THE publican of the Shenton Park Hotel came to a nasty demise in 1928, after accidentally swallowing poison.
The hotel was built in 1907 on the corner of Nicholson and Derby Roads, Shenton Park, now a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Subiaco, just 4km west of the Central business district.
Last rounds were called at the pub in 1999.
The hotel was the third built in the City of Subiaco, after the Subiaco (1898) and the Victoria (1900). It was assured of patronage at first due to the Subiaco Football Club being based at Shenton Park Lake, and on the assumption that the recreation area would develop as the municipality’s main sporting facility. However, the football club relocated to Mueller Park in 1908 and the hotel struggled financially, until the licensee, Joseph Davis, erected a stage with seating on the adjacent lot and provided concerts for customers. After 1910, the area developed, with construction being boosted by the Workers’ Homes Act 1912. The hotel’s success was assured. Alterations were carried out in 1928.
In 1999 the hotel was closed, and was converted into ‘Shenton Village’, residential apartments for retirees.
The death of 50-year-old publican, Jim Durkin in 1928 is arguably one of the most tragic events in the history of the heritage listed former hotel.
One Saturday Jim, dry and thirsty, made his way to the bathroom in the early hours of the morning for a drink of water. In the semi-darkness he picked up a cup that contained a small quantity of disinfectant, and filling the vessel at the tap, swallowed its contents. The publican was found dead the following day.