Historical information

Christoher Watson's Eltham Hotel, cnr Maria Street (Main Road) and Pitt Street, Eltham. Christopher Watson in centre (bareheaded).

Reproduced on p60 of 'Pioneers & Painters'

The hotel was constructed in the 1850s immediately following the discovery of gold in Victoria. The original founder, a Mr Warren. engaged a builder named Wallace, to erect the hotel, and being unable to finance it, the story goes, handed it over to Mr Wallace, who finished the job, and received the first licence. The building was constructed of hard basaltic blue stone, quarried in the Eltham district, and partly of bricks made at Eltham. At that time the town owned not only an hotel, but a flour mill, a brewery, a brickworks, and other important industries. The hotel was carried on for the benefit of the first owners for over 30 years and was then purchased by Mr Chris Watson. The hotel was in the early days a well-known resting place for the gold diggers during the gold rush at Woods' Point. A new hotel was erected on the same site by Mr H. Watson in 1925.


This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.'
It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Physical description

Digital image