Situated in the middle of the Old Man Plain beneath some well-established peppercorn trees, the remarkable Royal Mail Hotel constitutes the historical, social, physical and even genealogical centre of the small community of Booroorban.
The area surrounding the hotel comprises two tennis courts, a grassed barbeque area overlooking a small lake and a playground and a caravan park is situated at the rear of the hotel. Nearby is a community hall where many events are enjoyed by locals and visitors.
Originally known as Pine Ridge, Booroorban’s origins are tied to the Royal Mail Hotel, which was a staging post on the Cobb & Co run between Hay and Deniliquin. It is the last remaining coaching inn on that route. Passengers disembarked to refresh themselves while the horses were exchanged for a fresh team kept in the stables, still intact, at the rear of the hotel.
The village of Booroorban was proclaimed in 1885. The hotel’s Headless Horseman Bar, with its painting of the subject, is named after a legend associated with the area. Drovers around the Black Swamp in the middle of the 19th century told of a horseman who appeared suddenly at a campsite, mounted on a trotting cob, a cloak about his shoulders but with no head, spooking the animals and causing stampedes. It was said to be the ghost of a drover who died at the swamp. Today the legend is forever captured in the sculpture of the Headless Horseman located at the Black Swamp rest area.