Kiama Inn Hotel is the oldest business in Kiama Municipality having operated from the south-east corner of Terralong and Shoalhaven Streets continuously since 1853.
The establishment is most fondly known as Tory’s to this day, it being named after one of the region’s most successful colonial publicans, George Tory.
Born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1832 and relocating to Australia in 1853, Tory’s association with Kiama began in 1880 when he bought the old established two storey weatherboard Kiama Hotel after “profitably” selling his Nowra pub.
Having foreseen the wealth the Sydney railway would bring to Kiama and its growth as a seaside tourist resort, preparations were made to have the old inn totally built. Work began in November 1888, the cost estimated at £3,500 for the construction of a three-storey brick premises that would include 60 rooms for the accommodation of travellers.
On completion the pub was renamed Tory’s Hotel and was reported to have done the “largest business in the place”. There were two other pubs trading in Kiama at the time – The Brighton Hotel and The Grand.
Tory retired from the pub in 1894 after selling the freehold. He died in 1901.