The Steam Packet Hotel is an important element of the historical town of Williamstown. It has strong historical associations and is architecturally notable as being a strong representative example of a hotel in the 1800′s.
The Steam Packet Hotel has always been one of the leading hotels in the city and had a strong association with the thriving nineteenth century port of Williamstown.
Architecturally, the building is in the conservative Classical style and is notable for its detailing. Constructed on stone plinth, the stuccoed structure has a string course and parapet with cornice. Other distinctive features include the angled corner, window and door fames and the prominent chimneys.
The two-storey building was built in 1863 to replace an 1839 original building called the Ship Inn. On 7th January 1839, James Fawns took out a license for the Ship Inn which became Williamstown’s first hotel. In the mid 1940′s, the Ship Inn was serving as a boarding house and a bakery run by Mr Jennings, a baker. It was then in 1850 that Mr Jennings took out a license for the building, calling it Steam Packet.
In 1861, a fire destroyed several shops and the Old Ship Inn. In 1863, the new building of the Steam Packet Hotel was born.