A slice of Trentham’s pub past

Remaining at the Perry property was an exterior wall with the 'Ogdens Forest Hotel' signage.

A slice of Trentham’s pub past was captured for the last time before it was dismantled earlier this month as its owners prepare for a fresh start.

Chris and Victoria Perry purchased their Victoria Street property in 2017 and the old Ogdens Forest Hotel building was part of its charm.

The couple had plans to revive the run-down hotel building but was met with too many hurdles to count including a global pandemic. Then came professional advice that this piece of history was beyond saving.

The Perrys were devastated to hear the news but are now moving ahead with other plans for the site. That included demolition of the unusable building.

“It’s always sad to see something old go but we had tried to save it and couldn’t,” Chris said.

According to Trentham and District Historical Society’s Early History of the Trentham District, Ogden’s Inn was referred to in an 1855 survey. It was believed to have later become the Forest Hotel at the corner of Kilmore Road.

In about 1913, the hotel’s rooms were converted into two cottages and relocated. One of those cottages burnt down in 2002.

The buildings were not heritage protected but held fond memories of the past. They had seen many alterations over the years.

Remaining at the Perry property was an exterior wall with the ‘Ogdens Forest Hotel’ signage. The couple also discovered the original cellar trapdoor, original windows and glass, as well as pieces of old school writing slate, a baby’s bootie and a silver sleeper earring.

Central Victoria Demolition’s Karl Haass and his team began removing the old building earlier this month with intent to recycle most materials.

“It was built with all local milled timber and 98 per cent of the materials will be salvaged and repurposed,” Karl said.

Karl was surprised to have come to work on the old building after hearing stories about it over beers at The Pig and Whistle.

“More than 30 years later I am dismantling what I thought was a ‘ghost pub’. I didn’t know it was really here – I thought they were just stories,” he said.