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Did you know? : First community hotel in the British Empire

When Renmark was established in 1887, it was designated a dry town under the South Australian government's agreement with the Chaffey brothers. However, the wealthier inhabitants imported their own wine and spirits and the average settler could purchase alcohol at any of a number of sly grog shops that proliferated. From 1895, the editor of the Renmark Pioneer newspaper, Chris Ashwell, led a campaign to establish a community hotel in the settlement. The profits of the hotel would be returned to the town to be spent on community organisations, projects and programs. The South Australian government passed a bill to allow the establishment of a community hotel at Renmark in December 1896. The first licensee-manager, Jane Meissner, was granted the license at Clare on 3 March 1897. The hotel was officially opened just five days later, on 8 March 1897. The Renmark Hotel was the first community hotel in the British Empire. The hotel occupied an existing building and renovations were made within the first year of opening. A second storey was added in 1902 (completed 1903) and the building was extensively remodelled in 1935, giving the hotel its current Art Deco style.

Hotel Renmark
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Renmark Hotel
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