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Mystery surrounds piece of history

Tuesday, 5th May, 2015

Paula Williams with the bar she found in Wagga Wagga that used to be in a ladies parlour in the Criterion Hotel in Broken Hill. But which Criterion Hotel? Paula Williams with the bar she found in Wagga Wagga that used to be in a ladies parlour in the Criterion Hotel in Broken Hill. But which Criterion Hotel?

By Emily Roberts

A part of Broken Hill’s history has returned to the city but it is surrounded in mystery.

Local Paula Williams was passing through Wagga Wagga when she stopped to stretch her legs and wandered through the Old’N Dayz Antique shop.

“There in the corner of the shop was the bar and a note was written on top stating a ‘Ladies Bar from Broken Hill’,” Paula said.

“So I bought it and had it transported to the city.

“The bar once again sits in another garage waiting to be re-purposed and admired by the locals. 

“But the mystery still remains as to how it was removed from the pub and what is its story?”

Paula did some research and found out that it was bought at a garage sale three years ago in Broken Hill at 193 Thomas Street. But who owned it was not known.

“Apparently this particular gentleman was passing through Wagga a couple of years ago and dropped into ‘Old’N Dayz’ Antique Shop and spoke to the proprietor, Matt,” Paula said.

He told Matt that he had some interesting items in his shed back in Broken Hill. 

“The mystery man told Matt the bar was a Ladies Bar from the Criterion Hotel in Broken Hill.

“The house that he lived in at 193 Thomas has been demolished and the occupant moved and settled in Wagga several years ago.” 

“However, there were two Criterion Hotels, both built in 1888 and both in Argent Street,” Paula said.

“One was on the corner of Sulphide and Argent, the other situated one block away on the corner of Bromide and Argent streets, now known as the Silver Spade Hotel, which was demolished last year. 

“The hotel on Sulphide and Argent streets was formerly known as the Australian Club Hotel and ceased being a pub in 1941.

The building today is now Buckworth, Keady Lawyers Pty Ltd. It then became Argent House was owned by Charlie (Chas) Smith who lived in Thomas Street.

“He lived around 1945 and owned Argent Motors as well as Argent House. 

“The mystery is how did the occupant of 193 Thomas Street procure the Ladies Bar and when?”

Anyone with information can email Paula at paula.chancellor@gmail.com.

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