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Last Updated on February 19, 2024

Images from the early 1900s of Rainbow Eureka and Royal Hotels.

Around 1910, all three Rainbow hotels were re-built from single to double story.


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Please share this story with your family and friends so that they can read about the Rainbow Township, its history,  and what it has to offer tourists. 

Thank you very much, Don...

Click on any image below to see it in full size.  

Image 1 - Eureka Hotel. 1912-1913

Trees about 20 feet tall. Possibly 1912-1913.

Here is an interesting photo that shows the middle pub as a double story building with the new national Bank next door. This makes it after 1910, however have a look at the business on the corner of King St. A "Motors For Hire" sign on the side of it. This may mean a stationary engine for use as a pump or general machinery for farms etc, or it could mean a motor car. I doubt that it was for a car, as the term "Motors" in this era would be very rare to refer to a Motor Car.

They use the term in England even today, but couldn't find general use of it in Australia. And cars were very rare in Rainbow until the 1915 to 1920s. People like Mr Cust had a car and even hired a chauffeur to drive him around. Dawson's Rainbow Manufacturing Company premises in Railway St, also had stationary motors for hire.

Image 2 - Eureka Hotel Early 1900s.

I distinctly remember being in the main bar of the Eureka hotel Rainbow on two very special occasions.On Tuesday 1st February 1966, Victorian hotel hours were extended to 10pm, the end of six o’clock closing. I was working for my Uncle Joe (L.G.) McKenzie at the time, and most of Joe's men are in the bar wondering what would take place after six o'clock. Minnie Draper just kept serving the beers, instead of the usual cry of "time gentlemen please". Most of us kept drinking that night until we got the boot at 10pm.

After that night, there was no sense staying back drinking till all hours. The novelty was gone, and we had to get back to our normal routine. Then about two weeks later on Monday 14 February 1966, Valentine's Day, the price of a seven ounce glass of beer went from a Shilling to ten cents. Funny money. One and two cent pieces. What do we do with them? Decimal currency. It all looked very strange. I am wondering who may still be in town that remembers these two days. I see Keith and Frank Thomas are still out and about, ask them. They should remember.

Image 3 - Eureka Hotel 1912-1913.

Eureka Hotel.
Trees about 20 feet tall. Possibly around 1912-1913.
Not a bad colour conversion.

Still searching for a Facebook thread on this one.

Image 4 - Eureka Hotel Single Story.

The main street (Federal Street) of one of the most progressive towns in Victoria.

Shows the single story Eureka Hotel on the corner of King St, and the National Bank next door.  Looking towards the old Rainbow Cafe, you can see all the way up to the double story Commonwealth Hotel on the corner of Railway St.

This picture was in the "Rainbow Of Today" booklet (Page 53), which was printed in October 1910. The trees are about about 6 feet tall so the photograph must have been taken on or before that date.

Some interesting comments from Neville Farrall in the FB thread below.

Image 5 - Eureka Hotel Single Story.

Circa 1910. Eureka Hotel. Single story.
New double story National bank next door. Does anyone have a better picture of the Eureka as a single story building? I played around with an old yellow photo from Rainbow Of Today, to come up with this one. 

This was Bull dozed and rebuilt to double story.

Image 6 - Eureka Hotel Stables.


H. Ismay and his son Tom, erected the first building on this site around 1910. 
This building is at the rear, was the Eureka Hotel horse stables for George Wallis. 
Ron Ismay is the grandson of Tom Ismay.

A splendid panoramic view of Mr. George Walliss' newly constructed Stables. These stables are the largest in Victoria, and were built by Messrs. Ismay & Son, the well-known contractors.

This is at the back of the Eureka Hotel which is on the corner of Federal and King St. This view is taken from King Street. And at another guess, I assume the three little (out) houses out the back near the lane, are out door dunnies. In fact, it has to be. It was the normal picture on the fence line of every property. Amazing how you tend to forget these things after so many years.

The site of what is now Rainbow Beer.

Image 7 - Royal Hotel 1912.

Place & Date Depicted: Young's Royal Hotel, Rainbow, Victoria, Australia, post 1912
from the Victoria museum collection.

Mrs Elnor Jamieson built a Kenmare wine saloon in 1894. The licence was eventually shifted to Rainbow in 1906, and became the Rainbow Royal hotel.

All of Rainbow's 3 hotels were initially built single story, and upgraded to double story at a later date. In their single story versions, the Royal was a timber building and the other two were stone. All would have been completely rebuilt.

Image 8 - Royal Hotel 1910.

The exterior of Mr. P. Seery's " Royal Hotel," Rainbow. Not a great print, but converted it as there isn't much around of the single story version of the Royal.

Image 9 - Royal Hotel 1910.

Royal Hotel 1910
I posted a picture of a single story version of the Royal Hotel some time ago, and it didn't dawn on me at the time, that it wasn't a double story building. Then I found this one. This really means all 3 hotels were initially built single story, and upgraded to double story at a later date. In their single story versions, the Royal was a timber building and the other two were stone.  All would have been completely rebuilt.

From the booklet "RAINBOW OF TO-DAY. 1910"
Pages 22 and 23

Compiled and Published by J. EDWARD ROBERTSON. OCTOBER, 1910.

A Magnificent Modern Hotel, now being erected for Mr. GEORGE WALLISS, The "EUREKA" Rainbow.

The commendable enterprise Mr. George Walliss, of the Eureka Hotel, Rainbow, is displaying in rebuilding his hotel at a cost of some £4000, should well repay him in the future The building, which is being constructed by Mr. A. J. Barton, contractor, of Rainbow, is to be a handsome, brick, double storied one, with a wide balcony in front and at the side of the hotel.

Two dining rooms (No. 1 and No. 2) have been arranged for, the area allotted being some 500 feet, and there will be seating accommodation for over 100 people. There will be fifteen fine, airy and commodious single and double rooms, and five parlours, for the convenience of patrons.

The bar will be built on distinctly modern and. convenient lines, its area being in the neighbourhood  of 300 feet. A splendidly ventilated billiardroom, some 400 feet in area, is included, and the proprietor intends to fit up the saloon in a generous and thorough manner There are to be two comfortable lounges, one on each floor, and two baths and lavatory accommodation have been liberally allowed for. 

The kitchen, scullery, etc, are to be built on upto-date methods, which will allow not only scrupulous cleanliness, but the greatest convenience possible in meeting large rushes of customers on busy days. . The cellars are to be
commodious ones, and the area allotted is 468 feet.

The plans of the "Eureka Hotel" have been very carefully thought out, and Mr. George Walliss travelled considerably throughout Victoria with a view to studying the inconveniences and conveniences suffered or enjoyed, as the case may be, by various proprietors of hotels, and gleaned much information, which he has availed himself of in approving of the plans for his own property. The parlours will be comfortably and conveniently built, as well as the billiard-room, bar, bedrooms, baths, etc.

Also, Mr. Walliss intends to spare no expense in furnishing the new building, and in the general interior fitting up. It will all be carried out on a first-class and liberal scale.

Recently immense stables, containing 78 stalls, considerable accommodation for farmers' buggies, and many loose boxes, have been erected by the well-known contractors, Messrs. Ismay and Son. To convey an idea of its size, the writer believes these stables are larger than "Kirk's Bazaar" Melbourne, and certainly they are the most commodious in Victoria, outside  the city. Their length is 321 feet, and breadth 58 feet, which gives an area of 18,618 feet. Mr. George Walliss has lived in the Rainbow district some 16 years, and has proved a very genial, quiet and liberal landlord of the "Eureka Hotel" during the past four years. 

When completed, his hotel will be equal to the best conducted, best appointed, and most handsome in the country towns of this State.

Mr. George Walliss' commodious covered in Yards, Stables and Loose-boxes, the largest and most complete in the State of Victoria. Total area, 18,618 feet.

Two views taken from the plans of the new "Eureka Hotel" which is to be one of the most handsome and best appointed in the country towns of Victoria when completed.

From the booklet "RAINBOW OF TO-DAY. 1910"
Page 55

Compiled and Published by J. EDWARD ROBERTSON. OCTOBER, 1910.


Since taking over " The Royal Hotel," Rainbow, Mr. M. P. Seery has proved a
most courteous and business-like landlord, and to-day it is at the zenith of its popularity. "The Royal" is splendidly situated in Federal-street, and is a
solid, well-built structure, on which many improvements have been made, notably a fine, commodious yard for the accommodation of farming traps on market and other days. The table kept is tip-top; a good substantial meal can always be relied upon; the spirits, wines, etc., are of the best, also his sparkling beer.

The turnover has greatly increased during Mr. Seery's tenancy, and that is a good criterion of the success attending his efforts to cater for the public on a liberal and up-to-date basis. Mr. Seery has made many friends in Rainbow, and is one of the finest and best landlords the writer has yet met:

5/5 - (1 vote)

Last Updated on February 19, 2024

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