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…
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.
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…
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.