Hotels in Mount Pleasant

There have been applications for licences for three hotels in the town of Mount Pleasant.

One and the same …

Mount Pleasant Inn/Talunga Hotel/Mount Pleasant Hotel/Motel

In 1853 the Mount Pleasant Inn stood on the banks of the River Torrens, not too far from the ford on Crick’s Mill Road in Section 7029.  It was of wooden construction with a shingle roof, and yards were provided nearby, to enable patrons to stable their animals, in order to partake of what was on offer at the premises.

The main roads into and out of Mount Pleasant were yet to be determined, and William McBeath, the first hotel-keeper, presumed the main thoroughfare to Williamstown would be the site of the main township district.  However, an auction sale was held on 28th March 1856, and William McBeath purchased 3 lots, situated on the main road to Springton, as it became apparent that the main township was developing in that area.  William McBeath sold his business to James Owen, who maintained the Inn on the Crick’s Mill Road, but also had a wine and spirit store in the developing township of Mount Pleasant.

On Sunday afternoon, 6th February 1859, kitchen chimney sparks landed on the Mount Pleasant Inn’s shingle roof.  A passing carter roused the inhabitants and locals helped to salvage half of the furniture.

The Mount Pleasant Inn was rebuilt, on one of the 3 lots within the township of Mount Pleasant, with the licence granted for these premises in 1860.  The licence had passed from James Owen to Henry Walker Owen in September 1859.  With the new position, the Inn was able to capture business from those travelling in all directions through Mount Pleasant.

Owen renewed the licence in March 1860, and then sold his Inn to a wealthy Lobethal brewer, Wilhelm Kleinschmidt, who leased goodwill to Mark Lowe, Mount Pleasant’s pioneer bootmaker.  The Kleinschmidte/Lowe combination renamed the business the Talunga Hotel, after the Hundred in which it was situated. 

In 1868 the Talunga was extended with a large wing added to each end, at a cost of 1,000 pounds.  The hotelkeeper, Thomas Skermer, was a little disappointed when he failed to attract large functions to the venue, however the hotel was regularly used as a meeting place for organisations such as Captain Bell’s Scott’s Reef Minigh Company, sports meetings, show dinners and general social get-togethers.


                                                                                                                           Talunga Hotel in the 1940s

Meetings regarding the establishment of the railway were held at the Talunga Hotel, as well as public meetings regarding government decisions.  During 1942 the Talunga Hotel was the favourite watering-hole for the soldiers who were based at the local camp at the Showgrounds.

Mount Pleasant Hotel/Motel

In 2006 the name was changed to Mount Pleasant Hotel/Motel, the then owners believing that this was the original name, and perhaps that can be deemed to be correct, however for over 140 years the hotel was known as ‘The Talunga.’


The second hotel…

Totness Inn

In 1860, Thomas Liddle, fresh from Reedy Creek, founded the Totness Inn.  The licence was granted at the same time as The Talunga.

In 1863, new rooms were added, to help attract new patronage to the hotel.

John and Catherine Schofield took over the Totness Inn in 1865.  They erected an assembly room in which to have entertainments, and the yards at the rear of the  premises were used for exhibiting cattle for the annual show in March.

The telegraph came to the township in January 1867, and although a break in the line meant the official opening was postponed by a day, the celebration meal was held at the Totness Inn with Mr. Todd, Superintendant of Telegraph, present and he explained the workings of the telegraph.

Both the Talunga and the Totness Inn hosted booths at the Ploughing Matches and the Mount Pleasant Races, and the Ploughing Match and Show Society dinners were held at either of the hotels.Improvements were again made in 1868, when several rooms were added.

In 1918 Messrs. J. & A. J. Johnston of Oakbank razed the old single storey Totness Inn, and invested 3,000 pounds in erecting the two-storey building we see today. James Longmuir, the landlord, still managed to dispense hospitality throughout the construction.

The new taproom was opened by Henry Giles on 3rd August 1918.  Visitors were amazed at the new bedrooms, bathrooms, lavatories, billiard room and motor garage and trap shed out the back.  Commercial travellers soon learned of the smoking room and lounge where a telephone and writing facilities could be found.

With the advent of the railway in October 1918, the Totness Inn became a popular holiday destination, with accommodation suitalbe for all clientele.  Meetings, including the ploughing matches, show, the railway, sporting bodies, coronial enquiries and government bills were all held at the hotel.  There were even births and deaths recorded there.

In the 1920s when playing tennis became popular a court was made alongside the Totness Inn.Opposite the hotel is a section of land belonging to the Hotel; this was the turn a-round area for the coaches, and is today used as a carpark.



The Totness Inn was rebuilt in 1918 as a two-storey structure.


The third licence…

The Mill Inn

In September 1869 an application was made for a licence for the Mill Inn by Carl C. Rathman.  The application was refused as it was deemed that with two hotels present, there was no need for a third.  Henry Coulter applied for the licence again, in 1870, and Mr W. R. Fordham in 1871, but again these were refused.  It was found the accommodation was insufficient and not required.  Mrs Schofield, from the Totness Inn made objections, and I believe that the Milll Inn was in the nearby vacinity to the Totness Inn, with its address as Totness.



The Quiet Waters By, Reg Butler

Centenary booklet