One Tree, New South Wales
New South Wales
The partially rebuilt hotel, fenced off
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.
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.
Structure of the hotel
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.
An alternate name for One Tree was "Hell", and the locality was referenced in Banjo Paterson's poem Hay and Hell and Booligal. An alternate suggestion is that 'Hell' refers to Hells Gate, a property which lies between Hay and Balranald.
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- Photo of the One Tree Hotel by Andrew Schipp, submission to a 2004 photo competition run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.