HISTORY OF THE NORTH GREGORY HOTEL
Corfield & Fitzmaurice built the first North Gregory Hotel in 1879. The hotel was named after the name given to the district of Winton. This district was listed in the government gazette vol. 25 no.1 as Gregory North, a two square mile resumption of Doveridge No. 4 block and Vindex No. 1 block on the banks of the Western River.
It was in this hotel on 6 April 1895 that the first public rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was performed. Christina McPherson had heard the tune at the Warnambool races in Victoria and Banjo Paterson wrote the words as a result of stories told to him at a picnic at Combo Waterhole whilst he was a guest of the McPherson family at Dagworth Station. Between the two of them Waltzing Matilda was born and history made right here where you stand.
There have been three previous hotels on this site, all destroyed by fire, the first in 1900, the second in 1916 and the third in 1946.
In 1942, Lyndon B. Johnson relaxed in the North Gregory Hotel after his aircraft The Swoose forced-landed on Carisbrooke Station, a property 85km southwest of Winton.
After the hotel burnt down in 1946, the town was left with an unsightly gap in the main street. The council of the era realised the need for the hotel to be rebuilt and so by the placement of an extra levy on the rates and by a special act of parliament the North Gregory Hotel was raised from the ashes.
Construction of the new hotel began in 1952 and was completed in 1955 with the hotel’s grand opening later that year. Daphne Mayo was the artist who designed the sandblasted glass doors depicting three different scenes, Qantas, Waltzing Matilda and rural themes, which are displayed in doors throughout the building. The hotel used full silver service, including bellhops and a fully waited dining room as well as room service. The hotel was one of the largest employers in the town.
The need for the council to continue to own the hotel became redundant in the late 1980s and it was sold to a private interest in 1987.
The present owners, David and Prue Strang and family, purchased the hotel in late 1999 and will make your visit comfortable, memorable and informative.