Queenscliff was proclaimed a town in 1853. Prior to this time a Pilot service had been established to assist ships to navigate the entrance to Port Phillip. The first Lighthouse was erected in 1842 and post and telegraph services followed. Health and Customs Officers were appointed and land sales resulted in residential buildings and pastoral properties being established to provide food supplies, fishermen also settled in the area and the town grew.
There have been a number of hotels built in Queenscliff since the 1850s, over the years some hotels had numerous name changes, and fires and alterations and extensions changed the architecture of the buildings.
The first Hotel Leihy’s located in King Street, changed name to the Royal in 1860, it burnt down in 1880 rebuilt in 1882.
Casey’s hotel was built in Learmonth Street, name change 1862 to Barkly Arms, in 1902 it was known as the Bendigo Hotel, licence lapsed by 1915.
The Australasian hotel also known as Adamson’s was built on the corner of Hesse and Hobson streets, name changed to Adman’s Hotel. The new Grand Hotel was built on the site in 1882 but in 1927 a massive fire destroyed the front of the hotel. It was rebuilt and eventually became the View Grand. Now the Vue Grand. Also, Sutherland Arms opened (location not confirmed) closed in 1862.
Swan Hill Hotel in Mercer Street (about number 12-14) opened, closed in 1864.
Commercial Hotel 32 Hesse Street opened became known as Watmough’s, 1877 sold and licence moved to the Palace.
Victoria Hotel Hesse Street opened. Now the Tavern
The Palace Hotel was built at 2 Gellibrand Street, name changed to the Esplanade in 1882.
Baillieu House or Hotel was built, name changed to the Ozone in 1887. Now apartments.
The Queenscliff Hotel was built in Gellibrand Street.