History with Brian James: The great fire of Young, part two

1936 Albion Hotel, Les (on right) and Tops Schreiber (prop). Photo: contributed
1936 Albion Hotel, Les (on right) and Tops Schreiber (prop). Photo: contributed

continued from here.

Victor Frank built and opened the Criterion hotel in Burrowa Street before he transferred to the Commercial Hotel.

In early 1860 he was the licensee of the Tattersalls Hotel in Main Street Victor Frank built a dance Hall and concert room in the Criterion Hotel and for opening night he advertised a free concert.

Victor sold out to William Booth who already had an Inn on another part of the goldfield.

Victor Frank and Lang of the " Burrangong Courier" newspaper were both Masons and organised a Masonic Ball to be held at Shmiths Empire Hotel.

Minter was the proprietor at the time of the Great Fire. Booth read the masonic service over the remains of Vincent Circil, the Stoney Creek store keeper who was shot by bushrangers on February 13, 1883.

The Great fire was prevented by the vacant block on the eastern side of the Criterion from going any further. The next three buildings owned by Thomas Hayes were scorched but not burnt, they were Davis' furniture dealer, Lois Cohen store keeper and Mr. Bye also a storekeeper.

Some of the wooden balcony on the three shops was damaged and the back fence of the Great Eastern was destroyed.

Ehrlich's Newsagency and store was adjacent to the Union Bank and had been purchased freehold and as a vacant block. McPhee's newsagency purchased Ehrlich's business and moved it.

The Cameo Frock Shop was located here as was the Country Grocer and the Country Providore Café.In April 1926, James and Ida McInerney from Bendick Murrell purchased the business of Peter O'Rourke in Burrowa street for the sum of £500. Rent payable at that time was £2 10/- a week.

Their son, Paul, joined The firm in 1947 and he and others have served the public of Young ever since. The building was purchased 1951 for £5,000. At the time the premises was shared by McInerney's Mens Wear and Hairdressers, Ernie Walsh and Les Jamieson.

The barbers later moved to premises owned by the late Miss Rhall, next door, between McInerney's and the Criterion Hotel. When Paul joined the firm, the shop was known as The Top Dog Store. It was mainly supplied by Sargood Gardeners of Sydney, whose emblem was a Top Dog. Many times I have knocked the dust of the two big paper dogs outside the store, said Paul. The building has been renovated several times to accommodate additional stock and keep pace with modern trends.

McGuire's Ladies Wear was to the right of the Criterion, next was a material shop and then Mather's butcher shop.

The great fire of Young, continued from above

GJ Coles was situated next and before Coles Harry Palmer and then Stan McLees had hairdressing shops there.

A food shop run by Mrs Purcill and later Tester Porter Accountants were adjacent to the Great Eastern Hotel.

Charles Wright was an agent and had a store and auction room which was demolished, as well as a barbers shop and a bakers shop to allow GJ Coles to build.

The weatherboard Great Eastern Hotel was next it was renovated in 1924 by Millards and converted to brick.

In this vicinity there was a multitude of shops which I will list but not elaborate on.

GJ Coles built in the 1930's Later Target Country since closed (2019) Les Aspland , Barber. Lesley James Aspland moved to Young in 1921 and ran a ladies and a Gents hairdressing business

Leverson and Co Stock and Station Agent, John Barton Real Estate, Ray White Real Estate, Flight Centre Tourist, Nesbitt's Refreshment Shop, then Powderly's Café, then Steadman's Café, AML and F bought out Steadman. Young Warehouse J and M Discount house. The California Café. Kababs and Pizzas, Juicy Lucy's Rude Foods, PJ McInerney, Hairdresser. Cherry Blossom Forest.

Some of the proprietors of the Criterion Hotel was as follows: Harry Minter, William Booth, PJ O'Rourke, Thomas Short renewed his License, Norman Batleynce in 1910. Lillian Lamond Short 1949. HG (HEC) Fairweather (1964), Horace Lewis

This article was sourced from Local newspapers and research by Ross Maroney.

  • Brian James produces his column each Tuesday for publication in the Young Witness on behalf of the Young Historical Society Inc.