Unicorn Hotel (Sturt Street)

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--[[User:Mjeffs|Mjeffs]] 14:11, 19 March 2019 (AEDT)
--[[User:Mjeffs|Mjeffs]] 14:11, 19 March 2019 (AEDT)
[[Category:Hotels in Ballarat]]
[[Category:Sturt Street]]
[[Category:Sturt Street]]

Latest revision as of 04:12, 26 May 2019

Former Unicorn Hotel, 2019. Photo Marilyn Jeffs
For hotels with the same, or similar names, see Unicorn Hotel.

The Unicorn Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, 1854-1916>



  • On 29th September 1877 A sad case of suicide occurred at the Unicorn Hotel on Sunday, when a man named Benjamin Brain killed himself with pistol shot. It is said that the unfortunate, man was suffering a good deal from disease of the chest, which made his life miserable, and that having recently experienced some heavy mining losses, his mind gave way under the additional pressure[1]
  • On 23rd February 1904 Mr. Michael Honan, proprietor of the Unicorn Hotel, Ballarat. has definitely decided to become a candidate for the Warrenheip seat. He will make an announcement to that effect shortly.[2]
  • On 26th March 1941 For failing to have the bar door locked. Ellen Beacham, licensee of the Unicorn Hotel, Sturt-street, was fined £5 by the city court bench. A fine of £1 was also imposed for permitting unauthorised persons on the premises. John Beacham, her son, was fined £2 for disposal of liquor during prohibited hours.[3]
  • An objection to the renewal of the licence of the Unicorn Hotel, which was before the Court previously, was also adjourned to December 31. Sale option Mr. G. Shaw said negotiations were pending for the sale of the hotel, and an offer had been made. The option expired today.He said that if no sale took place, the owner would undertake to carry out work ordered by the Court. If the premises were sold, they would not be used as a hotel.[4]


The Unicorn Hotel was on the south side of Sturt Street, near the intersection with Lydiard Street, address 129 Sturt Street. It is opposite the Ballarat Post Office.


  • The Unicorn Hotel was built in early 1854, making it one of the earliest hotels in Ballarat.[5]. It was owned by Charles Vaughan.[5]
  • The hotel lease was offered for rent in June 1871.[6]


Community Involvement

In June 1860:

NOTICE to the SHAREHOLDERS of the UNITED MINERS MAGPIE QUARTZ REEF. There will be a General Meeting held at the Unicorn Hotel, Ballarat, on Saturday, the 9th inst., at 11 o'clock a.m.[7]
  • BALLARAT LIEDERTAFEL. The second annual meeting of members was held at the Unicorn hotel last night. Mr A. T. Morrison, vice-president, presided, and there were about 70 members present.[8]
  • BALLARAT CITY ROWING CLUB. The annual meeting was held last night at the Unicorn hotel. Mr P. Cazaly, sen., occupied the chair. There was a good attendance.[9]
  • The Ballarat Football League met at the Unicorn hotel last night; Mr W. Elsworth (Ballarat) presiding. The other delegates were Messrs E. Bodycomb (Ballarat), G: Williams and G. M'Kenzie (Imperial), J. Ellery and A. M. Taylor (Golden Point), J. Davey and T. White (South)[10]

Works Produced

Workplace Relations

In December 1877 two men were injured in a cellar accident:

A dangerous accident occurred on Friday afternoon at the Unicorn hotel cellar opening, in the Unicorn passage. Two men were letting down a cask of beer when the descending weight overcame the men, or they lost their balance; and both men were precipitated into the cellar. The awkward nature of the fall made things look bad when the cover of the opening, which had fallen down after the men was removed, and both men were seen lying motionless. Happily, however, both escaped with only some bad bruises and a little blood-letting, though the temple of one of the men was black and swollen to a large lump.[11]

The People

"Eunice Underwood, Sturt street, Unicorn Hotel. The applicant was not in attendance. Mr Harris asked the Bench if it was not competent to dispense with Mrs Underwood's presence if a third surety was procured. He believed that such an arrangement had been permitted on a former occasion? The Chairman signified the non-acquiescence of the Bench. Mr Kabat- I cannot see why Mrs Underwood did not come to the court like any other mister or mistress. I think her presence is due, if only out of respect for the Bench. To Mr Harris-You had better send for her. Mr Harris to the Bench-Mrs Underwood was under the impression that the application would be granted without her being present. It was done so last time. The Bench signified a disposition to await the coming of Mrs Underwood, and a messenger was despatched for Mrs Underwood. After a pause Mr Harris again asked the Bench to accept of a third surety, he did it only to save the time of the Bench. Mr Kabat thought that out of courtesy to the Bench the applicant should have been present. He was very sorry to appear, rude to a lady, but he did not see why she should he privileged in any such way. For his part he was always courteous towards ladies, and tried to please them in every way. The Chairman suggested that Mr Harris should hire a cab and go down to the Unicorn for the applicant. Mr Harris feared that his presence would not produce any influence. Mr Oliver - Mr Harris is paid for talking, not walking. The Bench, after waiting some time longer, determined on postponing the application till the 3rd of July.[13]


The hotel building is still standing.

See also



  1. Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954) Sat 29 Sep 1877 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/170437224?
  2. The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Tue 23 Feb 1904 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/197247367?
  3. The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Wed 26 Mar 1941 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/205299809?
  4. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Sat 1 Dec 1956 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/71769102?
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 2, 1943, Ballarat
  6. 1871 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 June, p. 3. , viewed 17 Jul 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197563332
  7. 1860 'Advertising.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 6 June, p. 4, viewed 2 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66056272
  8. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Thu 7 Jun 1883 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/202506372?
  9. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Fri 29 Aug 1884 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/201117915?
  10. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Thu 11 May 1911 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/216636620?
  11. 1877 'NEWS AND NOTES', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 2. , viewed 13 Jul 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199282981
  12. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 2, viewed 5 May, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048627
  13. 13.0 13.1 1862 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 June, p. 4, viewed 17 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66325055
  14. 1863 'BALLARAT WEST PUBLICANS' ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 4, viewed 11 February, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72514938
  15. 1864 'DISTRICT PUBLICANS' LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 4. , viewed 14 Oct 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66346137
  16. 1895 'Advertising.', The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), 14 December, p. 43, viewed 30 April, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139718895
  17. 1898 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 November, p. 2. , viewed 25 Sep 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215233831
  18. The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Tue 23 Feb 1904 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/197247367?
  19. 1909 Victorian Electoral Roll, Ballaarat, Ballaarat West
  20. 1914 Electoral Roll, Ballaarat, Ballaarat West
  21. 1916 Victorian Electoral Roll, Ballaarat, Ballaarat West

Further Reading

External Links

--Mjeffs 14:11, 19 March 2019 (AEDT)

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