THE Emu Inn traded at the north-eastern corner of George and Bathurst streets in Sydney, opposite St Andrews Cathedral for almost 60 years.
This newspaper photo was taken in 1886, the same year in which it was demolished to make way for what was described as a “handsome block of buildings” known as Riley Brothers department stores.
Duncan Macpherson, who went on to host the Royal Exchange Hotel at King and George streets, for many years afterwards, was the last publican of the Emu Inn.
The Emu Inn’s taps began flowing with ale in about 1825, with the first recorded publican being Joseph Aarons, who kept the pub until 1835.
Sarah Tighe came into possession of the pub after Aaron, and in 1839, John Booth followed, and William Aitkenhead had it from 1846 to 1854.
William Kelly became the licensee after Aitkenhead, and James Kelly followed him. He kept possession until 1875, when Edward J. Wehlow, a well-known colonial citizen, took the license. Wehlow held many licences, including some of Sydney’s most historic pubs. At one time he had the ancient Woolpack, at Parramatta.
William Easy succeeded Wehlow, and died there in 1881, his widow keeping the house until Macpherson steered the business to its closure in 1886.
Today, power company, Ausgrid occupies a glass and metal high-rise tower on the site where once traded MacPherson’s humble colonial inn.