The Hotel or Inn at the site has a rich history. John Jack and his partner, August Simmer came from Durban to Lake Chrissie in 1882. They various buildings including stables, a small hotel and a gin depot. Two oak trees planted in front of the Inn in 1886 remain.
The John Jack Inn was a wood and iron structure that had been subject to various natural and unnatural disasters. In 1903 the inn was re-built, again in wood and iron on the same site and the John Jack Inn was renamed Lake Chrissie Hotel. In its early days, the hotel was the centre of social life in Lake Chrissie and a convenient stop-off for travellers to and from Swaziland, visiting officials and businessmen. Malicious gossipers suggest that it operated as a ‘high-class bordello’ but there is no proof for these slanderous anecdotes.
The name changed a few times to include “Dumbarton Oaks Hotel” and “Mrs Price’s”.
The Hotel burnt to the ground in 1936 and hotel manager Anthony Price and his family left Lake Chrissie. They returned in 1944 after Price had bought the premises on which the hotel once stood. The Prices did not rebuild the hotel but made their living from the remaining liquor store and the Billiard Room that they turned into a tea room.
In 2012 the John Jack Inn was rebuilt (and renamed) as close as possible to original specification using period building materials. The interiors of the rooms have been fitted out to recreate some of the romance and nostalgia of a bygone era.
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