Blast from the Past: The Lakes & Oceans

The original Hotel situated on the corner of Lake and Little St. Forster, was built by Thomas Blanche in 1872 after the original survey of Forster in 1869. It was a single storey building called “Forster Hotel”. Blanche was the Licensee until 1878 when Leonard Steinmetz took over until 1895. The Hotel burnt down in 1911 and was rebuilt as a two storey building.

The Hotel, renamed the “Lakes & Ocean”, was a well known place of refreshment and accommodation. Charlie Bowers, the new Licensee, ran a ferry service from the foreshore along the front of the Hotel to the Pacific Palms end of Wallis Lake in a remarkable passenger service from Taree to Newcastle and on to Sydney.

A coach would carry passengers from Taree to Tuncurry-Forster, Bowers would ferry them to what is now Pacific Palms. Another coach would take them to Myall Lake near Bungwahl, where a launch would take them to Tea Gardens. After a nights rest, passengers would catch a launch to Salt Ash on the upper reaches of Port Stephens, then they would catch a coach to Stockton and finally a ferry across to Newcastle. Upon arrival in Newcastle they could board a ship to Sydney arriving the next day.

The Hotel was again destroyed by fire in 1922 and rebuilt as the building we see today, standing the test of time with a number of renovations and refurbishments. This image forms part of a series on display in Neptune’s Lounge at Club Forster, Strand St. Forster. Copies available at the Museum.

1 Comment

  1. Did anyone know my Grandmother? Her maiden name Stein and she married Jack Mayers? I believe her father was a taxidermist? My grandfather was involved in boat building, punts etc.
    I didn’t grow up with my paternal family, albeit a short spell with my father’s sister in Tuncurry.

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