They are particularly interesting because they are the last taken as it was demolished in the early 1920’s. What is of particular interest is that it shows how it was built and some interior glimpses. Unlike stone and brick structures there is almost nothing existing from the 1700’s built of wood and wattle and daub, let alone an important building such as this.
What is extraordinary is it survived termites, fire and flood in this hostile new environment for about 130 years and by looking at the pictures could have been fully restored if the will was there.
If you look closely at the walls you can see the plaster finishing over the wattle timber straps, much of it still in place. The final shot of it being torn down reveals the ceilings of wooden boards. The front exterior shot shows amazingly the original wooden shingle roof which had been accidentally preserved under a replacement tin outer skin and only revealed in demolition.
One can only imagine the dozens of major figures of our colonial history that rested, ate, conversed and lived under its roof as they planned our new country.
It is a tragedy that this prime example of building techniques at the birth of our nation was systematically destroyed. This was done in spite of protests at the time to council.
As one looks at the torn down end wall we can see revealed the still solid cedar roof structure. One senses a repeat performance for the Jolly Frog Hotel.
The cultural vandalism demonstrated here robs us all of our shared cultural memory for short term gains and long term loss. The saga of the Jolly Frog is yet to begin but it is should become a symbolic marker that such disrespect for heritage ends here.
We, the guardians of our culture, are offended and degraded by such activity and do not regard expedience, greed, ignorance and laziness as valid justification for robbing us of a unique legacy to hand onto our great grandchildren – its our responsibility to resist and win.