Tenterfield Lodge was built in 1878 by William Crisp Senior. The bricks in the building were made on site by convicts. It was first known as the Temperance Hotel. Many locals referred to it as The Gentlemen’s Club whilst ladies called it The Coffee Palace.
William Crisp Senior came from Heath Hayes in Staffordshire as a passenger on the first steam ship to come to Australia. They landed in Brisbane and travelled to Tenterfield by wagon. William was a swarthy man with a black beard who came to Australia for health reasons. He and his first wife had two children, William and Alfred, who were born in England. With his second wife, Harriet, he travelled to Australia and they had two more children – Tom and Annie.
According to William Crisp’s last will and testament, there were eight rooms in The Temperance Hotel. The Lodge was the site for many wedding receptions in the past with Nell Sommerlad’s being noted as a “grand affair”.
At one time Tenterfield Lodge was used as a convalescent home for people suffering with lung disease. In 1895 Tenterfield Lodge was operated as a “Ladies High School” by the Greene sisters from England. One of the sisters, Anne Alison Greene, went on to become a renowned Australian artist. A collection of her works are held at the Queensland Art Gallery and the University of Queensland Art Museum in Brisbane.
The building also operated as a licensed hotel when owned by Mr Leis and was known as the Railway Hotel. Rooms were cheap. At today’s rates, rooms were $1 and you could sleep on the verandah for 20 cents. At one stage Rooms 3 and 4 of the Lodge were home to the community radio station.
After the building ceased operation as a hotel, the old dining room was turned into the West End Bakery where people could come and buy freshly baked goods. The building was purchased by Mr and Mrs Paul Burgess and was known as the West End Motel. Some locals still refer to it as the West End Lodge and Caravan Park.
The Lodge is the only building in Tenterfield that still has the original style of supporting posts from the ground to the first floor balcony.
The Lodge is heritage listed in the Tenterfield Shire.