Copied from http://gwulo.com/node/7242
Actually the Stag Hotel crops up a few times in my book (pages 44, 55, 76 and 91).
The owner from 1878 was Jesse Cook, who took it over from old Soldier John Robinson White, a veteran of the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny, who went bankrupt that year. Cook renovated it and raised a family there through the 1880s, when it became a popular venue for international billiards tournaments.
I read somewhere that the hotel was still going in World War II, when it was a Chinese brothel run for servicing Japanese soldiers.
Mentions of the Stag Hotel in Google Books
The foreigner in China - Lucius N. Wheeler - 1881
"In 1866 the writer counted at one time, from the flat roof of the Stag Hotel 150 steamers and sailing vessels"
An Official Guide to Eastern Asia: China - Japan. Dept. of Railways - 1915 -
"Stag Hotel (Wellington Str.)"
International Law Reports - H. Lauterpacht, Elihu Lauterpacht - 1951
Hong Kong, Court of Appeal. (Sir Leslie Gibson, CJ, and Reynolds, J.) "December 26, 1948. THE FACTS. — This appeal arose out of a dispute concerning a partnership known as the Stag Hotel Mun Kee. This partnership comprising eight ... "
Handbook of information for passengers & shippers by the steamers ...
Nihon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha
1904 - Stag Hotel (142 Queen's Road); ...
Hong Kong, stability and change: a collection of essays
Henry J. Lethbridge - 1978
... to Singapore and had served there as pimp to a Chinese married woman, Mrs. Mi Yorke, who became his paramour. The two then moved up to Hong Kong in 1896, where Schwalm applied to the Government for a licence to manage the Stag Hotel ...
Saturday evening post treasury - Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong
Roger Place Butterfield - 1954
"Painted on the peeling plaster was an announcement in Chinese that it was the Stag Hotel, offering comfortable rooms. In reality it was a Chinese brothel of the third class."
Memories of the future: national identity issues and the search ... Stéphane Corcuff -
"Waters had been a champion boxer in Montana, a barkeeper in Shanghai, and proprietor of the Stag Hotel in Hong Kong; Hosea Morse described these men simply as "irresponsible adventurers. ... "
There are a couple of
There are a couple of mentions of the old Stag Hotel here and here.
The Stag Hotel in the newspapers
148-50 Queen's Road Central.
This is one of the pubs / hotels linked to John Olson. It's interesting to see that the building at the same location today is named 'Stag Building'. The present building was built in 1967.
Searches for 'Stag Hotel' in the old newspapers return these matches:
The report of the Captain Superintendent of Police on the application was as follows:-'The premises have been licenced for many years. The applicant has also held a licence, and there is no police objection to him. It is rumoured that this hotel is to be in the hands of a company and that the applicant is to be manager. The number of shareholders is not known, nor whether their number is such (20) that the company ought to be registered (Ordinance ??, 1865, Sec. IV)
The applicant, in reply to Mr Wodehouse, said that there were not more than two or three shareholders, and he had a share in it himself, and was responsible for the management.
The licence was unanimously granted'. The China Mail.
Olson and The Stag Hotel
As usual more information than I can handle.
From Carl Smith I had established the linkage of John Olson to The Stag hotel in two ways.One was that my great grandfather was trying to have it transferred to a William Walter in 1892 and also that my great grandmother, Ching Ah Fung, was baptisted whilst living there in 1890.
All that is in www. thehongkonglegacy.com.
As he was the manager, and claimed to the court of licence that he also had a share in the ownership, is there any way of tracking that I wonder? I assume that John Olson was not involved in any of the later shindigs that went on there - but who knows.
Pity he did not own the lease of the plot and leave it to me! Any pictures of the Stag Building as it now would be appreciated.
Thanks again to all.
as seen here:
almost.. in the older picture you can see the scene as it would have been - stag building is where the green sign is in the new picture
this photo too, similar angle but from further away
I checked out the Stag Building myself about 18 months ago when I was walking the area of the Great Fire, as it crops up a few times in the book (already mentioned above). Although it was mildly thrilling to find a Stag Building still there in name, the place is a pretty bland, medium-rise office building with nothing going for it but the venerable name.
Stag at Bay!
Thank you all so much for the information and all the trouble you have gone to.
It might not be the most attractive spot in HK but I wouldn't mind owning a few bricks of it!
Is there any way of finding out who owned the lease at the time my great grandfather was managing the place and whether that had anything to do with later disputes particularly after the War?
I hope all of your hard work brings you all a very happy Christmas!
Greetings from Ireland,
Step one, identify the lot
Step one, identify the lot number.
Step two, go to the Lands Department Search page, and if the lot is still active, buy the lease summary for HK$25.
When looking for the lot, the building in Olson's time might be on a different site from the current building. The 1902 clipping above notes that the new hotel was built "close by the present hotel."
On my 1887 map, the Stag Hotel is on exactly the same site as the Stag Building is today; that is - corner of Staveley St and Queen's Rd. What I assume to be the Lot # is given as 10 on the map (can't be the street number, as that was 148). Contemporary descriptions of the 1878 fire also locate the Stag Hotel on the same spot.
Falling over !
Have had a look at Inland Lot 10 on Land Registry and it telss me nothing and ends in 1877. Will send the page to david by email as not sure how to attach it here. Too tekkie for me.
Thanks again to all.
Similar to 14 Conduit Road.
Similar to 14 Conduit Road. The lot was subdivided with different bits combined later.
1. Go to www.maps.gov.hk (GeoInfo)
Searched by lot number. The * items are where the Stag building is today. Section A, Remaining Portion, and Section C, subsection 2. The address is the same - 148 Queen's Road Central.
*IL 10 S.A RP
IL 10 S.B RP
IL 10 S.B ss.1 RP
IL 10 S.B ss.2 RP
IL 10 S.C RP
IL 10 S.C ss.1
*IL 10 S.C ss.2
IL 10 S.C ss.3
IL 10 S.C ss.4
IL 10 S.C ss.5
2. Go to https://www1.iris.gov.hk/eservices/bylot/search.jsp - Lands Search by lot. Don't forget to click
Buy me lunch ($HK100) and costs (each report is HK$25), and I'll keep going.
Here is the search that Sean made. The remarks include: "LOT CARVED OUT INTO S.A, S.B & S.C FOR FURTHER TRANSACTIONS REFER TO S.A, S.B OR S.C REGISTER". Those are the sections A, B, & C that Annelise listed - though they've been further subdivided over the years.
Looking on the www.maps.gov.hk website, section A looks the most likely site of the Stag Hotel, as it's on the corner of Queen's Rd and Staveley St. To its west is section B, fronting onto Queen's Rd. To its west is the L-shaped section C, which ran from Queen's Rd back to Wellington St, then along Wellington St to Staveley St.
The remarks don't give a date for when the A / B / C split happened, but I guess you'd find that on the records for those sections.
PROPERTY REFERENCE NUMBER (PRN): C4295309
LOT CARVED OUT INTO S.A, S.B & S.C FOR FURTHER TRANSACTIONS REFER TO S.A, S.B OR S.C REGISTER
NAME OF OWNER
(IF NOT SOLE OWNER)
DATE OF INSTRUMENT
DATE OF REGISTRATION
DATE OF INSTRUMENT
DATE OF REGISTRATION
IN FAVOUR OF
The original owner ...
... Richard Oswald, died at age 38 in London. He had his own compnay - Oswald, R & Co. in Hong Kong. His widow, if she received her annuity, was left quite well off.
Annelise, did you see a date for his death? I wondered if the start (1852) and end (1877) of the annuity coincided with the deaths of Richard and his wife, respectively.
The Stag Hotel handover
Given the success we had with the liquor licence and the Chardhaven Hotel, I wondered if we could find anything similar about the Stag Hotel.
I started off in HKGRO's copy of the Government Gazette for 1888. if you search for 'justi' on that page, you'll see several entries for 'Justices Meeting' or similar, each one relating to an application for a liquor licence. Item # 512 is the one for us:
A special Sessions of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace will be held at the Justices' Room at the Magistracy, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon of Tuesday, the 4th day of December, 1888, for the purpose of considering an application from one John Olson to sell and retail intoxicating liquors in houses Nos. 148 and 150, Queen's Road Central, under the sign of the Stag Hotel.
Then I switched over to the newspapers, looking at December 4 / 5/ 6 to see if there was any mention of the meeting. I couldn't find anything, but a couple of advertisements confirm the handover from old owner to John Olson.
The first appeared in the 4th December paper, but was dated September, so had been running for a while:
The next appeared on the 5th December, and showed the final auction to be held in a few days time:
Coincidentally the same page shows an advert for the closing auction of the Bon Marche 'Next Door to the Stag Hotel':
It probably doesn't have any direct link to the Olson side of the story, but is somehow related. Were the shop and the Hotel both owned by Cook, and so both were up for sale at the same time?
I think you guys know more about my great grandfather than I do. Thanks again. It seems to me that if Jesse Cook was selling off the interior of the joint John Olson and his partners must have been a complete new broom.
Is it fair to assume from the report in the Mail David found that Olson and a couple of others bought the building and then refitted it I wonder? If that is the case would that show on the Lot information?
If I could Visa you 125HK dollars to you annelisec I'm happy to do it. You seem to be able to fix most things so over to you.
John Olson used to manage The Oriental Restaurant back in the 1870s according to Carl Smith so maybe you can find that too.
Again thanks to all.
Best regards from a grey and snowy Ireland
Jesse Cook was an assistant at the clothiers Sayle & Co before he opened the Stag Hotel in April 1878. He appears in The Great Fire of Hong Kong on page 55.
"It seems to me that if Jesse Cook was selling off the interior of the joint John Olson and his partners must have been a complete new broom."
It certainly looks that way. If it was sold as a going concern, I'd think John Olson & Co would have bought the contents & fittings at the same time they took over the building.
Annuity - the first date on
Annuity - the first date on the Lease Summary is the date that is on the document itself. The second date is the date it was recorded.
Richard Oswald died in 1850 - according to The Gentleman's Magazine - http://books.google.com/books?id=UPz4IKdo-3UC&pg=PA680&dq=%22Richard+Os…
IL Section A
IL 10 was carved out into Sections A, B & C in 1863.
Some transactions have names and dates, some don't. There is a "memorial number" and you can request it to get the details, but they are HK$100 a pop. So here is the summary.
IL 10, Section A
1863 - JAMES BAILEY WATSON
1867 - EDMUND R. HOLMES - leased it for 5 years
1872 - William H. Shannon leased it for 5 years
1888 - sold to LUM YAT (PURCHASER)
Leased 1889 (no name)
1892 - Leased to William Waters
1893 - Leased again (no name)
sold again in 1894
It is not clear how IL 10 could have been sold in 1877 when Section A was sold in 1863.
The 1892 lease
According to my information from the Carl Smith Archive John Olson applied to transfer The Stag to a William Walters so in 1889 so it is likely that it was John and his group who leased the property from LUM YAT who owned the site.
We know from David's research in the China Mail that John got a license for the place in 1888 so I wonder could that suggest some relationship with LUM YAT? Remember John was married to Ching Ah Fung.
It all gets stranger when you see that on the 1888 Jury list John is shown as Manager of the Temperance Hall on Ladder Street. His last two children are listed as being born there. I have the birth certs.
So we have a man applying for a liquor licence for The Stag - he got his first licence in 1867 - while running a Temperance Hall. Quite bemusing and I can only think that he had a lot of diverging business interests.
It is interesting too that when he was applying for The Stag licence he told the authorities that there were no more than two or three shareholders and he had a share himself! So he had money up front and presumably they had bought Cook out and not included the price of the furniture and fittings so was the intention to turn The Stag into something else, rebuild or what?
I wonder if the answer lies in Ladder Street. Have never been able to find anything out a Temperance Hall there.
My great grandfather is certainly a man of mystery.
At www.thehongkonglegacy.com there is a chapter headed Making Money which outlines his career as I know it so far. Perhaps it might ring some bells with whoever reads it.
Stag Hotel from the Newspapers
Stag Hotel from the Newspapers: https://picasaweb.google.com/116048311803033482526/STagHotelNews#
Loads of research and some very interestng info. However, still does not explain the Carl Smith Archive stuff about old John applying for a licence when he was running the Temperance Hall on Ladder street.
The China Mail of 18 April 1876 gives info on the opening of the 'new' Hongkong Temperance Hall. I searched for Temperance Hall in the HKPL website and there are quite a number of hits from the newspapers archives.
The area of Ladder Street was well known as a sailor's hangout both for drink and abode.
Is it not somewhat odd that John Olson should have managed a Temperance Hall and at he same time held a liquor licence? Or is it just a two way bet?
I am wondering if John got religion because his wife Ching Ah Fung seems to have been very much in thrall to the London Missionary Society. She was living at The Stag when baptised by a Mr Ost in 1891 and still closely in touch with the Society in 1906 according to a letter I have. Strangely, Mr Ost came from Carrikfergus, Northern Ireland.
John does not seem to have been involved in the liquor trade after about 1892.
Stag Hotel Internment Camp
The Stag Hotel was used as a temporary internment camp in January 1942 for civilians before they were shipped to Stanley. The below report was made by Don Robbins, a Canadian:
We were packed in like sardines, in badly ventilated, vile smelling rooms, in some cases there being as many as eleven persons in a room 9' x 8', and containing one Chinese divan, one straight backed and one easy chair, and a filthy looking wash basin. Sleeping in such rooms was almost an impossibility, and only managed in relays. For the first few days , only one bowl of rice was served per person , however , on the third day , a vile smelling and equally vile tasting soup was poured over the rice, which we were later informed was duck soup. Every morning we were awakened to the howls and screaming of dogs being beaten to death in the ground floor restaurant. From 5am until midnight there was continual queuing for the one and only bathroom on our floor housing ninety eight persons of different sexes and ages. Those who had the foresight or had been lucky enough to bring in sums of money with them did not have to rely on the rations and were able to obtain foodstuffs by squeezing the Chinese or Indian guards on the main door. Others simply had to rely on what they were given by the management of the hotels. Physical exercise was out of the question, the roof was available to only about fifty persons at a time, and even the beams creaked and threatened to cave in. The building itself we were informed was erected in 1900 under the name of the Stag Hotel, and in later years had been sold to Chinese interests who had let the place go to decay. It was a veritable death trap , and if a fire had broken out, with the guard seldom on the iron door, which was always locked, I doubt if one person would have been able to get out of that hell hole alive. Naturally every precaution against fire was tajen by us all. After seventeen days of this life, finally on the morning of January 21st , we were told to pack and were marched to the Macau Steamship Wharfs, where we boarded tugs, tenders etc and departed for Stanley. During our march to the wharfs, several exhibitions of Japanese brutality were staged especially for our benefit, in the form of beating Chinese coolies to death on the street, either for some infraction of the law, but we were all inclined to believe it was unwarranted. The sight was sickening , and one or two ladies in our group fainted, which is possibly the very thing the Japanese wished for". The Stag Hotel was infested with rats…."
Thanks for the notes from Don
Thanks for the notes from Don Robbins. I'll add a new tag WW2: interned at Stag Hotel to note people who were interned here before moving on to Stanley.
Stag Hotel 1857
I've included the following newspaper clipping as it contains some useful information of the hotel's timeline:
1) Established in 1857
2) Re-built in 1902
Source: Hong Kong Daily Press, page 1, 23rd September 1902
1901 Stag Hotel
From a glance back at the old files of the Hong Kong Telegraph for the period 24-31 May 1901.
An old landmark is rapidly disappearing. We refer to the old Stag Hotel, and many residents will remember the time when this was one of the principal hotels. It marks the progress of the community when in a few years, the old must be removed and a new five storey building erected. Under able management, it should be great convenience to travellers and under the skilled hand of Mr. Hazeland the architect will certainly be an ornament to Queen's Road.
Hong Kong Telegraph 4 June 1923 refers.
(The advertisement of the new hotel indicates that the new premises were built in slightly over a year's time.)