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Paterson River history

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Half Way House Inn/Farmers Hotel, Vacy

Farmers Hotel at Vacy

The Farmers Hotel began in 1858 as the Half Way House Inn.

Clarke's Crossing of the Paterson River at Vacy

'Clarke's Crossing' on the Paterson River, shown in blue, was used before Vacy Bridge was built (1918 Gresford parish map, digitally enhanced).

The Half Way House at Vacy was built and owned by Gilbert Cory.[1] It was located at Clarke's Crossing of the Paterson River, which was just to the east (downstream) of the current Vacy Bridge (see image at right and below). It was licensed to Thomas Cordell in April 1858.[2]

Cordell held the licence until it was transferred to John Beattie in April 1864. In June 1866 the licence was transferred from Beattie to John Crotty[3] who held it until 1880.[4]

The hotel may have closed for a while, as the Maitland Mercury reported in 1880 ... "Mr. Johhny Bluford has just taken and re-opened that well-known hostelry at Vacy known as the Half-Way House Inn".[5] John Bluford (Blueford) held the licence until 1896 when it was transferred to Bernard Higgins. The hotel was destroyed by fire in November 1896 but continued to trade in temporary premises nearby.

Higgins rebuilt the hotel away from the old river crossing road, on the site where it stands today, and the new premises opened in June 1897 as the "Farmers Hotel". He held the licence until 1899 and by 1900 it was licensed to David Simmons. The Farmers Hotel at Vacy is still operating today.

Clarke's Crossing and Vacy Bridge

The Half Way House Hotel was on Clarke's Crossing which is shown in more detail in the above 1897 plan showing the proposed location of Vacy Bridge (courtesy of Roads and Maritime Services archives).

Farmers Hotel Vacy in 1939

Farmers Hotel, Vacy in 1939 (photo: Tooths Yellow Cards).

See also

List and index of Paterson's hotels.

Tooths Yellow Cards for Farmers Hotel.


1. Pauline Clements, Vacy ... 180 Years of History, Paterson Historical Society, 2003, 61-67.

2. State Records (NSW). Online index to Publicans Licences 1830-61. Also NSW Government Gazette, 1866-1874.

3. Maitland Mercury, 21 June 1866.

4. NSW Government Gazette, 1866-1874. Knight, Ken and Fred Scott, Pubs and Publicans in NSW 1860-1900, Society of Australian Genealogists, 2016.

5. Maitland Mercury, 17 August 1880, 5.

6. Maitland Mercury, 17 July 1886 and 5 July 1890.