Nandewar Historical Society - History Notes

22nd February 2023

Another week has flown past with visitors to the museum on Saturday afternoon taking a great interest in some of the items in the museum as well as the second hand books, which was unusual.  We still wait for the person who purchased the old Women’s Weekly at the markets some months ago – unfortunately we do not have a point of contact so we cannot find out if she still wants them. This is meeting week with quite a bit to discuss so I hope we have a good roll up and don’t forget we have a street stall coming up soon.

Last week’s article on the NAB closure was a great idea and the photo of the original building is one of the clearest that I have seen.  However the very early history of the building is not quite correct. The first branch of the C.B.C. bank opened in a building just on the north side of the present Victoria Hotel.  It so happens that the Society recently had a request for information on the passing of an early bank manager’s child.  This family were residing and conducting the bank in Salter’s building – some readers will know about the old Salters Hotel – the first pub after the McKid family opened their shop in Barraba in the 1840s.

William Mell, his parents and siblings, arrived in Australia in 1863 and took up land to the west of town.  Young William later sold his selection and invested his money in a new hotel.  It was a single-story brick building build about 1890 and this is the building pictured in last week’s news. The old bank building was in a poor state and ready to be demolished as soon as a new home for the bank could be found and so William leased his building to the bank in the early 1890s.  The second bank manager to live in the new building, Mr McKay, arrived in 1893 and in less than a year he had been shot and killed by the bushrangers.

A new bank manager was appointed and in a couple of years the new bank building and residence had been completed on the present bank site.  Thirty years later this building was demolished and the present was erected. After the Bank left, the building became the Victoria hotel circa 1898 when Mrs Carmody obtained the license to open the hotel – some sources have a Mr Simpson actually holding the license for her as in those days it was not legal for a woman to hold a license.  However there needs to be some investigation here as the Central Hotel had Eliza Kelaher holding the license in the 1890’s.

Mrs Carmody stated that there were 6 rooms in the building excluding those for the use of the family.  Her control of the hotel only lasted a short time as she married Charley Tufrey and by April, 1904 he held the license. The marriage failed and Mrs Carmody/Tufrey left the Victoria Hotel.  It is likely that Mr Tufrey added the second story in 1910 and it appears in the well known photo of the council machinery entering the main street in 1911.