The Union Hotel, opened on the 15th of April 1862, was built by William McKinnon. The first licensee was Mrs McInness. Many of the hotel licensees in that era were women with licences reviewed every six months. In the 1860’s there were 17 official hotels, as well as other liquor outlets, between Lancefield and Lancefield Junction (Clarkefield).
In 1861, Romsey was gazetted as a town, and from then the Union Hotel was a coach stop until the opening of the Lancefield-Clarkefield Railway in 1881. As a result of temperance and prohibition movements, an Act passed in 1913 limited the number of hotels to the population. The hotel was de-licensed in 1914 and compensation paid. The building still demonstrates elements of early shop architecture typical of that associated with early settlements.