First licensed in 1853. A 1918 Observer article on "Grenfell Street in the Sixties" recalled that the Crown and Anchor was neighbored by dwelling houses on one side and vacant land on the other.
1870 to 1889: A Centre of Crime and Expansion
On 2 May 1871, the landlady of the Crown and Anchor Hotel was arrested for stealing a silk dress from Anna Ellery, an Adelaide widow, and selling it to pawn. In April 1874, William Thurlow, who resided at the Crown and Anchor Hotel for years, identified his deceased friend's body in Port Adelaide. In 1877, C. O'Leary served as the hotel's publican. Following the accidental death or possible murder of James Dooley on 8 June 1877, the Crown and Anchor Hotel served as the site for the City Coroner's investigation. Dooley, a carter, had been found the morning of 8 June in front of his place of his employment, Pulsford & Co., a timber merchant on Grenfell Street. He was discovered lying facedown, bruised and bloodied. The jury decided by 16 June 1877 that 'the deceased's death was accidentally caused by the wheel of a dray passing over his head'. In January 1878, issues with the city watertables led the city surveyor to repair the watertable closest to Crown and Anchor Hotel. On 8 June 1878, Henry Lockyer, resident of the Crown and Anchor Hotel, charged John Smith with stealing £8 on 25 May while he slept. George Beck, landlord of the hotel, testified that John Smith wanted to spend the night at the hotel and deposited his watch as security. When Smith returned the next Thursday and paid his bill, Beck notified the police and detained Smith until they arrived. Upon being searched, Smith was discovered to have stolen from three other Adelaidian residents. John Smith was sentenced to a sentence of six months with "hard labour". In 1879, construction of the new Crown and Anchor Hotel finished: "a new two-storey building has been erected in lieu of the old single-storey place". It cost £1,534.
1880 to 1889: Arson, Bribery, and Unlawfully Serving Liquor
In May 1880, publican George Beck himself was directly implicated in the legal system: he was accused of selling a half-pint of beer to George Giddings, Thomas Elliott, and William Bailey on 23 May, a Sunday. In court, the three men claimed they did not come to the premises to see Beck but to see a man named McLaren, and they did not order any beer or were served any. The charges were dismissed. On 1 June 1883, George Beck became a legal accuser again as he claimed two men, Mr. Williams and Mr. Henderson, stayed at the Crown and Anchor during which time Beck had £83 stolen. On 27 August 1888, the City Coroner again held an inquest at the hotel; the investigation pertained to alleged arson nearby. Margaret McGee, who lived with her sister in a house nearby, was found guilty by jury of setting a mattress on fire and was arrested. On 11 August 1889, George Beck was again accused of selling liquor during prohibited hours, and forfeited.
On 5 November 1890 Mr. Horan took Mr. Kennedy to court for alleged deception- Mr. Horan intended to buy the Crown and Anchor Hotel from Mr. Kennedy on goodwill through the services of Mr. Just. The pair signed an agreement on 2 July and Mr. Horan paid £25 in providing that a similar payment was soon to follow. 8 July Horan sent Kennedy a second payment of £25, but received the same payment with the implication that his payment was too late. 2 August Horan met Kennedy in Broken Hill and learned that the hotel had already been let. John Phillips, then-lessee of the hotel, stated that his lease started 10 July. Kennedy declared that his agreement with Horan required the delivery of a second £25 payment by 8 July. When that did not happen, Kennedy looked for other business. The agreements were produced in court and the judge ruled in favor of Mr. Kennedy.
In February 1891, George Beck retired from his role as publican of the Crown and Anchor Hotel to move with his wife to the hills and explore cattle cultivation. W.H. Fairlie assumed Beck's previous position. On 19 January 1892, candidate Mr. J.A. McPherson, who was running to represent East Adelaide, spoke to voters at the hotel. This was the first time a member of the newly-formed Labor Party contested an Assembly vacancy, and McPherson won with 1200 votes to his opponent's 1026. In 1892, the position of publican shifted again as Peter P. Murphy took the role. On 23 July 1892, Murphy paid three players of South Australia Football Association's Port Adelaide club to play a losing game to South Adelaide. These players' acceptance of the bribe led to two players' expulsions from the Port Adelaide club. On 25 December 1892 Peter P. Murphy further echoed George Beck's crimes and was charged with serving liquor to a non-traveller on a Sunday. Constable Curran accused Murphy of using insulting language and calling the official a "sneak" and a "spy". Murphy later pled guilty.
Likely as a result of Murphy's crimes, James Logan took over as the Crown and Anchor's publican in 1893. The hotel again hosted East Adelaide candidates as they spoke to electors in April 1893. On 30 March 1894 the Norwood Football Club held their 16th annual meeting at the hotel. Sir Edwin Smith- after whom an arterial road in North Adelaide is named- presided over the event. On 10 July 1894, an inquest was actually held at the Elephant and Castle Hotel- because of investigations on a man found dead in his bed at the Crown and Anchor. Barnard Miller, a station hand from Victoria, had been staying in Adelaide for two months. The autopsy concluded that he died from heart disease from excessive drinking; the landlady Mrs. Daly kept Miller's money for him and recalled that he often asked for it when he was intoxicated. In 1894, the Hindmarsh Square Committee Branch of the East Adelaide Local Committee held their meetings at the Crown and Anchor. On 8 April 1895, former publican Peter Murphy died in Coolgardie at the age of 83. On 2 April 1896, the Crown and Anchor's licensees- John Brelag and Henry H. Higgins- continued the hotel's tradition of illegally serving liquor on a Sunday and were fined. On 12 July 1897, Crown and Anchor employee Joseph Anchor died suddenly while dressing in the morning. Like Murphy, he died at the age of 83. Tests concluded that the cause was lung disease. Crime returned to the Crown and Anchor hotel later that year, as William McGregor was committed to trial on 1 October 1897 for allegedly stealing £15 worth of clothing and "personal effects" from John Turner on the premises.
1900 to May 1910: Freak Accidents and Mysterious Deaths
In October 1900, fatality kept haunting the Crown and Anchor: James Siggers died on the premises and was removed for burial in West Terrace Cemetery on 8 October. On 23 November 1901, a Chronicle correspondent wrote that Hill & Co.'s coachmen, who won with horse Khaki in Tattersall's Sweep, celebrated their victory with a "pleasant evening" at the pub the day before. On 11 May 1903, tragedy struck the Crown and Anchor Hotel again: resident Mrs. Marion Mackay was run over by an Unley Fire Brigade steamer on King William Street that evening. She died the next morning. On 28 July 1905, hotel publican Daniel Ahearn was fined £15 and 5/ for supplying liquor to nontravellers or nonlodgers on 23 July. On 29 March 1906, Stephen Roach, William Allen, and Stephen S. McGeorge were charged and sentenced to six months in prison with hard labour for stealing 3 bottles of brandy from Frederick E. W. Wilson's Cocking & Co. vehicle while Wilson was delivering goods to the Crown and Anchor in the afternoon two days earlier. On 7 September 1907, Angus McRea of Willunga, 18 years of age, went missing; he had last been seen at the hotel.
Quiz reported on 20 September 1907 that Mrs. J. Calnan had become the "splendid" new manager of the hotel, which is located "in a convenient yet quiet part of the city". The article conveyed that Mrs. Calnan retailed "the best beer in the market in the South Australian Brewing Coy's [sic] celebrated West- End Ale". Mrs. Calnan and her husband advertised in the 7 December 1907 issue of The Kangaroo Island Courier that "first class accommodation" could be found at the Crown and Anchor, which had been "re-furnished from top to bottom". Still, the discovery of a dead Robert Peters, a painter, in the hotel's yard on 9 February 1908 proved that the hotel was still plagued by bad fortune. Publican Mrs. Calnan reported that the painter was walking from Union Street and went to the hotel's shed to lie down, for he was not feeling well. Upon checking upon Peters, the publican found him dead. Perhaps to counteract this sad news, Mrs. Calnan advertised in the 28 February 1908 issue of Quiz that visitors to the hotel "can rely upon a first-class table and good clean rooms". Tragedy struck Mrs. Calnan on 21 June 1908 when her husband John Gilbert died at the Crown and Anchor at the early age of 38.
Former Crown and Anchor publican Daniel Ahearn died rather suddenly on 22 April 1910 in Islington, leaving behind his wife and 3 children. On 23 August 1910, the Adelaide Police Court charged William Chesterfield with having assaulted Frank Jakeman in the Crown and Anchor's parlor on 16 August. After having hit Jakeman, Chesterfield tried to take away the witness' beer. Chesterfield simply explained his conduct: "I was put up to it".
September 1910: The Diamond Ring Trial
The next month, on 23 September 1910, Mary Ann Jakeman- licensee of the hotel- took W.T. McPharlin of Henley Beach to trial to recover a diamond ring and money lent. She claimed that McPharlin owed her £27 15/ and the return of her ring, worth £65. McPharlin responded that the money exchanged was due to their partnership, which Jakeman did not fulfill, so McPharlin owed her nothing. No documents could be produced regarding the terms of their partnership, which complicated the situation. Jakeman claimed that on 13 January 1909 the pair met at the Gresham Hotel. McPharlin admired her ring and she allowed him to wear it until she asked for it back; he agreed. McPharlin praised Jakeman's earrings as well and asked to borrow them for a few days; she refused. No witnesses could be produced of this meeting. The pair went to different establishments to try and sell Jakeman's earrings with no success. Upon assuming the position of Crown and Anchor publican on 25 April 1909, Jakeman hired McPharlin as a barman and paid him £3 the first week, but only gave him £2 10/ each week thereafter.
On 18 August 1909, McPharlin came to see Jakeman and she asked for her ring. McPharlin retorted with, "What are you going to give me?" Jakeman responded that he would find out once he gave the ring back. McPharlin then told Jakeman that he had £16 on the ring with an unnamed person in Stockade. Jakeman repeated that McPharlin would get something in return once she reacquired her ring. McPharlin asked, "will it be enough to keep my wife and kids for three months?" Jakeman did not respond and reached for her checkbook, at which point McPharlin and his wife left Jakeman's rooms and vacated the premises, where they and their children had been living since his employment there.
Mrs. Jakeman next saw Mr. McPharlin on 12 May 1910 at a pigeon match at the Crown and Anchor, where he asked to borrow £5 in exchange for a split in winnings if he won the match. She agreed, and later lent him £3 for another pigeon match and £1 for a coursing match on 1 June 1910. 3 June, Mrs. Jakeman wrote a cheque to Mr. George Coombs of Port Adelaide Racing Club for £15, the defendant having borrowed that amount. However, she told Mr. Coombs that she could not afford that amount. Mr. Coombs responded that he would then have to pawn all his "jewellry and clothes"; Mrs. Jakeman then relented and gave him Mr. Coombs the cheque. A witness remarked that after this event Mrs. Jakeman was "not so very friendly" with Mr. McPharlin whenever they encountered each other.
During the trial, Mr. F. V. Smith, Mr. McPharlin's lawyer, asked Mrs. Jakeman if Mr. McPharlin ever swore in her company. She replied, "Yes; I could not stop him". Mr. Smith asked if Mrs. Jakeman felt "justified" in trusting her ring with Mr. McPharlin; Mrs. Jakeman responded, "Yes, I always considered he was a 'white man'". In this cross-examination, Mrs. Jakeman revealed that when she became the Crown and Anchor's publican, she and Mr. McPharlin made an agreement "that in the event of anything happening to [her] he was to carry on the business". To provide her rationale, Mrs. Jakeman said she wrote out this agreement because "[she] thought he was going to be a good 'white man' in the hotel".
Mr. Frank Jakeman, husband of Mrs. Jakeman, testified that he met Mr. McPharlin before he had met his future wife. Mr. McPharlin confided that he had "got hold of a fine 'tart' with plenty of jewellery". Mr. McPharlin showed him the ring, explaining that it belonged to this "tart", and that she wanted McPharlin to be a manager at a pub she was going to work at. Mr. Jakeman asked McPharlin what he thought of the situation, and he responded that it was likely "his start in life". On running into Mr. Jakeman again a week later, McPharlin told him that he had £20 on the ring from an Aghan. Mr. McPharlin later claimed that he had never shown Mr. Jakeman the ring, or talked of a "tart" or "jewellery".
Solicitor Edwin B. Cox spoke of meeting Mr. McPharlin at Henley Beach on 2 September, when he asked about Jakeman's ring McPharlin responded that he would not return it because "she gave it to [him]". Cox reminded McPharlin that he owed Jakeman about £30, and Jakeman insisted "she gave it to [him]". Cox reiterated that Jakeman's ring was very important to her, and she would forfeit her claim to the money owed if she got her ring back. McPharlin declared that "she will not get it. I would rather throw it in the sea than she get it".
Mr. McPharlin stated that he knew Mrs. Jakeman's (then Mrs. Clark's) late husband (on whose death she received the ring as a gift) and saw Mrs. Jakeman often when leaving the Buck's Head Hotel. Mrs. Jakeman spoke to Mr. McPharlin about her husband's death and revealed that "he had been good to her" before asking McPharlin if he would like a present. She gave him the ring and indicated he "could wear it as long as he lived", but that he should not sell it. If McPharlin wanted to dispose of the ring he would give it back to Mrs. Jakeman and she would pay for the ring's value. At this time, Mrs. Jakeman shared she wanted to look into buying a hotel and asked him to go into the business with her. She also told McPharlin that the ring was too big for him and that he should get it altered, which he did, at Perryman's. McPharlin and Jakeman later met at the Hamburg Hotel, when Jakeman noticed the ring fit and declared that it "was a very nice present". William Allen, employee of Perryman and Company, corroborated McPharlin's statements on getting his ring fitted and the conversation at Hamburg Hotel.
Upon taking on the Crown and Anchor Hotel, Mrs. Jakeman and Mr. McPharlin agreed to take out £3 a week each and to split the profits every six months. In court, Mr. McPharlin indicated that he never received any of this money, but Mrs. Jakeman told him that "when the books were made up he would have every penny that was due to him".
The judge ruled that evidence showed the ring was a gift, but Mr. McPharlin nonetheless owed Mrs. Jakeman the other money he borrowed. Mr. McPharlin then entered insolvency and was taken to court again for his debts on 16 November 1910.
1911-1920: Another Freak Accident and Illegal Drinking
On 6 May 1914, joint licensees of the Crown and Anchor, Louisa Buckingham and Harriet A. Miers, were taken to court for being on the premises when three men (one of whom was working and living at the hotel) were found in the hotel's bar on a Sunday. One man was seen drinking, the other's son had asked him earlier for a drink. Although the judge did not obtain confessions that Buckinham or Miers knew of the illegal drinking on a Sunday, he fined them £5. Later that year, 22 October, Louisa Buckingham and Harriet A. Miers had to appear in court again, this time for violating the Beer Excise Act of 1901. This law required that packaged liquor have affixed stamps, which are then destroyed to prove that the duty (tax) had been paid for; Buckingham and Miers were serving beer on tap at the hotel with the stamps unobliterated. Both women pled guilty.
Another freak accident- echoing James Dooley's 1877 death- occurred on 4 December 1915. On Saturday afternoon, a pony attached to a trap of J. Reid and Co. bolted from the Crown and Anchor Hotel and collided with a tramcar headed for Henley Beach in King William Street. As a result, the pony got free from most of the trap and returned to Grenfell Street. A returned soldier, William D'Arcy McLauran, had tied this pony to the post, and upon realizing the animal had escaped he ran after it and caught it. However, the horse threw the man to the ground and it and his trap passed over the man's face. The man went to Adelaide Hospital to seek treatment for his face; meanwhile the horse headed to Rundle Street before crashing into Eberli's Wine Saloon's window and heading toward Hindmarsh Square.
Publican Harriet Miers went to court again in May 1916 for presumably having allowed three men to be served liquor on a Sunday; however witnesses' testimonies revealed that they were drinking tea, as they often did with Ms. Miers on Sundays. Charges were dismissed. On 3 June 1916, William Chesterfield- previously arrested on the Crown and Anchor premises in 1910 for assault- was again sentenced to imprisonment, this time for stealing sugar from the hotel's yard and boldly reselling it to the barman. On 29 November 1918, Harriet Miers was charged with unlawfully supplying liquor on a Sunday; she collected payment for a beer from James Turner and told him to go to another place and wait for the beer's delivery there. By November 1919, the Crown and Anchor had a new unlawful publican in Louis P. Morgan, who pled guilty to having served liquor on a Sunday. He paid £5 in fines and 15/ in costs. As a result, Morgan's temperance permits were revoked in December 1919. A month later, on 28 January 1920, Morgan again pled guilty to having supplied liquor on a Sunday at 10:40 AM. He paid £10 in fines and 15/ in costs. In July 1920, Mr. Owens took the Crown and Anchor. On 31 December 1920, George Beck, former publican of the hotel, died in Norwood.
1921-1929: A Third Freak Accident, Gambling and Renovations
On 14 December 1921, publican George Owens successfully denied charges that he had unlawfully served liquor during prohibited hours. On 10 July 1922, the Sporting section of The Register suggested that gambling was taking place at the Crown and Anchor; five days later a man was arrested on the premises for having dice, box, and money sitting on the bar table. The accused insisted that the items were only being used in a drinking game called 'Wet Pot', and thus only had to £1 in fines and 15/ in costs within the next two days. On 31 March 1923, the Crown and Anchor's streak of freak accidents continued, as tramway employee Mr. Joseph Goodger was "knocked down by a motor car near the Crown and Anchor hotel" and died about a week later at the Adelaide Hospital. The driver, Alfred Ernest Albert Knapman, was accused of "feloniously, wilfully, and with malice aforethought, killed Joseph Goodger". On 16 April 1923, Benjamin Winkler was arrested at the hotel for illegally betting and had to pay £10 in fines; he did not have the same luck as the man arrested in 1922. Knapman's trial in early May 1923 found him not guilty for manslaughter. Hotel manager George Owens was again accused of supplying liquor during prohibited hours on 15 November 1925; however the charges were dismissed.
On 17 August 1927, policemen raided the Crown and Anchor and another building and arrested 49 men in all for gambling illegally, but only 44 were charged. The police prosecutor Mr. Allchurch said he would not pursue heavy charges because all the men were unemployed, and he could not prove that they were participating, just that they were present. Shortly after, on 29 August 1927, licensee George Owens died at the age of 53 from a heart attack on his own birthday. He left behind his wife and three children. In December that year, his widow Susan Owens assumed responsibility for the hotel. On 8 October 1928, architects Milne, Evans, and Russell submitted building tenders (proposals to undertake a construction project) to make additions and alterations to the hotel.
1930-1939: Betting, Theft, and Assault
On 12 February 1931, labourer Horace (Ranji) Lewis was fined £5 for leaving the Crown and Anchor hotel with liquor on 22 December 1930; his fines were reduced to £2 with £1 in costs. The hotel's reputation for illegal betting was upheld in October 1933, as licensee Susan Owens and daughter Marjorie were accused of occupying a "common gaming house" used for "unlawful betting" on 23 September. They pled not guilty. The constable testified to entering the bar that evening, seeing 25 men present, and a man hurrying out the back door to the washhouse. "In a box in the washhouse a betting book and betting information slips on that day's races were found." On 15 November that year, the two Owens women were convicted and fined £2 10/ each with 15/ costs.
On 16 October 1934, a homeless Arthur Lepley was charged with stealing a ten gallon keg barrel worth 15/ from the Crown and Anchor Hotel. Lepley had 34 previous convictions and was sentenced "to four months in gaol [jail]". On 13 May 1937 widow and publican Susan Owens pled guilty to having for sale whisky in a bottle marked "Old Court" whisky, although its contents did not match the bottle's description. This violated the provisions to the Food and Drugs Act. She was fined £5, reduced to £2, and £2 costs.
On 13 September 1938, Herman Gustaf Petterson was charged with assaulting two plainclothes policemen on the night of 10 September. The policemen testified that they saw Petterson and two other men "behaving in an offensive manner"; when they declared themselves to be policemen Petterson allegedly hit one of the men and started fighting the other one. When one of the policemen got Petterson in a headlock, Petterson declared "If I get my arm loose I'll rip your throat out". The two men pinned him against the Crown and Anchor Hotel's exterior wall before Petterson bit one of the men's arms and spat in his face. Once the two officers had Petterson pinned on the ground, about 30 people were watching the scene. Petterson declared that he was drunk at the time and believed the policemen were trying to rob him. During the incident he claimed that he was calling out for the police.
On 6 January 1939, publican Susan Owens pled not guilty to having supplied liquor during prohibited hours on 1 December 1938; a judge dismissed the charges.
1940-1949: Fines and a Theft
On 1 August 1940, new publican Thomas John Street was fined £5 with 10/ costs for having unlawfully supplied liquor. Months later, on 18 December, he pled guilty again for the same charge. Less than a year later, on 21 April 1941, Street paid £5 fines and 12/6 costs for committing the same crime. The Times and Northern Advertiser announced on 19 September 1941 that Mr. W. Harrison would take over the management of the hotel. On 20 June 1942, a News article declared that "clothing is fast becoming as acceptable as cash to Adelaide theives", as publican Harrison had a suit worth £8 stolen from his room the night before. Still, Mr. W. Harrison was a criminal himself: he pled guilty to having unlawfully supplied liquor on 22 October that year. That same day, Crown and Anchor resident George William Napier was charged with "having unlawfully hindered" a constable from entering the hotel. He was fined £1 and Harrison fined £5. In March 1943, labourer Richard Henry Campbell was charged with unlawfully carrying away liquor from the hotel, where he also resided. By 1 July 1946, Donald James was licensee of the hotel, as he was charged with failing to enter a lodger's name in the hotel's register; that same day, Reginald J. Courtney, taxi driver, was charged with taking away liquor from the premises. On 2 March 1948, Donald James repeated his 1946 crime- he paid £5 in fines with 12/6 costs.
On 19 November 1954, six men at the hotel were charged "for having unlawfully bet by the way of gaming" that September, and were each fined £2 with 14/3 costs.
In 1983 the interior was remodelled.