Friday, May 18, 2018

Thames (NZ): Alpine Hotel at Tararu

Do you ever get lost in where to go next for inspiration? Well its been one of those days. Then along comes a message from Keith at Auckland Libraries to checkout some new photographs on Thames.

Well the first one I look at reawakens the need to do some further Hotel research - as a new photograph reveals some new information.

The Alpine Hotel, we knew was at the Tararu Junction...supposedly somewhere along the Tararu Road. Well we now have a photograph to go with the little previously known.

A two storied building up the Tararu Creek area. You will note the very low head room in the upper story that was very common for Thames hotels. It was often noted in the various hotels, that you would have to bend over once you got up the stairs. While in the case of the Alpine Hotel, the high pitched roof would no doubt have given some head clearance.

Open from at least 1869, the Alpine Hotel was the venue for mining meetings, which were regularly held at the premises. There was also an Alpine Goldmining Company in operation at Tinkers Gully up the Tararu in 1869. Hotels were often named at the Thames after nearby mines, so whether this was the case for the Alpine Hotel, has not yet been confirmed.

By 1873, John Milne was the license holder for the Alpine Hotel, at a time when the annual fees for the hotels in the remote areas were reduced. Milne had his annual license fee reduced to 20 Pounds at the June Licensing Court hearing.

In 1874, the hotel was put up for auction or removal. It was described as having nine rooms, which were lined and papered, as well as having a double chimney. That is the last heard of the Alpine Hotel at Tararu.

ALPINE HOTEL - ?R Johnson Proprietor
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 536-Album-285-2-1