National Family History Month
August is celebrated as National Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand (Aotearoa). During this time, AFFHO promotes various events related to genealogy, family history and other related initiatives, in an effort to encourage the community to delve deeper into their family connections. Anyone can explore their family history by visiting their local library or the State Library of Queensland, which offers free family history resources. Additionally, our Heritage properties have fascinating stories to tell, and to commence the month, we will be sharing details about the families associated with the Royal Bull's Head Inn.
Unveiling the Legacy Families of Royal Bull's Head Inn For National Family History Month
In the heart of Drayton, a time-traveller’s dream awaits – the Royal Bull's Head Inn, an evocative relic that transports us to an era steeped in history. As National Family History Month is here, we embark on a journey to uncover the captivating tales of the families who breathed life into this establishment.
Pioneering Spirits: William Horton and The Origins
It commences in 1847, when the spirited William Horton, a former convict turned stockman and publican, constructed the precursor to the Royal Bull's Head Inn. This quaint slab timber hotel welcomed travellers to the Darling Downs, offering them a warm respite and a hearty meal. The Inn's humble beginnings hinted at its future grandeur, foreshadowing the remarkable stories that would unfold within its walls.
A Grand Evolution: The Horton Legacy
Amidst the ebb and flow of history, William Horton's vision flourished. In 1859, he extended the Inn, crafting a two-storey timber and brick masterpiece that beckoned weary travellers from near and far. The inn's newfound elegance provided solace and sustenance, becoming a favoured stopover for pastoralists en route to the Darling Downs. Notably, it hosted Queensland's inaugural governor, Sir George Ferguson Bowen, during a momentous banquet in 1860, thus earning the illustrious nickname of "Royal Bull's Head Inn”.
Following William Horton's passing in 1864, the inn witnessed a carousel of lessees, each weaving their unique stories into its fabric. But destiny had more in store for this iconic landmark.
A Lynch Family Odyssey: A Chapter of Transformation
Enter the Lynch family – a clan destined to etch their mark upon the inn's narrative. From the year 1879, the inn welcomed Richard and Sarah Lynch, along with their brood of sons and daughters, to reside within its storied walls. As they breathed new life into its corridors, they renamed it "The Terrace," setting the stage for a transformative era.
Under Lynch's stewardship, the inn became more than a place of reprieve; it became a hub of connection. From 1892 to 1952, the inn housed the Drayton Post Office, with Sarah Lynch herself serving as the postmistress. The inn's interior bore witness to the Lynch family's creative touch – timber shingles gave way to corrugated iron, a bay window graced the parlour, and the verandah evolved into a haven of comfort.
A Timeless Continuation: The Royal Bull's Head Inn Today
Fast forward to the present day, and the Royal Bull's Head Inn stands as a living monument to these rich legacies. As National Family History Month unfurls its tapestry, we honour the families who shaped the Royal Bull's Head Inn's destiny. Their stories converge within these venerable walls, inviting us to connect with our own histories, relive the echoes of yesteryears, and cherish the profound impact of generations long past.
Step through the doors of the Royal Bull's Head Inn and let its timeless allure kindle your imagination. In every creak of the floorboards and every whisper of the wind, you'll find a symphony of lives intertwined, an ode to the families who made this cherished haven an eternal repository of memory and heritage.
Left: The Royal Bulls Head Inn was built in 1859. This was taken in 1932. Picture: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
Right: Sarah Lynch and her children.