From very early gold mining days, the little village of Great Western has had an extensive association with hotels and wineries. Even though Great Western is known as the wine village, evidence exists in the newspapers that date as far back as 1868, that 23 hotels have existed in Great Western. Literally a pub on every corner of the small township.The location of 5 of these Hotels are known and it is a common belief that the remaining 18 were Hotels in tents on the Goldfields, which was very common practice in early settlement days.
Some of the names that have been discovered of past hotels from the Great Western Region are , Duke of Wellington Hotel, Hotel de Paris, Pilot Boat Hotel, Prince of Wales Hotel, Masonic Hotel, Dunolly Hotel, Western Turf Hotel, Bulls Head Hotel, Western Turf Hotel and the Shakespeare Hotel.The only Hotel still in existence is the Great Western Hotel which has variously been known as the Shakespeare, Exchange and Royal Exchange Hotel.
In 1930 the Great Western Hotel was rebuilt. It was then known as the Shakespeare Hotel and the rebuild cost was over two thousand pounds. It was renamed the "Great Western Hotel in August 1951.If you are visiting Great Western, make sure you call into the bar at the Great Western Hotel, you will find a collection of images of days gone by of the hotels of the region.Many thanks to the Stawell Historical Society for the information.