Hotels and hospitality in Springwood

Springwood's two hotels have graced Macquarie Road for well over a century. They grew as the area developed from traveller's rest to busy village.

They were preceded by the Springwood Inn, Boland's Inn, built by Thomas Boland in 1845 on the remains of the barracks left when the military withdrew that year.

Boland's Inn was popular, even welcoming Sir Henry Parkes and Sir James Martin as guests. Boland sold up in 1870. The Western Line had already passed towards Lithgow by this date. Boland recognised that the railway was rapidly replacing the road. Boland's became a guesthouse, Loorana.

Boland himself still lived locally and, in 1881, built the Royal Hotel on his land near the railway station for his son, Thomas Edwin. The hotel prospered, providing accommodation for travellers and holiday makers and becoming a focal point for town activities, like the Springwood Progress Committee which met there in the 1890s.

In 1877-8, hoping for weekly guests and passing travellers, Frank Raymond opened a new hotel, the Springwood Hotel, a single-storey building fronting the highway at the eastern end of town.

In 1889, James Lawson bought land including the Springwood Hotel from Raymond and replaced his hotel with a large two-storey building, re-named the Oriental.

It attracted visitors and locals. A pigeon-shoot on July 4, 1891 even drew players from Sydney. On February 22, 1899, Mr Lees, MP, held a banquet there.

The Oriental advertised in Sydney newspapers. In 1896 the Sydney Mail mentioned "homely comforts" and in 1913, the Catholic Press explained that "the weary body becomes rejuvenated under the benign influence of (Springwood's) delightfully exhilarating atmosphere."

For many years the Royal was the Catholic hotel and the Oriental the Protestant, because Bolands were Catholic and Lawsons Presbyterian. Were the Catholic Press advertisements in 1913 the Oriental's attempt to attract the opposition?

Both hotels suffered burglaries. In July, 1890, Lars Peter Hansen stripped all the articles from the clothes lines at both the Royal and the Oriental.

In 1903, Oriental guest, Fritz Ivers, entered the wrong room after breakfast and pocketed the jewellery he saw there on the dressing table. He vacated the Oriental. Later, drinking at the Royal, he sold three brooches and a bracelet to the bartender, claiming he had bought them second-hand in George Street, Sydney.

In 1943, some of the children from the Burnside Homes were billeted at the Oriental which opened a temporary bar, Wally Edwards Oriental Hotel, across the road, on the corner of Raymond and Macquarie Road until the War ended and the children returned to Sydney.

Since World War II, both hotels have flourished with Springwood.