THERE’S a pub in the Northern Rivers region of NSW that has an intriguing sign.
The Charcoal Inn at Casino, about 30kms from Lismore, was built in the middle of last century. But like many Australian pubs, she’s been rebuilt from an earlier version. The current pub opened for business in 1955.
Originally known as the Lion Hotel, and later the South Casino Hotel, the story of how the Charcoal Inn got its name is interesting.
Matthew Dougherty owned the South Casino Hotel on October 28 1941 when a fire almost destroyed the old landmark. Matthew’s father, who died in 1939, had owned the pub before him for over 10 years.
The upper floor of the pub was destroyed by the blaze, but the beer continued to flow in the undamaged bar.
Local troops, who patronised the place, began referring to the pub as the Charcoal Inn. Dougherty liked the name, and it stuck.
On August 9, 1945, Doughty made an application to the Licensing Court to have the name changed officially from that of ‘The South Casino Hotel’ to ‘The Charcoal Inn’.
When the application came before the Licensing Magistrate (Mr. G. L. Berry) he reportedly was inclined to regard it as frivolous but, with a shrug of his shoulders, said: “Well, if that’s the name they want they may as well have it”.
He officially changed the sign in 1945, before the old place was completely demolished 10 years later and replaced with the current structure.
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Categories: NSW hotels
How long have The paintings been on the ceiling of the Charcoal Inn in Casino NSW And who painted them or are they stencils?