Four decades and one World War later, the hotel burned to the ground in November 1919. A catastrophic fire started during the night and eventually ignited the entire hotel. Fortuitously, it was slow moving ensuring all residents and furniture was saved however, due to the lack of water pressure, the building itself was devastated.
Rebuilding of the hotel started in earnest in 1920, when a brand-new two-story brick building rose from the ashes to meet the needs of increasingly affluent and sociable guests of the burgeoning Roaring Twenties. It included 40 bedrooms, smoking rooms, dining hall, kitchen, electric lights, tennis courts, croquet lawns and a bowling green. Another luxurious feature was the motor garage, which held up to 12 vehicles.
The historic building erected in 1920s remains the grand centrepiece of Lorne Hotel’s façade, bringing old world charm to its main entrance on Mountjoy Parade.
As the construction of the world-renowned Great Ocean Road reached Lorne in 1922, the village expanded rapidly once again and tourism finally surpassed forestry and fisheries to become the epicentre of the local economy just as it is today.
The Lorne Hotel continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of visitors to Lorne just as the Duncan family did over 140 years ago.