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Railway Hotel

44 Tydeman Road (formerly John Street, and before that Pensioner Road) North Fremantle, 1894 (and then 1899?) corner of De Lisle Street

Photo of painting by Toby Leek, courtesy of the artist.

The Railway Hotel is on the corner of Delisle St (also spelt De Lisle) and what was Pensioner Road (later John Street and now Tydeman Rd). Delisle Street used to be a real street several blocks long; now it is really only the driveway to the hotel and its parking area. The building on the site in 1893 was William Waldock's Railway Coffee Palace (a coffee palace was a hotel without a liquor licence), and it was in that year that Waldock's application for a publican's general licence was successful, so it became the Railway Hotel. (Waldock is also spelt Waldeck.)

West Australian:
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4th. [1893]
Adam Oliver, proprietor of the Rose Hotel, and the holder of an hotel license at North Fremantle, and Wm. Waldock, license of the Railway Coffee Palace at North Fremantle, each applied for publicans' general licenses for the premises now occupied by them respectively. Mr. Moss appeared for Mr. Oliver, and Mr. Shaw for Mr. Waldock. In each case the application was opposed by Mr. Kidson (Kidson & Gawler) on behalf of ratepayers; by the Rev. W. H. Peters, Congregational minister, and by J. Hutchings, as a ratepayer. Petitions were presented for and against each application. The main argument in support of the applications were that the population of the locality, which was estimated at from 1,500 to 1,600, had made such increase in numbers that an additional licensed house was required. The opposing arguments were a denial of this contention. The Bench decided upon granting Mr. Waldock's application on the ground that the house was required and that its position was preferable to the Rose Hotel premises occupied by Mr. Oliver. The application of the latter, was therefore, refused. West Australian, Wednesday 6 December 1893, p. 7.

The 1893 building must have been demolished in favour of a new building, which could well be the one that still stands in what is now Tydeman Road on the corner of 'Delisle Street', which is not really a street.

Heritage Council:
The Railway Hotel, a single storey brick and iron hotel that was constructed c.1898 for Frederick Mason to cater for the needs of the growing suburb of North Fremantle. Frederick Mason was a jeweller by profession but also held significant landholdings in North Fremantle. Prior to the construction of the Railway Hotel, a boarding house, coffee palace and three cottages had occupied the site. These buildings had been the location of the original Railway Hotel. The naming of the hotel was suggested by its close proximity to the Perth to Fremantle railway line and the North Fremantle station. The new building was designed by architect O N Nicholson and constructed in 1898-99. Shortly after construction, the property was transferred to Bertha Hillman [Hillmer]. In 1910, Bertha Sophie Pinbaum [Pirnbaum] contracted with the Castlemaine Brewery for seven years.

Fred[erick Mason] owned the Railway Hotel (freeholder), and eventually married Bertha Hillmer (not Hillman) who was manager/licensee.  Fred either sold or signed it over to her  about the time they married, 1898.   They weren’t married for long, divorced in 1904, and Bertha married another manager of the Railway Hotel whom she had previously left town with - Herman Pirnbaum (not Pinbaum), they married in NSW in 1908.  They later moved to Victoria where Bertha died 1945. (Personal communication from Ros May, family member)

The licensee in 1897 was Bertha S. Hilmer. Daily News, Tuesday 7 December, 1897, p. 4.

In 1898, Dagmar Reimer's publican's licence in respect of the Railway Hotel was renewed. Western Mail, Friday 9 December 1898, p. 13.

From family member Rhonda Staskow:
Henry Christian Reimer came to Melbourne and married Dagmar Juliane Christina Baade. They moved to Sydney and he received a colonial wine license to operate at 65 Liverpool street in Sydney in 1895. They had one son Hans John Reimer. By early 1897, they had travelled to Fremantle where Dagmar's sister lived.
Dagmar's sister was Bertha Sophia Baade, who had been married in Melbourne  in 1885 to Robert Heinrich Wilhelm Hillmer. He died in 1894. She ran a hotel for a short period in Melbourne and by 1896 had obtained the license for the Railway Hotel in Fremantle. It appears she invited her sister Dagmar to join her. However, soon after the Reimer family arrived in early 1897, where Henry became an ironmonger, he died of heart problems 22 August 1897. The family lived on DeLisle street.  Dagmar also had another child, a girl named after both her sister Bertha and her mother-in-law, Bertha Ludwika Reimer. The child died by 25 May 1898. The father and daughter were buried in the Skinner Street cemetery.
In 1898, Bertha had married Frederick Mason, and after obtaining the hotel, spent months avoiding him. I think I read he made 22 trips from WA to the East coast in attempts to find his wife.
Dagmar took over the license for the Railway hotel. She then proceeded to have an affair with the local Doctor, Karl August Edward Rommeis and had a child named Karl Rommeis Baade in 1899 who died soon after birth. Dr Rommeis died soon after in 1901 and Dagmar attempted to claim a debt against his estate though this was eventually dropped. Dr Rommeis attended the suicide of Frederick Mason's child.
Bertha married a third time, this time to Hermann Frederick Pirnbaum in New South Wales.
Dagmar remarried to Carl/Conrad Maiss and her surviving son Hans John Reimer adopted the name John Maiss. The Maiss family managed hotels.

Daily News:
The health officer (Dr. Birmingham) reported as follows: ... The Railway Hotel is not nearly so well kept [as the Rose]. The building is a rambling old place, with, a large number of small bedrooms in a very confined space, The yard is small, with no provision for drainage, and we found waste water lying about in pools. The closets are clean and well-kept. The bedrooms are small, pokey places of about 800 cubic feet capacity, with absolutely no attempt at ventilation. I understand that the building is to he pulled down ; and it is about the only thing that it is fit for. I would recommend the board to exercise strict supervision over the rebuilding of this hotel. I think that the site should be raised to the level of the road, and care should be taken that there is sufficient ventilation in the new building. Daily News, Friday 14 April 1899, p. 1.


Photo October 1989 courtesy SLWA # 315406D (from Facebook)

References and Links

Note about the hotel being under threat in Fremantle, the newsletter of the Fremantle Society: March 1996.

Garry Gillard | New: 19 September, 2014 | Now: 30 November, 2023