Author Topic: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD  (Read 884 times)

Offline KANACKI

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Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« on: March 28, 2021, 02:51:02 PM »
The building that presently houses the Criterion Hotel , which overlooks the Fitzroy River, dates to 1889. T

The building has seen many celebrities cross its threshold; it was quarantined once for the bubonic plague. The ghost of the Criterion, who is said to be a chambermaid who died in the late 1800s, has been seen by several staff members over the years. The hotel was even the subject of a 1987 TV program on paranormal activities.

Here is some pictures of the hotel below, For those guests who cannot see them. I suggest to sign up to the this wonderful forum and get to see an amazing insight into haunted places around Australia.

To be continued.....

Crow


Offline KANACKI

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2021, 02:57:56 PM »
Many years ago the haunting was reported by new TV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw9WZn1YSK0

And a very interesting thing happened during the interview. Did a ghost face of an old women appear briefly behind the night manager as he was being interviewed?

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2021, 03:09:11 PM »
Karen Westgarth was one lady that worked at the Criterion when the Smiths owned it, and she said she has been confronted by the ghost on a few occasions.

Joanne Turnbull claims she met her twice. Tapped her on her shoulder while she slept in the old maids quarters....woke her up, but didnít see anything. Rumors alleged the ghost was a maid who had an affair with a married stable manager. She hung herself from the bell tower. Joanne Turnbull claims  she has been up there numerous times....very spooky!

But was that the truth or just an urban legend?

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2021, 03:17:10 PM »
But perhaps we can find the identity of this ghost chamber maid?

The Criterion Hotel is a three-storeyed masonry building situated on the corner of Quay and Fitzroy Streets in Rockhampton. It has formed an integral and vital part of the social and cultural life of the town and City of Rockhampton since 1891.

In 1855 (prior to the separation of Queensland in 1959) the New South Wales Government had requested that William Henry Wiseman the Commissioner for Leichardt, locate a suitable place on the Fitzroy River for a settlement. Rockhampton's name and place had been decided on in 1856 although the settlement was not officially proclaimed a town until 25 October 1858.

In 1857 Mr Palmer erected a store, the first building in Rockhampton. Richard Parker a resident of Gayndah erected the first hotel (or inn) for Rockhampton some six months later. Both Parker and Palmer had erected their buildings on what was crown land. Parker had built the inn opposite to Palmers store, and was in partnership with a man called George Gannon.

Parker and Gannon's establishment was known as the Bush Inn and was constructed of iron-bark slabs and shingle roof. In 1858 the discovery of the Canoona goldfield rapidly changed the fortune of the Bush Inn. The Bush Inn enjoyed overwhelming patronage and clientele over the four months that the rush lasted.
 
The Bush Inn was enlarged upon and rebuilt in 1859-60. The rebuilt building was of a single storey. The entrance to the public bar was from the corner of Fitzroy Street and Quay Lane, and the business premises extended along the Quay Lane aspect of the block. The layout of the Bush Inn now included a coffee room approached through a garden, and a billiard room at the Fitzroy Street end of the building.

Parker died in 1860 bequeathing the property to the eldest of his two daughters Dorinda Ann Parker. After his death Parker's widow Maria, kept the Inn going until remarrying with John Watt in 1861. The Bush Inn transferred licenseeship in 1862 to John Ward. Ward changed the name of the establishment from the Bush Inn to the Criterion Hotel. Ward also constructed the Rockhampton Hotel on Victoria Parade, a short distance from the Criterion.

Ward however did not maintain the licence very long, and before the end of 1862 had transferred it on to Thomas Nobbs. The Criterion was further rebuilt at this stage into a two storeyed weatherboard building with a first floor verandah fronting onto Fitzroy Street.

In 1865 J A Watt died and his widow Maria married John Cramp who was her business manager. In 1866 the lease on the Criterion expired. John Cramp and his wife, Maria took up the licence on the premises. Maria Cramp returned to the hotel owned by her eldest daughter, Dorinda. Maria Cramp kept the premises going with her husband until her own death in 1875, at the age of 39.

Was Maria Cramp the ghost watching over the Criterion Hotel?

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2021, 03:21:19 PM »
Dorinda then took over the running of the hotel following the death of her mother. A brick extension was made to the Criterion after its purchase in 1875.

Dorinda Ann Parker in 1874 married George Silas Curtis. Curtis had been born in Tamworth in New South Wales in 1846, and educated at Sydney Boys Grammar. Curtis had first come to Rockhampton in 1863 overland and returned in 1866. He began a business career with the auctioneering firm of Mills Wormald, and after the death of Wormald in 1872 Curtis purchased the business.

Curtis was to become a prominent member of the powerful Rockhampton Chamber of Commerce, and also was to become in the 1890s the leading advocate of the separation movement in central Queensland. The marriage of Curtis to Dorinda Parker began a family association with the Criterion Hotel that was to last until 1947.

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2021, 03:32:23 PM »
One of the licensees of the Criterion Hotel in the period of 1880-3 was Frederick Augustus Morgan who arrived in Rockhampton in 1879, from Bathurst in New South Wales. Morgan had been a gold miner in the Bathurst district. His two brothers Tom and Ned in July 1882 were to credit themselves as locating the ore body on top of Ironstone Mountain in the Dee Range, that became the Mount Morgan Mine.

With the influx of wealth from the rich gold mine of Mount Morgan and with the growth of the importance of Rockhampton as the Port for access to the mine, the role of hotels such as the Criterion increased in the business and trade community.

Dorinda Curtis is credited with being responsible for the decision to construct the grand new three storied building at the corner of Quay and Fitzroy Street in 1889. According to J T S Bird in his Early History of Rockhampton, the building was rebuilt "by Mrs. G S Curtis, and the handsome three-storied brick building of the present day is one of the finest hotels in Queensland".

The Inn had been reconstructed twice up to then, when Mrs Curtis decided she would erect a fine hotel of stone, brick and marble, making it without doubt the finest hotel in Central Queensland.

The question remains however was the ghost Dorinda Curtis or her mother  Maria Cramp. Given the description  of the alleged ghost seems to fit more of a description of a type of dress from the era of  Maria Cramp?

So perhaps the ghost of Criterion Hotel is Maria Cramp haunting a building that was built after her death but on the site of her own earlier hotel building?

While there is no recorded suicide of any chamber maid? However there is another strange recorded death.

To be continued .......

Kanacki

Offline Simon2

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 11:09:07 AM »
I can't wait for the next chapter KANACKI.

I find something in old architecture that has never really been bettered in our so called "modern era".
To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue;

These five are gravity, generosity of (the) soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.
(Confucius)

Offline Christine

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 01:19:44 AM »
I love old pubs. Thanks for the post and the pics Kanacki.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
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Offline KANACKI

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Re: Ghost Chambermaid of the Criterion Hotel: Rockhampton: QLD
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 08:31:25 PM »
Hello Simon and Christine

Inns and taverns have a long history of people passing through. The hotel had one more strange death. A gentlemen that was staying in the hotel in fine spirits went onto balcony late at night. And was smoking and fell backward falling 3 floors to his death. At the inquest the bar staff who last saw him claimed he was not drunk or depressed. The Coroner concluded accidental death? Others speculated he might of been pushed or others with darker theories such as the gentleman encountered late at night the ghost and in shock accidentally fell off the balcony?

No one knows for sure its just one more of the mysteries of the Criterion Hotel.

Kanacki

 


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