12 Allen’s Hotel (formerly the Murmungee Hotel) 1866
Near this site a hotel (one of the 7 operating at various times along the Buckland Gap Road) was located. From here the Buckland Gap Road actually deviated slightly to the west, winding to avoid local swamps. There are also remainders of footings for two wooden bridges spanning deep gullies the road crossed. The road was later straightened – filling in old mine shafts and gully heads – but wasn’t paved until 1967.
The original hotel licensee George Thompson – who was also the Murmungee Postmaster – was killed in 1870 when his horse flung him against a telegraph pole. The Allen’s obtained the license to operate it in 1867 and later owned it. At times inquests into local deaths and resident’s meetings were held at the hotel, particularly during the period when local gold mining was active. It also operated as a store selling limited goods needed by early residents. It was rumoured locally that the Kelly Gang drank here. A bi-weekly coach service operated by Crawford & Connelly from Beechworth to Bright passed by (see “Harry Power and the Chinese Lady” in vignettes). The road from Beechworth to the Buckland Gold field was a rough and dangerous journey taking at least 5 hours by coach but better than 2 days by foot!
Hotels in the Basin were basic simple structures - not as imposing as those in Beechworth. There is no known photo of this hotel but they were only a single story with a few rooms but required to have a wooden floor and stables. A separate kitchen was necessary to reduce the fire risk, but in fact 3 were known to have burnt down over the years. Usually once a hotel lost its license it was converted into a house. Although the hotel building was here in 1940’s nothing but a few bricks are left scattered about in a nearby paddock.