Shakespeare Hotel, Barcaldine

News of the day

Longreach Leader, Friday 11 July 1924, page 13

Fire at Barcaldine.


Our Barcaldine Correspondent writing on Wednesday says:-

The Shakespeare Hotel, one of the best hotels in Central Queensland, was totally destroyed by fire at 3.40a.m. this (Wednesday) morning. A fireman, Mr. Wm. Finch, met with a nasty accident when, working at the fire, a tin of boiling fat exploding and burning his face very severely.

It appears that the fire started in a Tobacconist's Shop, in the eastern portion of the building, but fortunately a brick wall saved the buildings on the eastern side; otherwise the whole block would have gone. The Hotel is a fine structure, situated on the corner of Oak and Beech Streets. The wind, which was a south-east one, considerably helped the firemen but the brigade did splendid work. Many lodgers lost considerably, the fire having had a good hold before the alarm was given. The brick wall is now in a dangerous position and will probably have to be pulled down.

Mrs. B. Mahoney, licensee, will sustain a severe loss. Messrs. L. L. Pearson and L. J. O'Connell, who are carrying on business as Stock and Station agents under the firm name of W.. L. Walker, and Mr. Robinson, Tobacconist, were also completely burnt out.

The town and district will feel the loss of the Hotel severely more especially as the annual Show and Races are fixed from the 22nd to 28th inst.

The samples of two commercial travellers were also practically destroyed.


At the Council meeting held yesterday a vote of sympathy was passed to all who suffered from the fire; and especially Mrs. Mahoney in her tremendous loss, which is estimated at £15,000 partly covered by insurance, in the New Zealand Insurance Co. The serious loss sustained by the town and district was also mentioned. The Council placed on record its appreciation of the splendid work performed by the Fire Brigade.

The brick wall which saved the adjoining properties was a danger to the public after the fire, having quite a lean towards adjoining premises, and had to be pulled down.

Mrs. A Mahoney left by yesterday's mail train on a hurried business trip to Rockhampton.


A Shakespeare Hotel has been a feature of Barcaldine’s main street since 1886 when a building was moved west from Pine Hill.

That building was replaced in 1914 and rebuilt in 1925 after a fire, featuring a grand staircase, a large dining room and 26 rooms overlooking the railway station and the Tree of Knowledge.

Queensland Country Life, 31 March 2013.


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