History

The heart of Creswick since the 1850’s

Anthonys American Hotel

Built in the days of gold and glory, the American Hotel stands today as a unique link with Victoria’s gracious and colourful heritage. The American Hotel is renowned for its great food, excellent wines, romantic accommodation and gracious function rooms. The American Hotel is the perfect venue for intimate dinner parties, lunch with friends, catered functions or dinners to impress. The American Hotel story began in 1858, although the first licencee Thomas William Anthony established a boarding house on the site in 1853.

Anthony, Wagner and Hoyt were cousins, all American and owned Anthony’s Hotel conjointly. Jack Wagner was prominent in, and remained associated with Cobb & Co. for over thirty years. Wagner must have prospered as he built the Mansion “Stonnington” in Malvern. The Hoyt family leant its name to Hoyts Theatres. Not only does the American have the longest lineage of any public house in the district, but witnessed within its earliest walls the genesis of much of the borough’s civic and sporting development.

The American also housed, from 1859, the first thirty years of Creswick’s Havilah Lodge, and accommodated many of the district’s fledgling, but influential, organizations - the hotel was the unchallenged venue for banquets, political gatherings, major social functions, and meetings both annual and general, of spurious business, sporting, and civic bodies. Where else would the Borough Council adjourn when speeches, toasts and farewells were decreed? For over 15 decades significant social and political development took place in the American, which faces across Market Square. Even today it is involved in the development of Creswick, housing the registered office of the local Community bank company in 2007. At all times, the American contributed goodwill and care to a country town later famous for nurturing a remarkable number of national leaders, academics, businessmen, and artists. Prior to the opening of the railway line, the American’s role in communication was emphasised by housing the Cobb & Co. depot, for stages between Ballarat and Dunolly, and Ballarat and Castlemaine.
Early in its existence, the American became the rallying point for miners organisations and the centre for political gatherings and speeches. On one occasion, local electioneering included a Public Bar exhibition of appropriate cartoons drawn by teenage Percy Lindsay.

Historical Photos

During the last 150 years, the American Bar has attracted its measure of characters: barflies, touts, dipsomaniacs, free-wheelers, and honourable men. But one person stands out - an unpretentious politician, who was a member of Victoria’s Legislative Assembly for 44 years. When the train dropped him at Creswick at the end of each parliamentary week, he headed for the American to meet with his cronies, and catch up on local affairs and gossip.

It mattered not whether he was a backbencher or, at times Minister for Public Instruction, Labour, or Forests, and then Premier and Treasurer. Sir Alexander Peacock K.C.M.G. was a habitué of the American- yet remained a total abstainer. This open welcome has been an integral factor in the longevity of the American, which has remained Creswick’s dominant hostelry, despite there being an average of nineteen hotels in the town during the 1870-90s; as well as several licensed grocers and at least one colonial wine license.

Historical News & List of Operators


The Lindsay Room

Since 2004 we have renovated and recommissioned the first floor Function room which was derelict when we arrived. The Lindsay Room was established.

Before

The Lindsay Room - Before

After

The Lindsay Room - After


Rear Landing

We were allowed to build a landing from the rear of the building to include a balcony for pre function socialising with toilets and a bar.

Before

Rear Landing - Before

After

Rear Landing - After


Bedrooms

The next adventure was the shared bedrooms.

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Bedrooms - Before

After

Bedrooms - After


Bistro

From there we tackled the Bistro - the floor had to be replaced and room has been freshened up and a work in progress.

Before

Bistro - Before

After

Bistro - After


Bar

Then we needed to change with the times and address the Main Bar which ran the full length of the front of the Hotel. The first thing we did was to reduce the size of the bar and introduce a cafe area adjacent to the Bistro and the undercover alfresco area.

The original bar was slightly dated. The Floors needed to be done and the café section separated from the new Wine Bar.

Three new areas were made available to the public - the Café section, the Wine Bar and the Alfresco area adjacent to the Bistro.

Before

Bar - Before

After

Bar - After


Dining Room

Then the internal dining room had to be addressed.

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Dining Room - Before

After

Dining Room - After


Facade

Ongoing refurbishment of the façade and we are probably half way to the finish with vegetable gardens, new kitchens, a lounge and service enhancements in the pipeline...

Before

Facade - Before

After

Facade - After

 

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