The story of ...
A public house is an establishment licensed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption. A pub, also known as a tavern, inn or hotel, was more often than not one of the first structures built in any new colony. Victoria’s public houses proliferated during 1850s gold-rush; with establishments tending to incorporate a bar separating patrons from publicans and which initially tended to be male-dominated.
Fyans’ Ford, a shallow river-crossing named after police magistrate Foster Fyans, became important to travellers moving between Geelong and Ballarat during the 1830s and '40s and, as a watering hole, for bullock teams
en-route to or from Victoria’s western district wool market.
Fyansford rapidly became a growing community, one which serviced the needs not only of the travellers but also the settlers who moved into the area beside the confluence of the Moorabool and Barwon Rivers seeking to take advantage of the rich, fertile soil and the reliable water supply; ideally suited for grazing and the growing of crops. It was natural, therefore, that pubs should be among the first buildings in the district.
The Swan Inn was the first public house located within a very short distance of the ford. However, the construction of the 1854 bridge across the Moorabool River, saw an additional two local establishments operating - the Fyansford and Balmoral hotels. The ensuing years saw the rise (and fall) of other similar establishments,
the Small Black Bull Inn, the Fair View, Junction, and Friend in Hand hotels.
Currently, there are four venues in Fyansford with liquor licences -
Blogs ~ public houses in & around fyansford
Blog #5 fair view hotel
Blog #6 junction hotel
Blog #7 friend in hand hotel
Blog #8 sMALL bLACK bULL inn
Blog #9 southern star hotel
1843 Fyanstown Inn built on the western banks of the Moorabool River (John Atkins)
1854 Balmoral Inn built east of the Moorabool River and north of the Great Western Road (James Miller)
1854(!) Friend in Hand Hotel constructions began (T. Brock)
1854-55 Fyans' Ford Hotel built east of the Moorabool River south of the Great Western Road (C. Dawson)
1855 Fair View Hotel located on the junction of Great Western and Ballarat roads (James Noble)
1869 Junction Hotel located on the junction of Great Western and Ballarat roads
1890 Small Black Bull Inn appears on map (Origin, history and demise unknown)
1880 Fair View Hotel suffers severe storm damage
1917 Junction Hotel delicenced - Becomes 'Junction' House' (a private residence)
1980 Junction Hotel demolished (new premises erected on site)
2016 Swan Inn ruins gutted by fire
As well as being a growing rural and industrial hub, Fyansford was an important point through which many travellers en-route to or from Ballarat and the Western District passed. Thus, it was logical that the small enterprising community should endeavour to provide for the needs of the weary traveller, the farmers and factory workers. The number of public ale houses grew, thrived and ceased to exist as needs and opportunities came and went.
Public houses known to have existed at some time:
Without a doubt this is the
best source of information
regarding Fyansford's public houses
in & around Fyansford
just comfort stops...
Southern Star Hotel
This 1857 map (unknown origin)
show a hotel/house on the site.
a brief history of public houses in & around fyansford
A series of e-flipbooks detailing what we know about our 'locals'
Jo Mitchell is the amazing authority behind Barwon Blog.
An informative picture of Jo is painted on HUG (Humans in Geelong)
Over recent years as I have become increasingly constrained by physical limitations, the bulk of my Fyansford.com-related research has of necessity been on-line. Without a doubt one of the starting points to any of my inquiries is always Barwon Blog. I highly recommend this resource to anyone with an interest in virtually anything to do with the Barwon River and its locality.
These links take you to Jo's blogs that relate to Fyansford hotel.
The Junction Hotel
Four bridges and a ford: the first bridge
Four bridges and a ford: the ford
Four bridges and a ford: cutting a path to the new bridge
Grabbing a bite!
What really happened at the Friend in Hand Hotel
Thomas Brock: the ghost of the Friend in Hand
From ford to food bowl
A fair view