Hunter Valley Inns & Hotels

The Bush Inn



Innkeeper - David Brown.

David Brown was resident in Paterson at least as early as 1836 when he subscribed to build a new church in the township. In 1837 Thomas Williams who arrived on the Hooghley was assigned to Brown at Paterson

The Bush Inn was built of stone and was situated about half a mile north of Paterson township on the Gresford road on the south bank of Browne's Creek. It was build well out of flood reach. A well appointed two story building with a shingle roof, it had six rooms upstairs; two large rooms below used as dining room and kitchen, three smaller rooms and a large bar room. (3)

David Brown was granted a publican's license for the Bush Inn in June 1839. He is mentioned in the Australasian Chronicle in September 1839 when he was collecting money on behalf of Thomas Magner. A meeting of the Paterson River Steam boat Company was held at the Bush Inn on 28th November 1839

In December 1839 David Brown married Miss Hodgson in Sydney. He established a ship building yard at Paterson and has the distinction of having built the first vessel on the Paterson river (1)....

From the Maitland Mercury 19 December 1846 - On Thursday after noon, the beautiful little schooner, built by Mr. David Brown, of the Paterson, made her first entrance into that river. In consequence of the additional interest of a boat race, the township was thronged with visitors. Shortly after one o'clock the gentlemen connected with the vessel arrived, and all the arrangements having been made, the props were knocked away, and the little vessel glided gracefully into the dancing waters which were thenceforth to be her home. The vessel was named with the usual formulae, by the Rev. W. Ross, the Paterson Packet Victoria. She is schooner rigged of about 70 tons burthen, and intended for the Paterson and Sydney trade. Upwards of 200 persons were present on the occasion, all seeming to take the liveliest interest in the proceedings. After the ceremony, about twenty of those present sat down to a capital lunch provided by mine host of the Paterson Hotel, Mr. Brown when every respect to creature comfort was duly paid.

The Sydney Herald recorded the dimensions of the Paterson Packet -

The vessel does great credit to Mr. Brown, by whom she was designed; her model is very good. The following are her dimensions: keel, 44 feet; length over all, 55ft 6 inches; beam, 17 feet 4 inches; depth of hold, 7 ft 3 inches; and measures about 62 tons O.M. She is well adapted for the river trade, drawing little water and carrying a large cargo and proves to be a fast sailer as well as a good sea boat.

David Brown used this vessel to trade between Newcastle and Sydney. During his absence Mrs. Brown managed the Inn. (3)

James Keppie held the license for the Bush Inn in November 1840 and was selling colonial beer which had been produced in West Maitland at the Hunter Brewery

In April 1848 the following advertisement was placed in the Maitland Mercury 'Loyal Paterson Union Lodge, No 4225 I.O.F.M.U. The Anniversary of this lodge will be celebrated by a dinner at host David Brown's Bush Inn Paterson on Friday 14 April. The Brothers will assemble at the lodge room at ten o'clock a.m proceed thence to Church and return to dine at five o'clock.

In November 1854 auctioneer William Gibb under instructions from David Brown sold by auction a set of splendid furniture at the Inn, and in December a public Dinner of the brethren of the loyal Paterson Union lodge was given to their late host David Brown at the Lodge Room in the Bush Inn. It was organised as a token of their esteem for his services as host of the Lodge for the last eight years. The room was tastefully decorated with evergreens and flowers for tie occasion. The table groaned under the good things prepared. The chair was taken by Mr. J. Duke; the vice chair was occupied by Mr. Stanbridge senior. Several friends and visiting officers and brethren honoured the occasion with their presence. After doing justice to the eatables, and the cloth removed, the Chairman gave toasts and the guest of the evening Mr. David Brown responded ably to the honour conferred on him.

Matthew Healey was proprietor by 1855. He sold his livestock and left the Paterson in 1859

William Richard Ley was proprietor of the Bush Inn when the Tradesman's Ball was held on 6th July 1860...... Single tickets 4s Double 6s.

The Paterson and Allyn River experienced a destructive flood in April 1861. The river broke the banks in three different places within the vicinity of the town; a little below the Queen's Wharf, a little below the Scotch Church and near the Bush Inn; but did little damage. The Commercial Road leading from the town at the end of the Scotch Church ground was about eight feet under water and the same road a little beyond the Bush Inn was ten feet under water. Mr. William Richard Ley left Paterson in 1863.

Notes & Links:

(1) Maitland Mercury 23 December 1846

(2) New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences, 1830-1849, 1853-1860

(3) Dungog Chronicle 31 August 1949  



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