325 Johnston Street
Abbotsford, opposite Trenerry Crescent 3067
Abbotsford Hotel (by 1859 - 1923)
Abbotsford Abbey Hotel, (1854 - 185?)
Kearney 1855: N; Hodgkinson 1858: Y? ; MMBW: Detail Plan 1284, 1901
A hotel called Abbotsford Abbey was licensed to Frederick Barnes in early 1854, and can be presumed to be the same one used as an inducement in an advertisement for land sales in 'the village of Abbotsford'.
'The road to this estate and the Abbotsford Gardens and Family Hotel has been made... thus making this property the more desirable [as there is] easy access even in the depth of winter... the extensive alterations and additions to the Abbotsford Hotel will make this one of the most favoured places of resort to the pleasure-loving community, and materially enhance the value of property in its immediate neighbourhood.'
(The Argus, 10 May 1854, p.10)
Nothing is heard of this hotel between 1855 and 1858, but from mid 1859 it features frequently in The Argus both in articles and its own advertisements, in which its location is again emphasised:
Abbotsford Hotel, Johnston-st, Collingwood, beautifully situated on the banks of the Yarra.- Picnic and tea parties accommodated. Respectable boarders wanted. Charges low.
(The Argus, 22 December, 1859, p. 8)
A building marked on Clement Hodgkinson's January 1858 map shows an unnamed building that seems to be in the correct spot for this hotel, so it is reasonable to surmise they are the same hotel, but possibly it ceased operations for a few years. In 1857 the Johnston Street bridge to Kew was built, providing more potential custom to hotels in Johnston street.
The 1864 ratebook lists the hotel as a stone building; in 1895 the hotel was for sale, described as the 'well-known Abbotsford Hotel', containing a bar, cellar, and eight rooms, stabling, out-offices, etc on land having 66 feet frontage to Johnston Street (near the tram terminus) by a depth of 99 feet. (The Argus, 11 December 1895, p. 2). The separate billiards room shown on the 1901 Board of Works map at the rear of the hotel may have been added by the new owner, but the new licensee did not serve her patrons as well as she should; Margaret Fowler was convicted of having falsely applied Hennessey and Dewar's labels to bottles of watered-down brandy and whisky ( The Argus, 29 October 1896, p. 3)