07 May 2020
VIRTUAL FUN WITH HISTORY - WEEK 6by PORT FAIRY & REGION VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
Douglas House - Port Fairy
Did you know that Douglas Riverside accommodation, located along the banks of the Moyne River was originally built in 1852? Join us on a virtual history tour of Douglas House and find out how one building has been used for so many unique trades.
Douglas House was built by Dr Andrew Wilson Hume on his waterfront property along the bank of the Moyne River in 1852. By mid 1852, Douglas House, described as a two-storey building with ten rooms, was completed, and separate rooms and portions of the property were occupied for various purposes.
Dr Hume was the first doctor in Belfast, and therefor he used his building as the first Medico and Pharmacist in Port Fairy. He also utilised the building as his residence, consulting rooms, pharmaceutical dispensary and the Belfast Post Office (that’s right, he was also the Post Master in his spare time).
Mr William Fuller leased a portion of Hume’s property and operated a drapery store, and Melbourne merchants William Bell & Co. are also noted as leasing part of the site.
A few years later the property was sold to the merchant firm Beaver and Stevens, who used it for storing merchandise. It appears that Beaver and Stevens constructed additional buildings in the southern portion of the site, including a large iron warehouse near the waterfront.
In 1854, the site was sold to Dr Thomas Braim, a retired school teacher, who leased a portion of the property to milling company Simpson and Allnutt.
In 1868 Mr Charles Ruffle purchased the site and established a steam flour mill - Western Steam Flour Mills, which closed down in 1879. It was then subdivided and sold in 1901 as two residences to John Wright, who renovated the building, where then it became a guest house and accommodation hub for tourists.
Today it stands as the ever-popular Douglas Riverside Hotel accommodation and holiday housing with the largest, private riverbank grounds in Central Port Fairy.
If only walls could talk, imagine the stories they could share with us!