The history of The Beekeepers Inn
Originally built in 1859, now known as The Beekeepers Inn, the life of this old building started with Mr Thomas Higgins. Opening a bar in the township of Vittoria he offered first class accommodation for man and horse. Stock of liquors of the best quality and not forgetting the most important, the rules of the house ‘cleanliness and civility’.
The hotel traded from 1859 to 1877 under various owners and was a Cobb & Co horse changing station during this time.With the extension of the railway from Sydney, reaching Orange in April 1877, the Cobb & Co stop was discontinued.
The building was then known as 'The Halfway House' An iconic building situated right beside the highway, midway between Bathurst & Orange in a local area known as Vittoria. The building has been the Vittoria post office, telephone exchange, local store, farm supply shop, mechanical repairs, fuel station and had a public telephone box out the front. It was operated by the Hilder family until the 1970's when it closed and became a private residence.
The next era...
Grant Lockwood (21.05.58 - 05.06.17) & The Lockwood family.
Vicki Lockwood, Jon Lockwood, Mark Lockwood, Claire Bennett & Sam Lockwood.
In 2003 Grant & his wife Vicki purchased The Halfway House and started lovingly restoring the building back to it's old self. An antiques shop was first on the agenda but a cafe and farm shop, showcasing regional foods, quickly followed with the help from their son Mark.
Grant's first love was beekeeping and, with the opening of the farm shop, he had somewhere to sell and promote his reverently produced honey, showcasing different varieties & educating the public on the importance of bees. He passed all of his knowledge on to his son Jon who now operates one of the biggest beekeeping operations in Australia, Goldfields Honey Australia Pty Ltd.
The outer building was a perfect location for daughter Claire to open a wedding reception venue with a country theme amongst the now established gardens.
In 2012 a modern factory was built to extract & bottle honey. Sam, the youngest son, is in charge and has his fathers passion of bottling premium Australian honey.
Grant sadly passed away in 2017 but his wife Vicki together with their four children, keep business as usual. Grant passed on his love of business, bees, honey, agriculture, history, tourism, community & family.
The wheels of history keep turning on...