Hinton’s earliest Public School was on the river bank on Punt Road. Many foot races were held on the road, with other sports as well in the paddocks alongside.
On the top end of Punt Road, on the corner next to where the bridge is today, was the “Australian Joint Stock Bank”. Next to the bank was William Yates “Blacksmith and Coachbuilder”. Next to Yates was “Searles Saddle Makers Shop”. Further down was John Bramble, a butcher. It was said he sometimes rowed a boat loaded with meat, with the tide, to Newcastle to sell to ships in the harbour.
Three other hotels traded in the main street between the 1840’s and 1880’s – “The Victoria”, “The Prince Alfred” and “The Hinton Hotel”.
This hotel was not built until 1878 when the old one on Punt Road closed down, probably because of two fires in January and July 1873, thought to be deliberately set.