Bridge Hotel, Forest Lodge: Founded on gold

Bridge Horel Forest Lodge FORMER NSW b edited

The former Bridge Hotel, Forest Lodge, Sydney, 2018. Photo: Time Gents.

Bridge Hotel Forest Lodge NSW Aug 1930 ANU

Bridge Hotel, Forest Lodge, Sydney. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

LIKE Melbourne, Sydney too had its gold-rush pubs.

The former Bridge Hotel at Forest Lodge, in Sydney’s inner-west, was established in August 1877 by Irishman Tom McInerney.

A pioneering member of the Irish National League in Sydney, Tom built an elaborate two-storey brick pub with balcony that sadly has been dry for over 60 years.

The Bridge Hotel, on the corner of what was then Pyrmont Bridge Road and Junction Street came about after Tom’s success on the Gulgong gold fields, in western NSW.

Gulgong was gazetted as a goldfield in 1866 with small finds, but when the precious metal was discovered at Red Hill, 500 miners flocked to the town in six weeks.

By 1872, Tom was among a population of 20,000 seeking their fortune on the Gulgong goldfields. And wealth he did find.

A cashed-up McInerney came to Sydney, and with a new bride, Margaret – who he had married the year before – they built and opened the Bridge Hotel on Pyrmont Bridge Road.

Unlike the goldfields of Gulgong though, Tom’s new pub never brought the Irish nationalist much luck. His wife gave birth to two daughters, the first, Mary, in 1877 and later in 1879, Margaret while he was licensee.

The McInerneys second daughter, five-year-old Margaret died in 1884.

Tom’s bad luck continued in 1886. His wife, Margaret also died in December 1886.

Less than three months after her death, the publican was also in his grave, leaving a 10-year-old daughter, Mary to grieve. His funeral in February 1887 was large, with over 200 people attending his graveside ceremony at Rookwood.

Tom’s estate was declared bankrupt the following year.

The pub was eventually bought by one of the two big breweries, who were always eager to swoop on a bargain when it came to bankrupt or insolvent publicans’ estates.

Tooheys Limited bought in November 1892 for of £2,800.

The pub was described as having a 29feet frontage to Pyrmont Bridge-road and 72feet to Junction street. The pub had nine rooms, a bar, kitchen, stables, and outhouses, and returned a rent of £5 a week. The bidding for the pub was said to have been fierce, with Tooheys rival, Tooths no doubt eager to purchase the busy corner pub.

The end came for the historic pub in 1950 when Tooheys and the licensee, Joseph Kerr began preparations to move the license of the Bridge Hotel to Sydney’s booming western suburbs.

Tooheys employed Arthur Bennet to manage the pub until a new hotel could be built at Enfield. The replacement pub – architecturally – is a sad inditement on its predecessor.

The Boulevarde Hotel continues to trade at Enfield, and now is under the name ‘P.J. Gallagher’s Irish Pub’. The former Bridge Hotel is now a private residence and a retail premises.

Bridge Hotel Forest Lodge NSW 1949 ANU

Bridge Hotel, Forest LOdge, Sydney 1949. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

Enfield Boulevarde Hotel Enfield 1960 ANU

The Boulevarde Hotel, Enfield, 1960 – the result of the license transfer. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.


Can you help with a small donation?


One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Would you like to make a small donation towards the continuing operations and publishing of The Time Gents website? If you would like to support my work, you can leave a small donation here with your credit card. Your generous patronage of my work and research, however small it appears to you, will greatly help me with my continuing costs

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

A$5.00
A$15.00
A$100.00
A$5.00
A$15.00
A$100.00
A$5.00
A$15.00
A$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

A$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

tips

PAYPAL BAR TIP

YOU can also make a small donation towards the running of The Time Gents website through Paypal. If you would like to support my work, you can leave a small tip here of $2, or several small tips, just increase the amount as you like. Your generous patronage of my work and research, however small it appears to you, will greatly help me with my continuing costs.

2.00 A$




Categories: NSW hotels, Publicans, Sydney hotels

Tags: , , , , , ,

What's Your Thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: