History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: Wollongong publican’s gruesome and violent end

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Looking Back

Sam Russell's Wollongong hotel from Sam Russell’s Wollongong hotel from “Sketches of Australian Scenes” by J.G. Sawkins; The Royal Marine Hotel later bacame part of St Mary’s Convent. The original temporary St Michael’s Church of England (built 1847, demolished 1857) is at the left and in the foreground is the lagoon which for many years was Wollongong’s fresh water supply.

By MICK ROBERTS ©

SAM Russell just wasn’t cut out to be a businessman. To be fair, he had to struggle through the economic depression of the 1840s, but the fact remains Lady Luck just wasn’t on the merchant’s side when it came to running a business.

Sam arrived in Tasmania from England as a single 30-year-old immigrant on the ship Hope in 1824. He eventually made his way to Sydney where he married Mary Croaker at St Phillips Church of England in 1830 and went about the task of setting himself up in…

View original post 1,740 more words

About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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