The Star Hotel
The hotel was built and owned by Mr Denniston of Greenock and was formally opened on 16th August 1870. This was the first hotel in the town of that name and not the one which we know today.
The tenant Mr William Shaw entertained the provost and magistrates of Port Glasgow to an elegant luncheon to mark the opening where Mr Adam Patterson proposed a toast to the new hotel and noted it was about 30 years since the town had a first class hotel.
Built from designs prepared by Mr Duncan McFarlane of Glasgow the building forms a tenement structure of four storeys, the shop below being occupied as a restaurant and the three upper floors the hotel proper.
Along the main front there is a large dining room which when a sliding partition is removed can accommodate about 80 people and is connected to the bar by a sliding window. On this floor there is also the kitchen and three parlours and a smoking room then eight bedrooms all with first class accommodation for guests made up the raimainder of the building.
The situation of the hotel was thought to be the best in the town being within view of the railway station and in front of the terraces, the station at this time covered in fresh timber and being one of the more attractive stations on the Caledonian Railway.
The black and white photograph shows the hotel with it's window boxes and the view back down Princes Street and is thought to have been taken in the early 1900's. The sign for the resturant can be seen and the other premises in the building is signed as "Wine Merchant"
Another hotel in the town was also coming under new ownership at the same time as the Star was opened. On 27th July the same year the property known as Wheat Sheaf Hotel situated on Fore Street was bought by Mr McKillop a local shoe maker at auction for the sum of £1,425
William Shaw seems to have been in charge at the hotel for at least the next 11 years. He was born in 1846 in Colmonell Ayrshire and by 1881 was running the place with the help of his sisters - Eliza Kelly his younger sister who was living there with her 4 children and Jane Shaw his older sister who was the house keeper. Other staff at this time were Mary Gallacher and Clara Honfeldt - barmaids: Matilda Mulholland - housemaid and Thomas Walker was employed as the porter.
The old hotel was removed in the town centre improvements scheme and the new Star Hotel was built on the new John Wood Street, it re-opened in 1910.
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This page last modified on Tuesday, June 21, 2011