of Temperance, Pastoral and Agricultural Association, Building Society, Jockey Club, Cricket and Athletic Club, and the Free Selectors Association.

The public school is a fine building and the pupils number about 130; Mr and Mrs Hill and Miss Douglas are the Teachers. There are three churches, the Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity (Rev J H Johnson BA incumbent), Roman Catholic (Rev Father Kelly) and Presbyterian (Rev A Cameron).

The central position of Glen Innes is of immense advantage to it, as the traffic from the west to the coast, and between the towns situated in the south and north must necessarily pass through the place.

Taking into consideration the immense wealth of the district, its pastoral and agricultural capabilities and its many advantages of climate, healthy and invigorating air, it is safe to predict that Glen Innes ... is destined to become the foremost town in New England.

From: E C Sommerlad, The Land of the Beardies, 1922.