July 20, 2013


The Telegraph Hotel, the oldest pub in Otaki, is back in business after a period of uncertainty and disrepair. The hotel was built originally in 1872 and reopened officially on Friday 19 July after a nice renovation job by new publican Duane Watt. Duane says he wants the Tele to be a place for the community to gather, have a beer or a cuppa, and just enjoy some time relaxing.

The Telegraph Hotel's first publican in 1872 was Frederick Martin. It was on what was then the stage coach route north-south along Kapiti-Horowhenua beaches, with a diversion into Otaki. The coaches would cross at mouth of the Otaki River and come along Rangiuru Road to the hotel which offered accommodation for passengers and drivers.


The horses were accommodated in livery stables next door, which still exist in Otaki Automotives. After Fred Martin, Frederic and Mary (nee Bills) took over in 1875. They were later the first owners of Langley's Hotel, which became the Family Hotel. W Adgers became publican in 1893, with a Mrs E Greenough land-lady along with a Mrs Jillet about the same era.


Allan and Alice Carmont owned it (date unknown); George McBeath was granted a licence in 1887, hosting a banquet there for Boer War troops; H W Sharp in the 1890s; George Dempster was publican from 1913-16; Jack McGill in the late 1930s; and Campbell Merrylees (pre-WWII but date unknown). Yvonne and Greg Ubiaga were proprieters in 1989. Charles Bell ran a carrying and coach service from the stables next door about 1893, and Archie Smith had a railway-beach bus service, and Otaki's first taxi service, there in the 1920s and 30s.

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Otaki Historical Society, P O Box 50, Otaki 5512