Historical information

When Mrs Julia Ronan nee Arundel lost her husband John to tuberculosis in 1906, she quickly decided to move from their small farm into Wodonga with her 3 children.
She was granted the lease of the ground she needed to establish her eating house at one shilling per year while she remained there.
Two established merchants Albert Schlink and John Whan and butcher Jack Garrett agreed to allow her credit which enabled her to open Ronan's Dining Rooms at the Wodonga Saleyards.
It was often a challenging environment, with drovers, and horse- breakers, auctioneers and bushmen bringing huge mobs of cattle and horses to the saleyards. Stories of the premises include the unexpected arrival in the passage of a lively bullock which finished up on the girls' bed. Mrs Ronan persevered and beat all obstacles to finally move from the saleyards to the Wodonga Coffee Palace in High Street, beside the railway gates in 1921. The construction of the Hume Weir had begun and some construction workers boarded at the Coffee Palace.
Her 3 children achieved success due to their mother’s hard work to ensure their futures. Bill trained for the priesthood and was a parish priest, but died from tuberculosis 1n 1939 aged of 41. Katie became a highly accomplished music teacher, including 32 years at Albury Public School. In the 1930s she was able to buy a house at 49 High Street, Wodonga where she lived with her mother and sister Mary. Mary trained in office work at Edmondson’s solicitors and then worked on the Albury Council.
After living with her daughters in the High Street house, Julia passed away on her 90th birthday in 1958. Mary died on 6 January 1983. Katie passed away in Wodonga at the age of 97 on the 16 September 1996. All members of the family are buried at Yackandandah, Victoria.

Physical description

A black and white image of Miss Mary Ronan, Mrs Julia Ronan and Miss Teresa Trudewind at the Old Saleyards Dining Room, Wodonga.

Inscriptions & markings

On front of building: DINING ROOMS/ MRS. J. RONAN