Ultima Railway Hotel

Local Pubs

James Henry Punch and his wife Mary Kate (Polly) were married about 1920 - she being a sister of Mr Carlo Wilkins of "The White Swan" Hotel in Swan Hill and Mrs Nan Barwick of "The Royal Hotel" in Swan Hill.

In 1923 they bought the Ultima Railway Hotel, but soon afterwards it was destroyed by fire, along with all their possessions. Two daughters, Mona Beatrice ("Peter") and Sheila Patricia ("Pat") had been born by then, but son Michael Wilkins was born later, when they were in the new building. A younger son, Billy, died in infancy.

A Country Pub

The original Ultima Hotel, which used to be a wine saloon, was burnt down, and the new two-story Hotel was built for about 11,000 pounds - a lot of money in those days. It was a wonder of the district, and Ultima was a thriving town.

The Hotel had two dining rooms, one for the solicitors, doctors and other professions, priests etc, and the other one for the rest. To the best of my knowledge, the food was the same but the No. 1 Room had the silver service, starched serviettes, table cloths, uniformed waitresses etc, and all for three shillings, and two shillings respectively.