In the early years of any town, particularly any country town, the pub scene was one of great activity…a rough and rowdy scene of good humour. The scene in the Brunswick valley was no exception. The first Hotel in Brunswick Heads was the Ocean View Hotel, established by Mr. Bob Marshall in 1884. A cedar-cutter from around 1869, Bob Marshall was also the coxswain of the first Government rescue boat stationed at Brunswick Heads. His original establishment was not licensed to sell anything alcoholic, but was “well-stocked with necessities, including beverages”, as everybody about the place well knew.
Bob obtained his license in 1884, and was able, legally, to take turns with Mrs. Marshall to dispense “amber fluid ale and spiritous liquors”, some of it locally distilled. It was recorded in the Clarence-Richmond-Tweed Examiner, that the Hotel was a “fine and commodious building, constructed of pit-sawn timber by local cedar-cutters, containing 14 rooms with first-class cuisine and splendid river views”. The opening took place with a Constable from the Tweed in attendance, in case of trouble. As was mentioned, elsewhere, however, his services were not needed.