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Singleton Argus 2nd Nov,1901 One of the oldest and at one time most popular hotels of the town of Singleton is the Caledonian.Of late years it has been neglected. Nobody seems to have had any interest in it.It might belong to anybody,or it might be in Chancery for what anybody could tell from it's general appearance.It seemed a pity,but no-one worried until a gentleman named Sharp - Oswald.G.Sharp - came along and took over the management and then things began to change, and there was noise and bustle,and the voice of the spring cleaner was heard in the land and Oswald.G. -comercial travellers call him Joe for short - explained that he was bringing the old Caledonia right up to date.It has taken time and money and patience but the result is perfect.
On Thursday a reporter was shown right over the hotel and was pleased with the wonderful change which has been made in everything.Once before the same reporter was there.There was a politcal meeting on the balcony.There was about a dozen or fifteen people on it.The reporter asked George Fairley whether it was safe."Yes" said George,"it's safe for about four people!"The reporter then kept off the balcony.
That has now been renewed and is perfectly safe again. The drawing room has been refurnished and carpeted and is a large, airy and comfortable room. Two lovely bedrooms open of this room, well-lit, with comfortable beds and every convenience. Further down the passage are other sleeping rooms all scrupulously clean and comfortable. All the front rooms have the advantage of the balcony and convenient french lights. Downstairs, the commercial room is a handsome apartment and comfortably and appropriately furnished, while the dining room, is a large, cool room in the hottest weather. Here, two, the furniture is easy and comfortable and substantial. But the part which must attract attention is the large hall with its compliment of cane chairs and lounges-a delicious place for an after dinner smoke in the cool breeze. The living part of the house is under the personal supervision of Mrs Sharp, and this will be a warranty that its present excellence will be maintained. At the back of the hotel to, the change is still to be noticed. The kitchen has been completely transformed and re-ceiled, making it comfortable and fit for a white cook to work in. Repairs are being made to the stables, and when complete, will bring them right up to the general standard of excellence. In the bar is an array of bottles and flasks containing liquor put up by all the best makers. " You see, " said George G., alias Joe, " This, like other of the hotels in Singleton, is a free house-not tied-consequently I can buy where and how I please. I need hardly say this secures good liquor." It is a sign of the times when good houses like the Caledonia begin to assume their old appearance of prosperity, and augurs well for the commercial prosperity of the town and district. Mr Sharp is a stranger among us, but he comes with excellence credentials, and has already shown that he is jolly good fellow, and as such he is sure to receive his share of the business going.
Alexander Munro had built the small Sir Thomas Inn on the site in 1841 and replaced it with the large CALEDONIA HOTEL in 1851.In the 1868 Rate Book it was stated as "two,story,brick iron roof,13 rooms". The Singleton Argus 9th November 1901 advertisement stated" 14 bedrooms, 2 dining rooms, 2 parlours, sample room,kitchen,bathroom, laundry, pantry, man's room, stables, 4 stalls, buggy house etc". It had a 73ft frontage to George St, 73ft to High St, and 332ft to Cambridge St. The sale was on account of Mrs R.H. Levien, a grand daughter of Alexander Munro.
The Singleton Argus 23rd November 1901 advised that the hotel was sold at a private sale to Manus Strain, an old Victorian miner, for 1500 pounds with stock and furniture at valuation.His wife was formerly Catherine Sharp.Oswald Graham Sharp and his wife Nancy managed the hotel until 31st July 1902 when Manus Strain became Manager and his own superviser with extensive repairs and renovations carried out in his time.Following his death on 25th Feb 1910, his widow became owner/licencee.
The Singleton Argus 2nd June 1910 stated"An old and well Known hostelry in Singleton has changed its name, by adding a letter CALEDONIA becomes CALEDONIAN. The change occured we believe in the pen error in the application for transfer of licencee and the writer was probalby indved thereto by a conscientious love for the English language and euphony.The style CALEDONIAN is certainly more correct and pleasant to the ear " than CALEDONIA"
The name CALEDONIAN hotel is still retained.
Nerida Moore and Dot Clayworth