There appears to be a couple of differing accounts as to the origins of the Hamilton Inn. One account was that The Inn was constructed by John Collins and his wife, Elizabeth, following their move to Hamilton from Hobart Town in 1832. John was a convict who had been sentenced to transportation to the colonies for seven years for theft in 1821. John was only 17 years of age at the time. Somewhere in the following years, John and his wife appear to have gotten themselves in some sort of bother by "keeping a disorderly house for the reception of lewd persons of both sexes". It would seem this incident was what caused John & Elizabeth to pack up their belongings and move to Hamilton.
Another account as to the Inn's origin was that it was constructed by Postmaster William Roadknight as a private residence and shop in 1830 and was first licensed as The New Inn in 1838.
The Inn may have begun life as the Hamilton Inn, but over the years it has been know by various other names. It appears to have been known locally at some stage as The New Inn. Sometime around 1860, the name was changed and became Hart's Hotel. Following a major fire in the region during 1932, the Inn was known as The West Coast Road Hotel.By 1956, it was the Hamilton Hotel and finally in 1986, it's name was reverted back to The Hamilton Inn, a name it carries to this day.
The major fire that struck the Inn in 1932 almost saw an end to the pub as it appears that the Inn sustained major fire damage. A humorous story from that time is as follows
"Apparently the Hamilton school children were let out of school on the day of the fire and many of the kids helped out with the big clean up around the Inn. To show his gratitude to the children, the publican gave all the kids what he though were water damaged bottles of cordial. It wasn't until the children began complaining about the taste of their cordial, that the publican realized his mistake - he hadn't given them cordial, he had given them bottles of rum by mistake"
The Inn rose from the ashes and has continued to provide shelter, a good meal and a cold beer. Major renovations and restorations have taken place over the years by various owners as they all sought to bring the Inn as close as possible to its original form.
A beautiful place to visit. Stay a few days or swing by for a quiet ale!
Main Information Sources -
From Black Snake to Bronte : "Heritage buildings of the Derwent Valley in Tasmania" By Audrey Holiday & John Trigg