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Pictured above: “Martin Robert King” holding his freshly published historical book “The Caledonian Hotel, The First 100 Odd Years” image from The Singleton Argus.

The Caledonian Hotel

A brief historical overview

The following are short paraphrased excerpts from the book by Martin Robert King “The Caledonian Hotel, the first hundred odd years”


The first Inn in Singleton was the “Barley Mow”, run by Benjamin Singleton from around 1825. Before the Caledonian was built, there was a temporary wooden building operating as an Inn on the same property from 1841, this was called the “Sir Thomas L. Mitchell Inn”.

The first Inns in the area were wooden slab huts, no glass windows, an open fire for cooking and bathing was often done in the river.

The Caledonia (as it was named at the time) is one of the oldest hotels in the district, being first licensed under that name on December 4th 1849. The word Caledonia was the Roman name given to Northern Britain / Scotland area and is derived from a local Celtic tribe known as the Caledones.

The Caledonian Hotel was mostly called the Caledonia until 1910. It was the reporters from outside the Singleton area that most commonly misspelt the name however it was also misspelt by clerks in some official documents. It was spelled 914 times by the local news paper (“The Singleton Argus”) as “The Caledonia” and only misspelled by the same paper 9 times until 1910 when the (n) was officially added to the end of the name and changed to “The Caledonian Hotel”.


To gain a copy of Martin Robert King’s book visit www.catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/6249253

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Pictured above: “The Caledonian Hotel”, from the very early years.

The Caledonian Ghost (no extra charge)

Legend or true?

The following are short paraphrased excerpts from the book by Martin Robert King “The Caledonian Hotel, the first hundred odd years”


At least four people have died at the Caledonian Hotel over the last 100 years and it has been claimed that parts of the hotel may be haunted.

On more than one occasion men sitting in the poker machine room have claimed to have felt the light brush of a woman’s hand brushing across their back as she apparently walked past them and smelt a distinctive sweet perfume, when they turned to have a look no one was there.

A resident staying in a room upstairs was walking down the main corridor and saw a man in a long coat “Driza-Bone type”, the stranger was walking across from room thirteen to fourteen. Being a friendly sort of a bloke the resident stopped and took a few steps back to say hello. There was no one there. When he walked back down the hall he found both doors locked and latter when telling the story to a staff member it was confirmed that no one was staying in either of those two rooms.

There have been other reports of voices calling out when no one else was around and sudden gusts of wind inside the bar area when all the doors where closed…..

Legend or true we don’t really know but they do seem friendly and as reported so far, sweet smelling and light of touch. Let us know if you see or hear anything on your next visit to The Cali.


To gain a copy of Martin Robert King’s book and read this story in it’s entirety visit www.catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/6249253