The first licence for the Moss Vale Hotel was issued to Martin Larkin around 1866. Moss Vale Hotel was the first licenced premises in Moss Vale. Larken had previously held the licence for The Briars at Bong Bong. For the next decade he held the licence of the Moss Vale Hotel.
Martin Larkin must have known a thing of two because this was the period when Moss Vale really started to boom. The railway was coming, and with it all sorts of new opportunities for rural and commercial development.
The railway station at Moss Vale was opened in 1867 but it was called Sutton Forest. The first refreshment rooms, however, were located in Mittagong. The Governor or New South Wales at the time, The Earl of Belmore, resided in Sutton Forest and, for his convenience, the refreshment rooms were relocated to Moss Vale.