Monighetti’s: An enterprising couple

barb_mullen2By Barb Mullen, Australia

Kit’s father would have been proud of his daughter. She had married a Swiss Italian ‘with prospects’ and the wider family were all working together to ensure each other’s prosperity. When he died in 1905, he would have felt he had done his best.

It was in 1905 that James Dare, a miner and recently married to Taresa Mattei, a man who was a teetotaller, applied for a licence for the Matlock Club. The Matlock Club was owned by Carlo Monighetti who by now was operating the Globe Hotel in Woods Point. The establishment of the Matlock Club was considered dubious by the court and application for a licence was withdrawn.

The Brilliant Gold Mine: Kit with Kath in arms and Carlo on either side of the trolley


The family, now living in the hotel at Woods Point, were doing well. They had even branched out into gold mining.

Working with family

In the autumn of 1909, tragedy struck. One of the children left a candle by a curtain, it is said, and the Globe Hotel was nearly completely burnt. The hotel was insured though and the family, not want to let the dust settle under their feet, moved on.

The Masonic Arms Hotel, Kevington


It was probably at this time that Kit and family operated the dining room at her little sister’s hotel in Kevington, another gold mining community in the remote mountains of Victoria. Taresa and Jim Dare owned the unlicensed hotel. Jim was mining, Taresa ran the accommodation, and Kit ran the dining room. The Cobb and Co coach would stop at the hotel and passengers would stay overnight.

By June 1910, Charles had opened the Victoria Café, Murray St, Wonthaggi. Wonthaggi was a state run town that existed because of the State Coal mine. They had stepped out of the mountains into a large community. Again, in keeping with the family’s tradition, Mary Dunbar nee Mattei was the proprietor of the Café and she ran the boarding house next door. Business was kept in the family.

Tragedy struck in October 1910 when Carlo, now 53, died suddenly. He nevertheless left his family in a sound position. His estate counted at £1,466 but more valuable than that was the experience Kit had acquired in running a hospitality enterprise and she put this experience to good use.


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