The hotel is a rare example of the simple, vernacular structures which were built by the colonists in the earliest years of their frontier city. Inevitably most of these buildings were replaced by more solid and more elaborate structures, especially during the boom period of the 1870s and early 1880s and in the twentieth century. Hotels in particular were rebuilt as imposing two story buildings, and so it is all the more surprising that this humble, run-down house, which was originally an inn, should have survived as a direct link with the vernacular buildings of the 1840s.
The building, known as the Beresford Arms, was first licenced in 1840 with John Martin as landlord. J. Martin remained landlord for seven years but retained ownership for more than thirty while he devoted himself to storekeeping.
In 1849 the Beresford Arms was leased to James Ellery. It was assessed in the rate book of 1849 as approximately four times the value of adjoining residences, its substantial nature probably ensuring its survival. By 1851 the Beresford Arms was described as an eight roomed stone and brick house, annual value ₤45. In 1855 the inn was leased to Hugh Hall, followed by Henry Palmer for two years from 1856. In 1856 the name of the inn was changed to the Oddfellows Arms. During William Tidswell's occupation of the property in 1858, the interior was renovated and the 'long room' and the 'square room' being floored in 'a workmanlike manner'. The Oddfellows Arms ceased trading in 1861, the building (described as being of five rooms) is noted in the assessment as unoccupied. Through the 1860s the annual value dropped, indicating no improvements, and in 1873 John Martin sold it to Johannes Andreas Schrader (printer). In this period John Martin consolidated his financial interests in Rundle Street, home to the long lived John Martin's store.
The building is part of an early town acre subdivision.