Officially it was the Rugby Hotel. But of all the pubs in Orange that gained the name of the licensee or owner over the years this was the best known.
Since Mary Kelly took over in 1922, and even now after it has closed, the pub opposite Wade Park is known as Kelly's.
The hotel started as the Carriers Arms Hotel but the original building burnt down.
The current building was constructed in the 1890s and the name was changed to the Rugby Hotel in 1898.
By the 1920s when Tooths brewery inspectors began recording their visits to Orange hotels on cards now available from the Australian National University/Noel Butlin Archive collection the pub was well established.
VIDEO: The farewell to Kelly's Hotel ...
The first recorded visit in 1923 shows Mary Kelly as the owner.
In 1930 an inspector recorded that a rear extension had been built in April that year.
"Two-storey brick, tuckpointed second storey, painted up to first floor, iron roof, new additions at back, fair order and appearance, out of business centre," the inspector recorded.
The inspectors recorded that while Mrs Kelly was the owner a succession of other people were listed as the licensees until 1941 when Mrs Kelly took on the role.
However, it then incorrectly records the role taken over in 1948 by her 'brother' William J Kelly, when in fact he was her son.
By 1962 the wooden verandah posts were removed and the hotel gained a suspended verandah and tiled front that an inspector recorded had "modernised" the building.
The verandah was put back on the Lords Place frontage in 2009.
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