The 2018 re-opening of the Country Club Hotel marks the 120th year of the hotel’s existence.
At the time of the opening on June 22, 1898 it was the third hotel to open in the town — preceded by Murray Hut (1879) and Tuppal (1893) — with the Albion following in 1913.
The Country Club Hotel was first opened as the O’Brien Terminus Hotel and is believed to have been built by M.J O’Brien for Mary Murphy, who would eventually take the reins of the pub in 1899.
The hotel was owned by the Murphy family until 1962.
During that time, one of the owners included Michael Murphy who was best remembered as the first and only councillor from Finley elected to the Berrigan Shire Council at its inauguration in 1906.
When Michael Murphy became owner in 1919 he changed the name to the Commercial Hotel.
It became the first hotel in town to install its own electricity.
The venue came to be known as the Country Club from 1948, renamed by Michael’s sons Byron and Bill Murphy who then sold the hotel to Kevin Kelly in 1962.
Kevin opened up ownership of the hotel to a ‘syndicate’, and together they added the 11 motel rooms at the rear of the venue which have just been refurbished by current managers Rick and Debbie Shaw.
According to an article in the Finley Mail in 1969, the building was noted for its ‘‘remarkable’’ design as it had not endured any serious cracking to the brick work.
The venue closed in 2012, and was re-opened for two years from 2014 to 2016, before being revived again in March this year.
~ Details supplied by Finley historian Peter Hamilton.