||Picture: Main Street, Ellerslie in 1919, with the Ellerslie Hotel on the left. Auckland Public Libraries Special Collections
The Ellerslie Hotel
For almost a century the Ellerslie Hotel was an important landmark in the town.
Originally built by Robert Graham, the hotel was a two-storey building with a
promenade balcony, a hitching rail, 6 rooms for accommodation, a private and
public bar, and stables. Situated directly opposite the railway station and the
junction of Findlay Street with the Main Highway, the stables provided accommodation
that regularly arrived in Ellerslie by train. During the late nineteenth century,
when closing times were not imposed, the hotel was often patronised by locals
until the early hours of the morning.
The original building was destroyed by fire in 1900 but was rebuilt in its original
form. Spectators flocked to the hotel on race days and during World War Two American
military personnel at Sylvia Park became popular visitors. In 1951 the stables
were converted into a garden bar where patrons could group together at tables
under striped umbrellas and for many years the proprietors produced a beer that
was acclaimed as 'the finest beer in the world'. The hotel remained open until
1970 when the construction of modern bars and hotels in the area forced its closure.
For many years afterward the building remained standing as an empty shell but
unfortunately was later demolished.