DAYLESFORD residents are hopeful the iconic Boathouse cafe will rise from the ashes.
The building was burnt to the ground on Saturday night and will be demolished in the coming days.
Both Hepburn Shire residents and tourists visited the Daylesford Lake yesterday to take in the rubble where the Boathouse once stood and shared stories about times spent at the popular attraction.
Many people were devastated the Boathouse had been destroyed and said they were hopeful it would be rebuilt.
Julia Meere from Baringhup said her husband Michael grew up in Hepburn Spirngs and they spent much of their courtship at Lake Daylesford.
“We have enjoyed many a picnic along here with our son. He used to swim in the lake when he was young,” she said.
Pam Campbell from Daylesford said the Boathouse was a part of the town’s history.
“As a kid I lived up in West Street and we’d come down the lake and swim,” Mrs Campbell said.
“The Boathouse was just always here.
“I think it’s very sad what’s happened.
“It’s part of Daylesford.”
Leasee De Hunt was busy yesterday chasing up insurance while council workers surveyed the site and paddleboat operators, – which ran from the Boathouse – moved their equipment.
“I feel very emotional,” Ms Hunt said.
“But I’m trying to keep my morale up for all the staff who worked there.”
Ms Hunt said she’d been told the fire started outside the building, contrary to earlier reports that it had started in the kitchen.
“Apparently it was a faulty piece of equipment and the fire travelled underneath the building,” she said. “I spent six hours there on Sunday with the crime department and it’s 100 per cent gone.
“There’s nothing we can salvage.
“The heat was just so intense.
“I’m taking each day as it comes at the moment.
“I have to try and keep positive and look forward to the next stage.”