William McFarlane passed away in 1838 and Mrs. Isabella McFarlane, being a strong woman, took over the simple log hotel that same year. It had opened in 1832, yet Mrs. McFarlane had no idea her old house would be used almost similiar to an army fort when Chief McNabb came into the village attempting a hostile take over. The volunteers ran to Mrs. MacFarlane’s place and grabbed what they could, whether that be:frying pans. kettles or other cleaning and cooking utensils they could take into battle. Word was the battle lasted all night and they did not have to serve Chief McNab.
After it burnt doqn she later bought some land from Andrew Dickson and built a large building on Graham Street at the weatern approach to the bridge and Isabella Mcfarlane’s pubilc house was known as sylish and became known as THE place to stop. It was also considered respectable and many a meeting was held at her hotel. She provided stabling for 6 horses and had spare beds and a sitting room seperate from the bar room.
I imagine keeping a 24/7 inn in those days was hard and in 1859 she placed an advert selling her inn and in 1859 James Cowan took it over. It was probabaly a good thing as the railway coming through Pakenham brought a large amount of rough and tough railway workers and the hotels were full of these railroaderds who spent their time drinking and arguing.
with files from: Whiskey and Wickedness- Larry Cotton Pakenham 1823-1860( Verna Ross McGiffen)
From the 1869 Gazeteer below.