AT its peak in popularity in the early 1900s, Emu Park, a Queensland coastal town on the Capricorn Coast about 20 kilometres south of Yeppoon, had four hotels to service its tourist industry.
The Pine Beach Hotel, once home to a famed 5.8 metre stuffed crocodile (See story: Giant crocodile captivated visitors at Emu Park’s Pine Beach Hotel for decades) is the sole survivor.
Prior to calling the Pine Beach Hotel home for almost 50 years, the famed croc first appeared as a tourist attraction at Emu Park’s Imperial Hotel.
The Imperial Hotel was built in the late 1880s, and was hosted by George Pettit when the croc was first put on display there in 1909.
James Bryce Begg, a Mt Morgan undertaker, and his wife Catherine took over the Imperial in 1911. The Beggs leased the Imperial in 1913 and went on to build another two pubs in the town.
The Imperial Hotel continued to operate until it was destroyed by fire in 1925. The Rockhampton Capricornian reported on Saturday, April 18, 1925:
Fire at Emu Park
The first picture is one of the Imperial Hotel, Emu Park [Qld] – the owner of which was Mrs Catherine Begg, licensee and owner of the Grand Central Hotel, Emu Park, and the lessee of which was Mr. H. M. F. Connolly – that was destroyed by fire early on the morning of Tuesday week, April 7. The second photograph shows all that was left of the place after the flames had done their work.
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Categories: Queensland hotels