Historic Mount Garnet pub calls last drinks

Mount Garnet Hotel


THE Mount Garnet Hotel, located 163km south-west of Cairns, has called last drinks.

Sadly the historic pub – the town’s last – will close on October 29 2023.

The Mount Garnet Hotel posted to its Facebook Page on October 11 2023:

“It’s with great sadness that we confirm that the Garnet Pub will be closed from November 1st 2023. We thank all our customers and friends for supporting us and look forward to the last 3 weeks with you all.”

With a population of just over 400 people, the closing of the far north Queensland pub isn’t sitting well with locals.

Rose Beatton posted to the pub’s Facebook Page: “What!!!!! Can the community pull together to fix this… whatever the problem is. It has been done before I. Country towns, many times!”

Jacqui Ryan also posted to the Page: “It is meant to be reopening. I enquired about it when it was up for sale. Was hoping to buy it but unfortunately it had just sold. Would seriously consider Garnet Pub.”

The Mount Garnet Hotel was built in 1898 with the first licence taken out by Denis Joseph Lucey on January 4 1899. The pub was the first and last of seven hotels in the mining town.

The builder of Denis Lucey’s hotel was Mark Brazier and wood was sourced from a sawmill near Ravenshoe.  

The great granddaughter of Denis Lucey, Peta O’Connor tells me that after he died in 1910, his wife, Julia held the license, and later his son, Len.

When Len Lucey died in 1963, the women of the Lucey family – Annie, then daughters Sheila, then finally Erin took over the lease.

Mount Garnet C1899. Picture: State Library of Queensland.
Mount Garnet Hotel, undated. Picture: Craig Masterson, Looking Back: North Queensland Facebook Group.
Lucey’s Mount Garnet Hotel 1986. Picture: State Library of Queensland.

“The story goes that Julia and Denis packed up a hotel at Irvinebank that she ran (I have not found anything to corroborate the owning or running of this),” Peta told me by email.

“Anyway, they brought over by dray from Irvinebank, the makings of the hotel, which was a one storey building, with another two storey building being built later.”

The pub’s claim to fame in 1926 was that it possessed the town’s one and only “wireless set”. The Cairns Post reported in November 27 1926:

A closer link with the large centres of population has just been joined by the instalment of a six valve listening in set, at Lucey’s, Mount Garnet Hotel, by which local residents have heard, for the first time in many instances, concerts at Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The pub will hold a Halloween Closing Party on October 29 2023.

For more history of the pub visit The Time Gents story: Road Trip: Millaa Millaa and beyond

© Copyright Mick Roberts 2023

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Categories: Australian Hotels, Queensland hotels


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