The Australian Arms Hotel, presently situated on the north-east corner of High and Lawson Streets, has a long history in Penrith. In the mid-1880’s, the site was occupied by a Thomas Andrews who operated a butcher’s shop. Andrews later opened a public house on the site – this was to become known as the Australian Arms Hotel. When Mr. Andrews died in the early 1890’s, his widow Harriett (his second wife), after keeping on the business for some time, rebuilt the hotel, but soon afterwards retired into private life. Mrs. Andrews died on 25 August 1901, at the age of 49, after a long illness. A year after her death in November 1902, the hotel was auctioned and eventually renovated by one of the new licensees, Mr. Richard Aughey.
The present building on the site was built in 1940, the old hotel being demolished. In 1960, the brewery firm Tooheys Ltd. purchased the hotel from Mr. F.G. Fulton. [Originally published in the Penrith District Star newspaper in 1984 – updated with notes in 1996.]
Notes: The Depot Inn is briefly mentioned by James T. (‘Toby’) Ryan in his Reminiscences of Australia (originally published in 1895) on p.7. The information regarding the Andrews family was obtained from the Nepean Times newspaper (see obituary of Mrs. Andrews, August 31 1901, p.4). The notice concerning the auction of the Australian Arms, the ‘estate of Thomas Andrews, deceased’, appeared in the Nepean Times on 22 November 1902, p.5. Information concerning the demolition order of the hotel appeared in the Nepean Times on 16 November 1939, p.1.
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