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The Heidelberg Historical Society Museum is opening on Sundays from Sunday 29th November

The Museum is opening on Sunday 29th November, Sunday 6th December, and Sunday 13th December 2020. It will be closed for the remainder of 2020, until February 2021.

With social distancing, we can only have 2 people and 1 volunteer in the Research Room and up to 4 people in the Exhibition space during each time slot between 2pm and 3:15pm and 3:30pm and 4:45pm.

Book your timeslot by email only at heidelberg.historical.society@gmail.com. This applies to our members as well as to the public.

Face masks are required to be worn inside the Museum. You will be required to leave your name and phone number as per Victorian Government regulation.

If you are not a member you can join by submitting the online application form which will be processed by our Secretary promptly.

23rd November 2020

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Heidelberg Historical Society

The Tower Hotel Alphington - or what's left of it!

Posted on Tuesday, 19th May 2020 by Janine Rizzetti

Only half of the Halfway House Hotel remains….

It seems that we’ve been driving past the shell of the old Tower Hotel in Alphington for ages, with the gutting of the original hotel and its gradual deterioration prior to redevelopment.

There has been a hotel on this site since the mid 1860s, but at that time it was called the Halfway House Hotel. It was a small timber hotel, and there was quite a bit of resistance to granting its licence because there were already two other hotels nearby- the Alphington Hotel on the site of Dan Murphy’s and the Darebin Bridge Hotel on the west side of Heidelberg Rd, on the Ivanhoe side of the bridge.

It was purchased by William Frew in 1891 who demolished the old wooden hotel and built the double storey building in Italian Renaissance style in its place. He renamed it, appropriately enough, the Tower Hotel.

Image: State Library of Victoria John T Collins 1907-2001, photographer. Dec. 29, 1963

In 1898 the ‘Sportsman’ newspaper 28/2/98 described it as a “well-known house [is] splendidly situated, contains over 20 rooms including bedrooms, sitting, commercial, smoking rooms and a well-appointed billiard room.” The billiard room was a separate single-story building to the hotel.

Between 1881 and 1909 there was a total of at least 22 publicans, many of them women, with few staying more than a few years. It was not until Isabelle Herbert took over the licence in 1934 that there was a period of stability until the 1960s, when the picture here was taken. It operated as a hotel until the late-2000s.

2016 prior to partial-demolition

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