Brookton is located 135 km south-east of Perth via the Brookton Highway. It is a typical small wheatbelt town bisected by the railway line. Brookton sits at a point where the Great Southern Highway and Brookton Highway’s intersect.
John Seabrook was the town’s first settler. When the Great Southern Railway arrived in 1884 the siding was named Seabrook Siding. It was subsequently decided that Seabrook couldn’t be used because there was already a Seabrook near York. The name was changed to Brookton which was the name of John Seabrook’s house. Expeditions to the Brookton area occurred in 1835 by Alfred Hillman and John Roe.
The first buildings in the Brookton area were constructed in 1846. The Great Southern railway brought more European settlers to the district from 1889 and the townsite of Brookton was declared in 1899
HISTORY OF THE BROOKTON CLUB HOTEL
The Heritage Council suggests that Christian Frederick Mouritzen was probably the architect however further research is required to confirm this. Brookton has social significance as a meeting place for the local community and travellers from 1902.
The Club Hotel is a historical two-storey building constructed of brick and stucco with an iron roof, designed in the Federation style and is considered a rare example of a building from this period with its verandah and balcony still intact and still in use.
Then – Early photograph of the club hotel (date unknown)
Now – New roof & solar panels were installed in January 2023 to ensure that the building is watertight.
News articles – History
“On Friday last the Beverley Licensing Bench granted the publican’s general, license for the hotel just erected at Brookton under the name of “The Club Hotel.” There can be no doubt that the Bench were wise in their decision, as towns of the size of Brookton, and with such” a future before it, fully warrants two hostelries. Competition ‘is the life of trade in the hotel as well as other businesses, and the public benefit thereby’.
On Saturday morning mine host Dancocks, late of the Kulyaling Hotel, opened his doors to the public and did a good trade. In the evening the house was lighted up, and the Pingelly Town Band gave a selection of attractive music in front of the new house.
A representative of The Leader had an opportunity of inspecting the new premises; and was surprised at the accommodation, furnishings and general, up-to-dateness of the house The exterior does not lay pretence to elaborate decoration or appearance and no money has been wasted here. The building is a two-story one.
The cutlery has all been especially imported from a well-known Sheffield firm (Walker & Hall)
(Pictured: Three forks kindly donated by Sue Pike)
The main entrance, facing the railway line, leads into a spacious hall and to the left is a roomy office, whilst on the right is found the fine dining hall. This will seat some 60 to 80 persons in comfort. The furniture is in oak with a very handsome oak sideboard.
This leads into the servery and pantry and kitchen. These are provided with fine ranges; hot and cold water being laid everywhere. Adjacent to the kitchens are the storerooms etc.
As one enters from the side-entrance, on the right hand, is found a large, roomy saloon bar and sitting room; on the left is the billiard room and three sample rooms. The main stairway is of polished jarrah, and leads to a cosy landing, from which the passages lead out. The entrances to these are decorated with Moorish arches and the Turkey carpets give a most Oriental appearance. On this floor is a large, beautifully furnished drawing-room commercial travellers’ room, fitted with all conveniences and a sitting room.
There are also three double bedrooms and some 18 single bedrooms: All these are fitted ensuite in polished light oak, with marble, slab-topped, washstands. There are three bathrooms, with plunge and shower baths, hot and cold water laid on and all conveniences. The bedrooms are large and airy, being far above the average in size, and are laid with patent English camptaucleum (linoleum) which is a decided improvement on the usual bizarre oilcloths in vogue. The house is lighted throughout by an Aerogen gas plant, which supplies the gas for the whole of the premises, and as the burners are incandescent, the light is cool, well shaded and of the least trying nature. The public bar is of a spacious character and is well fitted up in every way. At the rear, is to be found a fine range of stables, motor garage and all conveniences.
We must congratulate Mr Dancocks on his fine house, and he assures us that he means to cater for the travelling public in every way. He has made the cuisine a special study. A feature new to those country hotels is the providing of afternoon tea, etc. for ladies and this should prove a boon to those who have to visit the township for a little time. As the principal entrance is entirely separated from the bars/ladies need have no fear of-calling in. The hotel porter meets all trains, and telegrams, etc. will be promptly attended to”.
Pingelly Leader (WA: 1906 – 1925), Thursday 11 February 1915, page 3
A Palatial Building.
CLUB HOTEL, BROOKTON.
“There are few country hotels which possess such a modern and up-to-date hot water service as the Club Hotel, Brookton. The new proprietress, Mrs. Ann Rogers, has lost little time in effecting improvements and the installation of the latest hot water service is but one of the many changes she has made in her effort to make the Club Hotel one of the leading public houses along the Gt. Southern”.
Pingelly-Brookton Leader (WA: 1925 – 1954), Thursday 26 September 1940, page 6
CLUB HOTEL, BROOKTON.