Commercial Hotel, Dowerin, Western Australia by Andrew Priest, on Flickr
The Commercial Hotel, which today is heritage listed, was built in 1908 by FW Gustav Liebe who also constructed His Majesty's Theatre, Hay St Perth, and The Peninsular Hotel, Maylands, both of which are on the State Register of Heritage Buildings. Changes made to the fabric can be identified and illustrate periods of prosperity in Dowerin.
A little of its colourful history:
‘The opening of the Commercial Hotel on New Year's Day 1909 was celebrated in lavish style. About 100 people attended and some 75 residents partook of the midday meal at the invitation of the licensee. (The Northam Advertiser 9 January 1909)
The solid construction of the building was put to the test just six weeks after the opening when a tornado hit Dowerin. The original agricultural hall was destroyed and many buildings in the town were severely damaged, but the hurricane winds and torrential rain had little effect on the hotel. A large, galvanised iron tank just obtained by Rose was lifted off its stand, blown hundreds of metres and left in a battered and useless condition. A second empty water tank at the hotel would have suffered the same fate had it not been held down by several men until the rain partially filled it and anchored it down. But the building itself remained untouched. (The Northam Advertiser 24 February 1909)
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