While pubs have come and gone in Orange since the 1850s the Royal Hotel has been a large and constant presence in the centre of town.
Historic photos dating back to 1925 as part of the Tooths Brewing archives, now held in the Australian National University/Noel Butlin Archives, reveal its changing face.
The earliest photos in the collection, taken in 1925 and 1930 by the brewery's visiting inspectors shows the hotel as a two-storey building with verandahs spread out across its location on the corner of Lords Place and Summer Street.
"Two-storey brick, very big house, nicely tiled to about seven feet, no mirrors at all, opposite park, very good appearance," was how an inspector viewed the property in April 1930.
Opposite park, very good appearance.Brewery inspector in 1930
It is listed as being "leading hotel" in June 1930.
However the appearance of the hotel today comes from major renovations carried out about 1937.
An inspector noted that in May that year works underway included a new bottle department, new bars downstairs, a new ladies lounge on the first floor, new toilets and reconditioning of bedrooms, four new suites with bathrooms and new toilets and bathrooms "on each wing" upstairs.
With the addition of a third storey and the removal of the old verandahs the hotel had a noticeably different look by the time the inspector returned in 1938.
That look has been retained until the present with a new paint scheme being applied this week.
The Royal opened as the Wellington Hotel in the late 1850s as the first two-storey hotel in Orange.
It became the Royal Hotel about 1881 and it has also been the booking office for Cobb and Co coaches.
The inspectors' reports reveal the hotel has had high beer sales and a constant change of licensees over its long association with the brewery.
They also provide an extensive list of its financial arrangements with Tooths.
It is also one of the few Orange hotels in the Tooths' files to have information recorded past the early 1970s with financial details continuing to 1980 when Garry Morton was the licensee.
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