The Old Spot Hotel
The Ghosts of Gawler Part Three
Gawler's oldest hotel, the old spot hotel was known as the “Golden Fleece hotel” when it first opened its doors on April 1st 1840. It originally consisted of one room hut, a bedroom and a tent, and was Gawler's very first building.
|A drawing of the Hotel in 1845|
It saw three distinct rebuilds over the years, from being two rooms and a tent into a single story structure featuring a billiard room (which still stands today), then in 1903 the hotel was rebuilt and added too into a two story structure, in 2012, new building works began, where shops of the northern side of the hotel were demolished to make way for a reworking of the hotel and its surrounds.
The original publican was one David Scheibener, who eventually saw the inside of the Adelaide Gaol for money owing to Francis Dutton, the hotel was then sold on to its next proprietor.
In its early days the back section of the hotel was also used as Gawler's first morgue until the construction of better facilities.
|The Old Spot in 1890|
The Hotel has seen its fair number of deaths, in 1868, Charles Donaldson a 35 year old local passed away in the hotel.
In 1889, a serious accident occurred directly in front of the Hotel when an 8 year old boy hitched a ride on the horse drawn tram which ran the middle of Gawler's main street, the boy jumped on the back of the tram, but was spotted and told to get off, he jumped without looking, and landed under the hooves of horses pulling a cart,the carts wheels ran over his head, crushing it. The boys own Father, working just across the intersection witnessed the grisly accident. A pool of blood sat in the road, near the entrance of the hotel until late the next day.
|A horse drawn tram in 1915 - Old Spot Hotel in the background|
The most notable of all ghost stories associated with the pub has been from much more recent times, in approximately 1993, Scott Pearson, a professional photographer took a photo in the hotel that showed three distinct images, thought to be spirits that were haunting the hotel.
The hotel had just had renovations completed and a number of patrons and staff had started to see apparitions of a small girl and an older gentlemen. Noises were being heard, voices, and other strange phenomena.
Mr Pearson stayed overnight in the hotel, and set his camera up, taking many photos during the night, only one photo showed anything of interest. You can find the photograph at :http://www.castleofspirits.com/website/old/Australianghosthunters/oldspothotel.html and decide for yourself if you think Mr Pearson did indeed capture something paranormal.
© 2013 Allen Tiller
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