Friday, August 17, 2012

That Kapunda Crown

Whilst conducting research for an investigation for another of our passions, Eidolon Paranormal; Karen and I stumbled across this piece of Kapunda's forgotten history.
  We printed what we had found and put it on the notice board in the front bar of the Clare Castle Hotel, hoping someone would come forward with some information. Unfortunately, not even the longtime regular's had seen the image before! 
We had another mystery to be solved in Kapunda!

Below is what we posted on the notice board in the Hotel:

"Kapunda Revelation"

"After many layers of paper in the quaint Clare Castle Hotel at the Adelaide end of Kapunda had been removed, this design, measuring three feet, was found painted on the wall above the mantelpiece in the front room: it is in gold, green and black."

Later, we were researching for another Kapunda location and stumbled across the answer to the mystery of the Kapunda crown. 
 The mystery of The Kapunda Crown was solved by this article, written in The Advertiser in 1954.

The Advertiser  

Page 4

Tuesday 27 July 1954

That Kapunda Crown

With commendable promptitude, Mrs E. O'Neill, president of Glenelg Sunshine Club has explained from 'Carmel,' 3 College street, Glenelg. the origin of the Crown at the Clare Castle Hotel. Kapunda

'The picture in your column took my mind back to my childhood watching my father, the late Edward (Ned) Murphy drawing that crown. He was the licensee.

'I do not remember why, as I was only six. Father had a peculiar trait to paint and draw things like this. 'He was a very intelligent man; when he died 21 years ago. at 86. he had retained his remarkable mentality.

Did Other Drawings

'First, he was the licensee of the North Kapunda hotel for three years, during which time he was a councillor. Sir Sidney Kidman and Mr Charlie Coles were personal friends of his.

'When Queen Victoria died my parents draped the front of the Clare Castle in black. Father drew and painted a life-size picture of Queen Victoria for the centre.

'About this time, 1901. he drew the crown. I remember his doing the heart and saying to us children. 'The Throne and the Queen are the heart of the Empire.'

Many other hotels bear some drawing or inscription done by dad at Robe, on the window of a temperance hotel is something he did with a diamond ring.

'I, unfortunately, burnt the only photo of the Clare Castle after father's death.

'I enclose one of the North Kapunda, taken about 1898. My father is the young man in shirt sleeves. Mother is standing by myself, a little tot looking through the balcony bars. One of the maids holds my baby brother, later an original Anzac.'

Kept City Hotels

Mrs O'Neill says her father (Edward Murphy) and mother had many guests at their Adelaide hotels. Most famous was Madame Sarah Bernhardt at the Metropolitan in Grote Street.

Mr C. C. Kingston, who lived farther west on the West terrace corner, wanted her father to buy half of Kingston Park, Marino, for £10.

'My grandparents were among the first Port Adelaide hotelkeepers. Migrants stayed there until they got work or land,' she adds.

Researched and written by Allen and Karen Tiller © 2012

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