The White Horse
The white horse dates back to the 1850s when a white horse statue adorned the front entrance of the region’s first hotel and two-storey building.
In 1888 the owner, William Graham, undertook extensive renovations and commissioned a craftsman to build a wooden statue of a horse that was mounted over the hotel’s entrance.
One story speculates that Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) cabinet maker David Clarke carved the horse. Another was that William Graham’s wife, Anna, commissioned a visiting French artist for the centennial international exhibition.
However, disaster struck in 1895 when a fire broke out in the billiard room on the hotel’s east side and destroyed the hotel except for the bar and front entrance. The white horse escaped serious damage.
The Box Hill Reporter, in its 29 March 1895 issue, commented:
"There it stood the morning after the fire over the entrance door to the bar, surrounded by the ruins, without (apparently) the marks of the fire on it, ready, no doubt, to grace another edifice erected on the lines of our more modern hotels."
Fortunately the hotel was insured and was quickly rebuilt as a one-storey structure. Today, a memorial stands on the former hotel site and the white horse symbolises the identity of the City of Whitehorse and Box Hill Institute.
Box Hill Institute adopted the white horse within its logo to symbolise longevity, history and prosperity.