In 1882 down in the damp, swampy end of a little village that was affectionately called, "Sleepy Hollow" there was a handy bit of land near where the ships could turn around, and head back down the Wilson River. Because this bit of real estate was close to the action from over at the town on the eastern side of the river and near where the punt ferried people, stores, stock, and vehicles across to get to Nimbin and other places on their pioneering journeys it was thought it might be a handy place for a hotel.
Maybe there was 'something' around before 1882 but we do know that the North Lismore Hotel was bought on 4 February 1882. 1883 was a year when there was a lot of action in 'Sleepy Hollow". The Base Hospital was built, more hotels, baker, butcher, chemist – it was all happening. The big event in 1884 was the building of Fawcett's Bridge over Wilson's Creek because traffic was increasing and the puntsman was becoming increasingly unreliable – maybe the hotel was too popular? In 1884 Alexander Brown purchased the 'goodwill' of the North Lismore Hotel.
From 1884 to 1888 the hotel underwent several renovations and was reopened as the Junction Hotel on 25th February 1888. From photographs of the building in 1890's it was of a timber construction. In 1908 the Junction Hotel was run as a boarding house. Not much is known about the building after that but perhaps there was a fire at some stage as this regularly occurred in timber buildings with open fire places and when smokers went to bed inebriated.
There existed a Winsome Hotel at Tunstall, on the Casino side of Tunstall Gap up to 1888. At some time this hotel changed its name to the Tuncester and held various licenses. On August 13 1925 there is a description of a new hotel opening at the old Junction Hotel site. The Tuncester Hotel license was transferred to this new hotel and it was opened as the Winsome Hotel.
The Winsome Hotel has since had a long history as a popular meeting place, hotel and pub. In 1980 the Winsome Hotel was included on the National Trust Register and officially designated as a 1925 building. This date remains displayed at the front of the Winsome building.
The hotel has passed through many hands and has had notoriety amongst the Lismore and northern rivers community as being a venue for the music scene. The Winsome underwent significant modifications and renovations 1n 2005 and 2006 when the new owner, Dallas Bayly, purchased it and designated it for luxury accommodation. It was reopened on September 30 2006 with its new and current look.
The significant change that occurred in 2009 is that the Winsome Hotel was bought by the Lismore Soup Kitchen and renamed The Winsome from where the Winsome Café will serve meals to the people doing it tough and provide low cost accommodation for those seeking pathways out of homelessness.
January 2013 Floods
Please find a collection below of Youtube videos that were made to show the Winsome during the floods of January 2013.