On 22 March 1854 John McLean applied for a liquor license for a hotel to be located on Plenty Road, Northcote (now Queens Parade, Clifton Hill). McLean owned a number of blocks of land on the west side of Plenty Road and it was on the block closest to the creek that he built a bluestone hotel, the Scotch Thistle. It was a substantial, two storey building of 18 rooms.
There was already one hotel close by, the Northcote Arms Hotel, opened in 1852 but the increasing traffic along Plenty Road was deemed justification for a second hotel. McLean remained the publican until 1858 when Denis Bowes (or Bowers) replaced him. McLean probably remained the owner of the hotel.
It was under Bowes that the hotel was renamed the Rosecrea Hotel. On 24 April 1864 Bowes transferred the license to James Hennessy. He was followed in turn by Thomas Mulcany in 1868.
On 11 November 1869 James Hennessy applied for a license and on 21 January 1870 the license, held at that time by Margaret Delahunty expired. James was again the Roscrea’s publican. In August 1872 James Hennessy died, his funeral cortege leaving from the Rosecrea and heading up Northcote Road (High Street).
John Delahunty was listed in the Sands and McDougall directories as the licensee of the Rosecrea hotel from 1872 to 1875 when James Hennessy’s widow replaced him. She was to hold the licence until 1885.
Publicans continued to change at a fairly constant pace. Mrs F. Cameron was the licensee in 1885 and Robert and Mary Anne Rea in 1887. The Rea’s were gone by 1889 but not before they had changed the hotel’s name to the Terminus Hotel, a name which has lasted to the current day.
Cole, Robert K. Index of Hotels 1841 – 1949. Unpublished manuscript
Edge, Gary (2004). Surviving the six o’clock swill: a history of Darebin’s hotels. Melbourne. Darebin Libraries