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The sisters of the Star of the West pub in Kimberley, Vosburg, Australia

Sisters of The Kimberley Star of the West

Did you know the Star of the West has sisters, brothers and cousins?
This information was locked somewhere in the back of mind- until today when I stumbled onto an almost identical twin on the interweb facetube.

When internet and social media make out a large part of your work, one thing can easily lead to another, and you have to be careful not to be completely sidetracked…

Vosburg's Star of the West Sister, the Karoo Country Inn

Vosburg’s Star of the West Sister: The Karoo Country Inn

Today I had to show a colleague what an inverter installed with a battery bank and chargers looks like. I thought of two friends working with solar electricity and tracked over to their Websites and Facebook pages.  While on Danie’s Profile I scrolled past a picture of the Kimberley Star of the West…no wait that is not the Star..hmm interesting.  After the inverter stories were sorted out, I forgot about the pic until later the day when I noticed it while closing down browser window. Then I saw a clue: Vosburg.

Off to Google Maps we go.  As I was gliding towards Vosburg in the Google Streetview car, lo and behold, there is was, The Karoo County Inn, Vosburg’s almost identical twin of Kimberley’s Star of the West on the edge of town.

Wondering how many people would genuinely mistake the building for the Star of the West I took a snip and posted it to Facebook.  For a couple of hours the majority of responders thought it was the Star of the West, a few naming the Phoenix Hotel and one vote for the Hostel at CBC. About ten hours later Marina Scholtz from Vosburg was the first person to correctly identify the building as “Vosburg se Hotel”.

Somewhere in-between another sidetrack popped up leading me all the way down under: The mention of a “replica” in Australia on the Kimberley Star’s City Portal Listing. So off to Google and Google Maps again.  I glided over to 76 Sackville Street, Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia to find another, very similar, building called The Star of the West Hotel.  This Star Sister was built in 1856 by John Taylor, a black hotel entrepreneur.

PORT FAIRY STAR OF THE WEST IN AUSTRALIA This substantial two storey stone structure was erected in 1856 for John Walwyn Taylor, a West Indian negro and hotel entrepreneur. The colonial Georgian style building originally with a large timber verandah and later replaced with an iron structure, is a utilitarian design of unknown origin. One of the most notable of the many colonial Georgian style buildings in Port Fairy, it was, when completed in 1856, the largest and most commodious hotel in Western Victoria. The extensive balcony verandah was often used for public entertainment and political addresses. The hotel which was, for many years used as a Cobb & Co staging place, was intended to be part of a chain of “Star” hotels to be built by Taylor, but which never eventuated because of Taylor’s death in 1860. The “Star of the West” hotel has been subject to many minor alterations necessitated by the Liquor Commission of Victoria regulations. The exterior, including the later cast iron verandah, is intact. Classified 12/05/1958 Part of Port Fairy Historic Area Classified 02/03/1981.

This is not the complete journey, but time is up for today.  More to follow later today, tomorrow or sometime in the future when time allow…

Euclid Boraine 
Star of the West Australia - Photo by Euclid Boraine‎

Star of the West Sister in Port Fairy, Australia – Photo by Euclid Boraine‎

Star of the west Historic - Kimberley Holiday Guide

Additional info from Steve Lunderstedt – Added 06/07/2017
It turns out that The Star of the West in Kimberley is the replica and the one in Australia is the original

The Star of the West is an interesting tale.

It claims to be the oldest bar in Kimberley dating from 1870, which I doubt.

It is the only old bar in Kimberley where I can find no trace of its founding as they advertise and I do believe its early history is fabricated
– done for marketing purposes. This entailed going through all newspapers as well as liquor licencing.

It is only “modern” stories from the 1960s onwards that claim its history.

The Star of the West in Fairy is most definitely earlier, the date confirms that as Kimberley South Africa only settled in 1871 and gets named as a town in 1873.

Research I have done shows that a Richard Preston was granted a licence as a victualler in 1877 which then makes it the third oldest pub in Kimberley. I do know that the present structure was only built between 1900 and 1903 which seems to tie in with your story about the two sisters.

The name of the lady would help tremendously.

I will go around later today to confirm the date of the current building as displayed on the heritage site plaque.

Kind regards

Steve Lunderstedt

Portrait of the Star of the West in Belgravia Lodge

Portrait of the Star of the West in Belgravia Lodge Via Valerie Weir Hayes

Sources

The Kimberley City Portal Facebook Page

The Star of the west Listing on The Kimberley City Portal Website

The Port Fairy Star of the West Hotel Facebook Page and Website

The White Pacific: U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas

Vosburg Pan Fun

Wegry Bull Rally

Karoo Country Inn

Panaramio, Tofo, Google, Google Maps, News 24

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About James Gird

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