Originally known as 'The Chequers Inn', The Astor Hotel is one of the most famous 19th century hotels in Goulburn, with a history which dates back to the 1840s.
The hotel was built in the 1845/46 by Mr William Simons. It was home to grand balls, excessive alcohol consumption, and was even visited by a bushranger or two.
While the Astor Hotel's modern decor and upcoming multi-million dollar renovations are a far cry from it's humble beginnings, whispers of history still haunt the establishment.
According to an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 4, 1851 the Chequers Inn played a part in the capture of a wanted man for "a most daring robbery".
The article states that two armed and disguised men entered a residence at Veteran Flats, three miles from Goulburn, in July 1851. They entered the residence of a Mr Kellick about 7pm and used "threats of violence, bailed Mr Kellick up and a man living in the house, tying their hands behind their backs, and took money and all the moveable property they could lay their hands on."
The article continues to say that one of the men was caught by police at about 12am that night, as "the night watchman and one of the constabulary were doing their rounds, they observed a man attempting to climb over the gate leading into Chequers Inn. On being questioned as to where he was going, he replied that he wanted rum, and had obtained it that way before".
The constable roused the owner, Mr Simons, who said he had never seen the man before. The man was then taken into custody. A search warrant was executed at his residence, but none of the stolen property was found.
A few years later the Chequers Inn was mentioned in relation to the death of a man from alcohol poisoning.
On December 16, 1854 the People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator published an article titled "Death by Intoxication".
The article details the death of an unknown man who while at the inn "fell several times on the floor, and otherwise blocked himself about in the bar". The man was taken to bed by the landlord, Mr Cohen, who "on going to see how he was getting on in the evening, found him dead".
Over the years the inn changed hands many times and bore many names including: the Beehive Hotel and Nash's Family Hotel.
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