THE HISTORY OF TINGALPA’S TWO HOTELS - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views
Local History

The Royal Mail Hotel, Tingalpa, 1871.


Tingalpa hotel number 1.
This hotel was located at the junction of Old Cleveland Road and Mt Gravatt – Capalaba Road, Capalaba. Surveyor, David Warner in 1863 set out the “Town of Tingalpa” on the northern bank of Tingalpa Creek, where the track from Brisbane to Cleveland (Old Cleveland Road) met the track from Ipswich to Cleveland (Mt Gravatt – Capalaba Road) in Capalaba.

This was in the days when Cleveland, and not Brisbane, was being considered as the location for the Port for Queensland. This location was chosen for the Town of Tingalpa as here, there was a shallow ford to allow easier crossing of Tingalpa Creek. The roads can still be traced out today.

Here, in the mid 1860’s James Murray was operating an unlicensed “grog-shanty” on the corner of Old Cleveland Road and the Ipswich track. In 1872 Robert Murray applied for, “a country publican’s license to be able to sell fermented and spirituous liquors in premises, at the Tingalpa Hotel at the Tingalpa Creek crossing.” (Brisbane Courier 30.05.1872).

The ford over the Tingalpa creek was replaced with a bridge in 1874.

This spurred on the development and settlement of the lands south of the Creek. Tingalpa Hotel was advertised for sale on 15 August 1873. In 1877 Farmer William Jarvis took out the license for the Capalaba Hotel, built on the southern bank of the creek in Capalaba. The Township of “Old Tingalpa” on the northern bank of Tingalpa Creek never developed as intended and became known as Capalaba West. The name ‘Town of Tingalpa’ was abolished 1948.

Tingalpa hotel number 2.
The Royal Mail Hotel was located on the corner of Old Cleveland Road and Wynnum Road.

Joseph and Mary Kendrick opened a store on Old Cleveland Road at the junction of Lytton Road (Wynnum Road) in 1862. In 1867 Mary was the Post Mistress. Liquor was sold on the side, as in many small stores of that day. In 1870, Mrs Kendrick was charged with selling four glasses of rum (“Queenslander” 31.12.1870).

Joseph Kendrick obtained the first license of the Royal Mail Hotel in 1871 and it is presumed that he built the hotel. Due to ill-health Joseph sold the hotel to George Waldock in 1873. But George died in 1874 and his widow, Mercy Waldock was still holding the license in 1880. In the 1890s when Wilhelm Helmholz was licensee, the hotel provided sustenance for the patrons of the nearby Tingalpa races.

In 1908, the name “Half Way House” was used to describe the location of the Royal Mail Hotel due to its being considered to be half way between Brisbane and Cleveland. The local stage coaches carrying people, mail and luggage rested here.

When Mr E Harding was manager, in 1909 the hotel underwent massive renovations and in the local press the hotel was reported to be “greatly improved and a credit to the district”.

Even after the days of stagecoaches delivering mail, the Hotel still retained “Royal Mail” in its name. There have been many owners, many renovations and re-buildings but the Hotel still trades on the original site today.

A refurbished Cobb and Co stage coach was mounted outside the hotel in 2011 but unfortunately this was set alight in 2017. However, there is no evidence to support the mail or passenger contracts being held by Cobb and Co for the service from Brisbane to Cleveland. The contracts were always held by local operators.

After the opening of the railway from Brisbane to Cleveland in 1889, mail and passenger road transport decreased which would have affected the takings of roadside hotels. Today the hotel is known as the Tingalpa Hotel.

The Royal Mail Hotel, Tingalpa, 1908.  

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