Professionals Wagga Wagga
93 Morgan Street Wagga Wagga
02 6923 9900
02 6921 9924Contact us
The history of Professionals Real Estate Wagga Wagga
We’re currently compiling this information, so stay tuned. In the meantime, why not read about the history of our home? It has certainly had a colourful past.
The history of our home
Few people would know the history of the building they worked in, and for most, it probably wouldn’t be all that exciting. But for us, it’s quite fascinating, with our building having been home to a number of rather interesting businesses over the years….and er bodies.
But first a little bit of history on Wagga Wagga itself, to help paint a picture on what the town was like. Charles Sturt was the first European explorer to visit the area (the namesake of today’s Charles Sturt University). This happened in 1829 during his expedition along the Murrumbidgee River.
A Mr Charles Tompson, who was an emancipated convict, was soon to follow, and became the first settler of the area in 1832 (yes, we were settled by an ex-con).
Skip ahead a few years and a number of skirmishes between the native Wiradjuri Aboriginals and white settlers, the town of Wagga Wagga soon began to come together. By 1849, some twenty years after Charles Sturt’s first appearance, the town of Wagga Wagga was well and truly formed.
Now, to the history of our building…
In 1858, in the early days of Wagga Wagga’s birth as a town, Mr John McIntosh, one of the largest builders and contractors for the area whom erected the first public school in Wagga Wagga, established the McIntosh Bros. Undertakers firm here in our building (which he of course built himself). At the time, it was only one level high (as you can see from the picture below)…well two levels if you count the basement where the bodies were kept. The second story was added a number of years later when it was turned into a hotel.
As the original undertaking firm of the area, one would suspect that out of the number of bodies that passed through the doors, there may have been a bushranger or two….including Mad Dog Morgan or even Captain Moonlite.
At the time, the most common problem faced was not the thought of ghosts inhabiting the building. There were ways around that, which are evident today if you look to the rear of our building (which has remained untouched other than a fresh lick of paint or two over the years). Doors and windows were often filled in and repositioned to other parts of the building in an attempt to stop evil spirits from entering. No, the main problem was not ghosts; it was having the bodies snatched!
Moving forward some years, an extension was added to the upper level and the building became the All Nations Hotel (and pub). It is thought that this was to please the whim of Mr McIntosh’s first Irish wife Annie Phelan, whom wanted a hotel. The license was later taken over by John Nash, with the hotel’s name changing to Nash’s All Nations Hotel.
It is not known when the hotel was officially closed, however it is known that its closure was due to the Government wanting to slash the number of pubs in the Wagga Wagga area. From the unknown time of when it was closed up until 1939, it was then used as a guest and boarding house.
1939 saw big changes to the building, seeing the front façade modified. It was during this time the Government of Construction took over the building for office use and it became known as Phoenix Hall.
Skipping forward a few decades to 1987 the building became hot property, with a major developer wanting to turn the site into a shopping mall fighting against the Riverina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Dependence who wanted it for their own purposes. Neither had the opportunity to stake their claim, as it was later sold to the Department of Administration Services.
For a short period of time, the building was also home to a bank, but it didn’t stay long. An old bank vault left behind is the only evidence of their brief stint in the building.
Now most recently, it is home to us, Professionals Real Estate Wagga Wagga, and with such a colourful history it’s no wonder there are often strange noises and unexplained occurrences in our office. Maybe, just maybe, Mad Dog Morgan is dropping by to say hello.
*The above information has been sourced from old newspaper clippings provided by the Daily Advertiser, and information passed on over the years by previous owners of the building. We apologise for any discrepancies that may occur.