John Sutcliffe and the Sutcliffe Building

For the last week I have been walking around in a different Korumburra after a talk I went to put on by the Korumburra Historical Society. I met John Sutcliffe in the narrative that historian Keith Cook laid out over the period he spoke. Sutcliffe was a pioneer in the Drouin, Warragul and then Korumburra districts. John Sutcliffe was the owner builder of this building which accommodated three shops (including 25 Commercial St). John Sutcliffe was the owner builder of this building which accommodated three shops. The shop on the west end was occupied by F. Weichardt as a Bakery in 1892. W. Henderson was the occupier of the middle shop, while Williams the tailor had his business in the third shop. Now it is occupied by an accountant, a sport store and Grow Lightly.

John Sutcliffe was born in Yorkshire in 1841, one of nine children and immigrated to Victoria in search of a better life in 1863. He ended up in Crossover, at the goldfields near Jindivick and began a career as a hotelier, mail carrier and developer. He married twice and had five children. He died in Korumburra at the age of 53 and was given a lavish funeral with 1000 people lining the streets before his casket was placed on the train and he was buried in the Kew Cemetery.

Among his legacies are the Sutcliffe building (pictured above) and the Austral Hotel (completed in 1894). Recently I went through Drouin and caught a glimpse of the old Sutcliffe Family Hotel (now the Drouin Family Hotel). How different it is to see these old buildings now that I have heard a bit of history.

The Austral Hotel (1894) as it is now

ou can also see the amazing story of Korumburra’s history as it was captured on film through a collection of photographs on display at the Korumburra Library.

well worth seeing if you get the chance