celebrating our gold rush past
Built in 1876, at the beginning of the Kumara gold rush, the Hotel was the meeting, entertaining and playing place for the miners who had arrived in Kumara, from all around the world. The first owners were Annie and Otto Anderson. Otto was from Scandinavia and Annie from Germany.
Prior to the first church being built, confirmations were held in the Hotel. A thirty metre theatre was added and travelling shows would come from England and America to perform. The famous New Zealand poet, Thomas Bracken, was a popular guest performer. Richard John Seddon was often known to take to the stage and sing.
Dancing girls were employed to “dance” with the miners. One of the rooms was sound-proofed, with walls lined with sawdust, which was used when more than dancing was required. When the gold was being struck, the message would be passed down to Annie to get the dancing girls ready, as “the boys were coming to town”.
When current owners Kerrie and Mark Fitzgibbon purchased the hotel in 2010 it was derelict, vandalised and in total disrepair. Two years were spent with local tradesmen working to restore and rebuild the old building, which holds many special memories for Coasters of today.
The Hotel was reopened in November 2012 and was presented with the HANZ Award for Excellence as the Best New/Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel in New Zealand in 2013. The Hotel has since been awarded the HANZ Award for Excellence as New Zealand’s Best Country Hotel in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Below are some photo’s of the celebrations at the Grand Re-opening of the Hotel.