History of the Little River Inn Ensay

Starting as a small shanty serving grog in the 1840's, the Little River Inn, Ensay was first granted a liquor license in 1847. The Inn has held that license ever since, making it the oldest hotel in the East Gippsland and Omeo district.

Numblamunjie” is the traditional aboriginal name for the Ensay area, which means “blackfish place”.

Prior to 1920 the Little River Inn was burnt down 3 or 4 times. In 1922 the hotel was rebuilt on the current site, once known as Calcutta Corner, today called Johnston Street about 1 kilometre north of the Ensay town centre.

The Little River, after which the Inn is named, is a small stream that runs behind the hotel.

The building is now over 90 years old and, although renovated at various times, the classic design with open verandas still maintains the original historic charm.

In 1892 another licensed establishment, the Ensay South Hotel, opened on the other side of town nearby the Tambo River and historical site where the district pioneer Angus McMillan first built a house in 1839. That hotel closed in 1961 and today the building is an art gallery.

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