A LITTLE piece of Mansfield Shire history was lost last week when the old Merton Inn was burnt to the ground.
The hotel was believed to have been one of Victoria’s oldest hotels built in the 1860s and boasted a gold mine on site as one of its charms
Advertised for sale a few years back the hotel was listed as historic with endless opportunities – sound foundations and ready to restore, original hotel, backpackers, holiday lodging, B&B, etc.
It was purchased about three years ago and the current owner was in the throes of restoring it as a residence only.
CFA brigades from around the district were called to the fire about 11pm last Thursday, however, by the time firefighters reached the site the building was ablaze from one end to the other.
A Merton CFA brigade representative said “I came around the corner off the highway and the building was almost gone then – there was nothing anyone could have done to save it”.