The Prince Albert Hotel shows how drinking establishments developed in the southwest corner in the very early days of the colony.
Built in 1854, it has strong connections to South Australia’s early German community. The name honours Queen Victoria's German-born husband, Prince Albert. This hotel is also a rare example of a business owned and operated by a female hotelier in the Victorian period.
Eliza Jane Dreyer was born in Port Lincoln, but moved to Adelaide's west end with her family as a child. In 1890, she married William (Wilhelm) Dreyer. The couple took over the hotel, which had been owned by William’s father Johann George Ludwig Dreyer.
When William died in 1893, Eliza ran the hotel for another 30 years. During this time, she was one of the founding members of the Clark & Co (later the Walkerville Brewing Company), formed by 12 publicans. She was the only female in the group.
The Register newspaper noted in her obituary that, "Mrs Dreyer held her interest in the brewery right through and it proved an excellent investment. She also improved the Prince Albert Hotel to a remarkable extent, bringing it from a very small edifice to one of the best hotels in West Adelaide."
The Dreyer family were associated with the Prince Albert Hotel from the granting of its first license in 1852 until at least 1976.
The hotel is relatively unchanged. It survived the demolition period of the 1860s-1880s when many of the city pubs were significantly remodelled or rebuilt. The outside has been refaced and there is an extension along Wright Street and to the north along Lowe Street. The balcony was added after 1890. The semicircular headed paired opened windows on the ground floor facing Wright Street were probably also part of the refacing work.