From the Beginning . . .
Within months of the prospecting area being granted to Hugh Mosman in January 1872, Charters Tors (Towers) sprang into existence. Two miners – Joe Woodburn and Joe Owen – realised merchants stood a better chance of success on the goldfields than miners did. They set up their trading promises on this site (Lot 1 – Mosman Street) and on their second trip from Broughton, brought back spirits, thus establishing the first hotel in the Towers.
The first construction on the site was a bark hut. It was replaced by a one level wooden building known as the ‘Reefers Arms Hotel’. Richard Hargreaves purchased the hotel in 1877 and built a brewery on site “sufficient to float Charters Towers”. “The hotel hosted comfortable lodgings, hot and cold plunge shower baths and lofty and well ventilated stabling”.
It wasn’t until 1888 that local architect W.G. Smith contracted Ben Toll to construct the two storey brick building that stands today at a cost of 7,000 pounds. Since 1949, the Royal Private Hotel has been primarily utilised as a guest house, without a liquor license. Annie McGuinness operated the hotel for over 50 years. Some say they still feel her presence.
Today, the Royal Private Hotel provides guests with a taste of yesteryear with heritage style accommodation and warm old-fashioned service.