|Home · Accommodation · Weddings & Functions · Restaurant & Bar · History · Contact Us|
History of the Cardrona Hotel
The township of Cardrona began in 1865, when hundreds of settlers came to the Cardrona Valley, eager to stake their claim. As word got around, the settlement quickly developed and a commercial centre was soon formed. Within three years there were four hotels, three European stores, four Chinese stores, four butcheries, one blacksmith and a baker. As the years passed, Cardrona expanded and by 1871 the population was such that it had become the centre of the butchery trade in Central Otago. Cardrona remained an important commercial centre through the 1870s and 1880s, although it fluctuated with the changing fortunes of the mining industry. The Cardrona Hotel, Annexe and adjoining General Store are now the only remaining buildings from the early gold rush days.
The Hotel has had several owners but by far the longest serving and most memorable for people today would be James Paterson, who came to Cardrona from Oamaru about 1890 and worked a gold claim for 40 years. In 1926 he took over the Hotel. Many people today remember Jim Paterson standing behind his bar (which still remains), wearing his spectacles and braces, serving warm beer from a bottle that had a cork in it. He was also remembered for the fact that he didn’t serve women and that he would ration his customers. Patrons who were about to drive the Crown Range Road were only allowed one glass, but those who were heading for Wanaka were allowed two.
The traveller of today, pausing in the valley before venturing over the scenic Crown Range Road, would have difficulty in visualising the thriving township that once flourished there.
|> Image Gallery|
|· James Patterson
· Robert McDougall
· All Nations Poster
· The Hotel circa 1870
courtesy of Hotel archives
|email@example.com||Home · Accommodation · Weddings & Functions · Restaurant & Bar · History · Contact Us|