INTRIGUED onlookers have been wandering through the doors of Jackson’s & Co asking about a distinctive tribute to Ballarat’s gold rush history.
Some have even thanked the hotel’s workers for bringing a little bit of history back to the city and its bustling Mair and Lydiard streets corner.
The Jackson’s & Co balcony was on schedule for completion this week.
Decorative iron lacework adorning the balcony is a key touch to the hotel’s restoration, finishing 18 months of planning for the elaborate curbside verandahs.
Jackson’s & Co director Brian Taylor said replica lacework casts were made in Melbourne to best resurrect the hotel as it stood in its heyday.
“Everyone’s been giving us positive feedback – we’ve even had people ringing us about the balcony,” Mr Taylor said.
“We’ve given staff a brief history on the place.
“The best thing about it is that people are interested in history and we’re really happy with how the Ballarat community has been so supportive.
Former Ballarat High School teacher-turned-amateur historian Barry Ryan has meticulously traced the hotel’s history and facade back to its origins in 1861 as Jackson’s Hotel – with no verandah.
Jackson’s became The Royal George in 1864, but it was not until new owners just before the turn-of-the century – and a name change to The Federal – that the hotel’s impressive balconies were constructed.
A council by-law in the 1960s led to the verandah’s destruction when it was the Railway Hotel.
Ballarat Extra starts page 31