Friday, 2 August 2013

Dallas Arms Inn

The former Dallas Arms Inn is one of the oldest buildings in North Hobart. It is an interesting example of (possibly) an early Colonial cottage with later additions. It is a stone building comprising joined single storey and two storey sections. The single storey section with iron hip roof suggests it may have been an early cottage with two storey gable form added later. In September 1828, Benjamin Morris advertised the Dallas Arms Inn in the Colonial Times newspaper describing that 'his new and extensive Premises, which for taste and accommodation cannot be exceeded by any similar Establishment in the Colony, are now nearly completed.'  Morris only operated the pub for a few years before advertising its lease because 'His delicate state of health rendered it necessary for him to retire from business.'

Ann Morrisey purchased the Dallas Arms in 1832 for ₤1,288 but also only operated it for a couple of years before putting it up for sale by public auction.  The notice in the Hobart Town Courier described: 'That old established and commodious Inn, the “Dallas Arms,” on the New Town road, with extensive out-offices, yards, and paddock. …  The premises, which were built expressly for an Inn, are arranged in the most convenient manner, comprising an elegant dining room, 20 feet long, 18 wide, and 15 high; two parlours, a spacious bar and large tap room adjoining, with attics above, five excellent bed rooms, three servants' rooms, two capacious cellars, fitted up with bins; a large kitchen attached, and a six-stall stable, with granary over, chaise house, &c..  No expense has been spared in erecting and finishing the above; the materials and workmanship throughout are of the best possible description; the purchaser has only to step in and make his fortune.' William Bunster purchased the property for ₤1,505 in July 1834.

The Dallas Arms was again auctioned in November 1844 and was purchased by John Allan, a licensed publican who had been running the premises.  In August 1848 the Courier newspaper reported that there had been a fire at the Dallas Arms 'occasioned, as is supposed, from some sparks from a low chimney alighting upon the roof' and 'had it not been promptly got under control by the exertions of some workmen on the spot, it would shortly have consumed the whole house.'

John Allan, held the license for the Dallas Arms until his death in June 1866 when his widow, Elizabeth, took over.  The license later lapsed and when Elizabeth Allan applied for a new license in December 1872 it was refused on the basis that 'the house was not required in the neighbourhood, and it was out of repair.'  It is true that by this time there were a significant number of other pubs in the North Hobart area but the license was granted on appeal.

When Elizabeth Allan died in May 1874 her daughter, Ann, took over the license.  Ann ran the Dallas Arms until the early 1890s when the license was transferred to George Davis, who had married Mary Allan.
The pub was no longer licensed after 1918 and Miss Georgina Davis, daughter of George and Mary, established a business college on the premises, known as Davis College.
The property is now a private residence.

Information source: Australian Heritage Database