Blackburn's Oval - Merewether

Army Camp on Blackburn's Oval, Hamilton South, 23 May 1899.

Blackburn's Oval/Ground

An article in the Newcastle Herald reported a game of football between Merewether and Wallsend played at Blackburn's Oval in 1907. (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate, 14 Aug 1916, Page 7)

Blackurn's Oval or Blackburn's Ground was probably opposite Blackburn's Hotel in Merewether, though some descriptions have it in Hamilton South. (Newcastle Herald 27 January 1902, page 6) 

The ground was near Blackburn's Hotel. Blackburn's Hotel was on Lake Macquarie Road, Merewether. The question is where was Blackburn's Hotel? The first clue was in Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate, 6 October 1893, page 6. The Licensing Court report:



The licenses of the following hotels were renewed, there being no police objections: - Edward Blackburn, Merewether Hotel, Merewether.

So Blackburn's Hotel could be the Merewether Hotel. It  could have been commonly referred to as Backburn's Hotel because Mr. Blackburn was the licensee. But where was it?

The map below is from Newcastle-and-Suburbs-Sheet-107-Hamilton-and-Merewether-1897-Living-Histories. The Merewether Hotel is located on the site of the Mary Ellen Hotel.

The evidence which confirmed Blackburn's Hotel was the Merewether Hotel is the advertisement (above) from the Newcastle Herald, 8 July 1920, page 3. It links the name to the location of the Merewether Hotel. If Blackburn's Ground was opposite the  hotel, then it would have been across Lake  Road (now Glebe Road) in area highlighted by the blue rectangle. This would mean the ground was in Hamilton because Lake Road was the boundary between Hamilton and Merewether.

This 1906 picture shows The Merewether Hotel aka Blackburn's Hotel in the centre. It is the two story building. A paddock is opposite the hotel. This is where Blackburn's Ground would have been.