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Paterson River history

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Sussex House/Bush Inn

site of Sussex House

Above: the site of the former Sussex House/Bush Inn, demolished in 1966 (GPS 32° 35.653'S 151° 36.712'E)

The Bush Inn, with Sussex House evident in the background

Above: The Bush Inn, with Sussex House evident in the background (photo: NCC Collections).

The Bush Inn, with Sussex House evident in the background

Above: The inscription over the window reads '1836 Longhouse Green' (photo: NCC Collections).

In 1834 David Brown purchased two parcels of land from Susannah Matilda Ward and on that land in 1836 he built 'Longhouse Green' overlooking what would become the busy Commercial Road business area of Paterson (the village of Paterson was officially established only three years earlier, in 1833). 'Longhouse Green' became the 'Bush Inn' in 1838.

David Brown held the publican's licence for the Bush Inn from 1838 to 1840, followed by James Keppie 1841-44, David Brown 1845, Daniel Brown 1846-1848, David Brown 1853-54, Matthew Healy 1855-1858, and William Ley 1860.[1] This was the last year the premises was licenced as the Bush Inn.

By September 1863 the premises was owned by John Gates and was no longer a hotel.[2]

By 1882 the Bush Inn was described as having been the residence of William Corner 'for some years past'.[3] It is not clear if Corner leased or owned the Bush Inn at this time, as one source indicates he purchased it in 1900. In July 1882 the Paterson Licensing Court reported as follows:

APPLICATION FOR A NEW LICENSE.- William Strang applied for a new licence, for premises at Paterson, late the residence of William Corner, and formerly known as the Bush Inn, but now to be called the Victoria Hotel.[4]

Strang's application was successful but the Victoria Hotel traded for only 12 months before Strang's furniture was put up for auction because he was leaving the district.[5]

At some stage Corner added a two-storey home to the original building and named it 'Sussex House' after his English home county. Cecily Mitchell takes up the story of William Corner...

After working for some time in a mercantile house in the city, he settled on the Paterson and farmed. In 1848 he purchased the business of George Wilkinson and became the largest buyer of grain in the district. He owned two flour mills and a large grazing property, also rosebank near Hinton and Sinclair on the Manning River.

It was William Corner who built the entirely new front to the house. He eventually sold the house to Thomas and Maude Jordon in 1918 who lived there until 1924 when they leased it to the well-known and loved Dr James Kem Yee, who served as Paterson's doctor and ran Sussex House as a private hospital called 'Kallala' for many years, with Kate Lock as matron. Sussex House later reverted to a residence.

Sussex House was demolished in 1966 to allow widening of the main road.

Sussex House, demolished in 1966

Above: Sussex House with the original Bush Inn evident in the background (photo: Jack Sullivan - NCC Collections).

Sussex House, demolished in 1966

Above: The road north from Paterson showing Sussex House/Bush Inn on the right and Corner's grain store on the left (photo: NCC Collections).

Sussex House in the 1950s

Above: Sussex House in the 1950s (photo: Strong family website).

See also

List and index of Paterson's hotels.

Notes

1. State Records (NSW). Online index to Publicans Licences 1830-61.

2. Maitland Mercury, 10 September 1863, 4.

3. Maitland Mercury, 1 June 1882, 8.

4. Maitland Mercury, 1 July 1882, 6s.

5. Maitland Mercury, 16 June 1883.

References

Archer, Cameron (ed.). Heritage Photographs, Series 1, Historic Paterson New South Wales. Paterson Historical Society: Paterson, 2007.

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

Mitchell, Cecily. Hunter's River. Published by the author's family, 1984.

The Paterson "Psst" Newsletter. Issue 88, June 2012.