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Motor Inn Motel

Charlotte Street, Cooktown

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Motor Inn Motel (2010); Heritage Branch staff

Motor Inn Motel (2010)

Motor Inn Motel (1996); Heritage Branch

Motor Inn Motel (1996)

The streetscape of Cooktown reflects its history as a major port on the Endeavour River. Established in 1873, the port serviced the Palmer River goldfields. Charlotte Street has a number of buildings from the late 19th century which give the town its character. Seagren’s Hotel is one such building. It was built by Swedish cabinet maker Phers Erick Seagren (Sjorgen) who established this combined family home, furniture factory and showroom around 1880. The family lived above the business. Seagren was born in Sweden in 1845, trained in Denmark, and arrived in Rockhampton in 1871. He worked there briefly, married in 1873 and relocated to Cooktown in 1874. His son William Erik Endeavour was the first white child born here in February 1874. Phers Seagren was elected Alderman to the town council in 1895, later serving as mayor for nine years. His business enterprises included cabinetmaking and upholstering, a furniture warehouse and china and glass bazaar. He retired in 1921 and the property remained in the family through to the late 1960s. Until the mid-70s it operated as a newsagency, boutique and tourism office and operated subsequently as a motel. Seagren’s Hotel was recently restored and offered for sale.

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Coordinates: -15.46688119, 145.25001039

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023