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Paterson River history

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The Settlers' Arms Hotel (Paterson River)

There were two Settlers' Arms Hotels on the Paterson River at different times. The first was at the Vineyard crossing, just upstream from the current Gostwyck Bridge, the second in Paterson itself.

Settlers' Arms at Vineyard Crossing

location of Settlers' Arms at Vineyard Crossing

The first Settlers' Arms was at Vineyard Crossing of Paterson River, upstream from the present-day Gostwyck Bridge and accessed via what is now known as Mowbray Lane.

In 1832 the Settlers' Arms hotel opened on the northern side of the Vineyard Crossing of the Paterson River 1.7km upstream for the current Gostwyck Bridge (which did not exist then). The first licensee was Thomas Jones[1] who leased a large part of 'the Vineyard', a 2080 acre property granted to George Frankland in 1823 (see map). 'The Vineyard' was later renamed 'Mowbray' after the Yorkshire birth place of Frankland's wife's, Sarah. George Frankland died in 1825 and Sarah returned to England leaving the Vineyard leased.[2]

For travellers heading north, Vineyard Crossing was the first place to cross the Paterson River above the limit of its navigation by boat. Even after Gostwyck Bridge opened in 1878 the crossing was still used to take mobs of livestock across the river.[3] The crossing was accessed via the track that became Mowbray lane.

Thomas Jones held the license of the Settlers' Arms at Vineyard Crossing from 1832 until 1840. In 1841 the licensee was Henry Ferris and in 1842 it was John Melbourne Ireland. Ferris advertised the lease of the Settlers Arms in 1842 and the advertisement described the hotel and farm as "situated at the first ford above the navigation of the Paterson, and on the high road to Dungog, Port Stephens, Port Macquarie and all the northern settlements, and on the only road cattle could be safely driven without crossing punts." The house contained ten rooms besides the tap room, and a six stall stable with loft.[4]

1842 was the last full year of operation of the Settlers' Arms at Vineyard Crossing. By 1844 one of Sarah sons, George J Frankland, had returned to Australia to take over the Vineyard property and rename it 'Mowbray'.

Settlers' Arms in Paterson

The second Settlers' Arms opened in Paterson itself in 1845, licensed to James Broderick up to at least 1848. From 1853 to 1866 the licensee was Nicholas Broderick/Broadrick. In the 1860s the hotel was owned and operated by Mrs Broadrick and the hotel was often known as 'Mrs Broadricks' until she retired in 1867.

In 1867 and 1868 the licensee for the Settlers Arms was Lindsay Thomas.[5] The hotel burnt down on 16 October 1868.[6] Mrs Broadrick died in 1877 at the age of 80, having spent 50 years in the Paterson district.[7]

In 1878 Paterson Public School was built on the site of the former Settlers' Arms in Paterson. This building is now a private residence at 11 Church Street, Paterson, and is not the site of the current school.

site of the Settlers' Arms in Paterson

Paterson Public School was built on the site of the former Settlers' Arms. It is now a private residence at 11 Church Street, Paterson.

See also

List and index of Paterson's hotels.


1. Index to publicans' licences 1830-61, State Records NSW.

2. Maitland Mercury, 14 May 1881, 3S.

3. Pauline Clements, Vacy ... 180 Years of History, Paterson Historical Society, 2003, 133-137.

4. Hunter River Gazette, 29 January 1842.

5. NSW Government Gazette: 1866 p1863; 1867, p1900; 1868, 2878.

6. Maitland Mercury: 17 October 1868, 4; 22 October 1868, 3.

7. Maitland Mercury, 31 July 1877, 5; 26 February 1878, 4.

Knight, Ken and Fred Scott. Pubs and Publicans in NSW 1860-1900. Society of Australian Genealogists, 2016.