One Tree, New South Wales

One Tree is a location on the Cobb Highway on the flat plain between Hay and Booligal in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia. In 1862 a public house was built there, originally called Finch's Inn and the locality developed as a coach changing-stage and watering-place between the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers. One Tree village was surveyed and proclaimed in 1882, though the location remained as just an amenity on the plain, centred on the hotel.

One Tree
New South Wales
The partially rebuilt hotel, fenced off
One Tree is located in New South Wales
One Tree
One Tree
Coordinates34°10′S 144°42′E / 34.167°S 144.700°E / -34.167; 144.700
Population22 (SAL 2021)[1]
  • 38 km (24 mi) from Hay
  • 39 km (24 mi) from Booligal
LGA(s)Hay Shire
State electorate(s)Murray
Federal division(s)Riverina

The existing One Tree Hotel is the second building of that name to occupy the site. The first hotel was destroyed by fire in 1903. The hotel was re-built in the same manner as the original structure (by the provisions of the insurance policy). The licence of the One Tree Hotel was relinquished in 1942 by its last publican, Frank McQuade. The One Tree Hotel is an important historical building, providing a tangible link to the heyday of pastoral settlement in the Riverina.[2][3][4]

The name ‘One Tree’ derives from the presence of a large gum tree on the otherwise treeless plain (called the One Tree Plain). The landmark tree was blown down in a storm on New Year's Eve, 31 January 1897.[5]

History edit

One Tree Hotel in about 1922.

In September 1862 it was reported that Alexander Finch ("late of Deniliquin") was building "a new public house at the One Tree".[6]  The hotel was built by William Davies of adzed cypress-pine slabs.  In June 1864 a reserve of four square miles was proclaimed around the "Single Tree" (excised from 'Ulonga' station).[7]  A publican's license was granted to Finch in August 1864 for his public house at One Tree (then known as Finch's Inn or Finch's Public House).[8]  In December 1865 Alexander Finch was successful in sinking a well at One Tree.  A second well, sunk in the first half of 1866 close to the nearby solitary tree, "struck a beautiful freshwater spring which promises to prove inexhaustible".[9]

In June 1866 Finch's "One-Tree Inn" was advertised for sale by public auction at Hay ("in consequence of his wife's illness").  The hotel was described as a "bar, two parlours, six bedrooms, and offices; kitchen, six-stalled stable, and outbuildings", standing on "five acres of purchased land".[10]  The One Tree Inn was sold to Simon Moss, a storekeeper from Hay.[11]  After the sale to Moss the Publicans' License was transferred to James R. Johnstone, who had previously worked as a superintendent on district pastoral runs.[12]  In July 1867 the One Tree Inn was sold to Mr. R. Mahaffey, a pastoralist on 'Walgiers' station on the Lachlan River, with Johnstone continuing to run the establishment as publican.[13]

In December 1869 land was reserved from the 'Ulonga' and 'Overall Plains' pastoral runs "for the Village of One Tree".[14]

Structure of the hotel edit

The One Tree Hotel is constructed of split cypress-pine logs, with verandahs on three sides and a hipped corrugated-iron roof. Twelve-paned windows are located between the four panel doors which open along the verandahs. There is a detached kitchen and small weatherboard shed at the rear of the building. The building was an accurate 1903 replication of the original 1862 hotel which had been destroyed by fire. The insurance company, the Australian Mutual Fire Insurance Society, stipulated the hotel was to be replaced with one identical to the original.

The One Tree Hotel was placed on the Register of the National Estate in May 1991.[4]

Literary associations edit

An alternate name for One Tree was "Hell", and the locality was referenced in Banjo Paterson's poem Hay and Hell and Booligal.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "One Tree (suburb and locality)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022.  
  2. ^ "One Tree Hotel, Outside Hay NSW". Gday Pubs. Retrieved 1 February 2007.
  3. ^ Sydney Morning Herald article on Hay, NSW
  4. ^ a b c Australian Heritage Database listing
  5. ^ Hillston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser, 8 January 1898, page 1.
  6. ^ Pastoral Times (Deniliquin), 6 September 1862, page 3.
  7. ^ John E.P. Bushby (1980), Saltbush Country: History of the Deniliquin District, page 149.
  8. ^ Pastoral Times (Deniliquin), 27 August 1864, page 3.
  9. ^ 'Hay', Pastoral Times (Deniliquin), 23 December 1865, page 2; 'Hay Intelligence', Pastoral Times, 16 June 1866, page 2.
  10. ^ The Argus (Melbourne), 25 June 1866, page 2
  11. ^ 'Hay Intelligence', Pastoral Times (Deniliquin), 28 July 1866, page 3.
  12. ^ 'James Rae Johnstone' (compilation of sources), Hay Historical Society; ‘Hay Intelligence’, Pastoral Times, 15 September 1866, page 3.
  13. ^ Pastoral Times, 3 August 1867, page 2; 17 August 1867, page 2.
  14. ^ New South Wales Government Gazette, 24 December 1869, page 3282