James McLaughlin was the son of Patrick McLaughlin and Isabella McMahon who migrated on the same ship from Ireland in 1841 and settled at Queanbeyan a few years later. They lived in Ginninderra in the 1850s and had 12 children, one of whom was James.
In 1890 James McLaughlin became the new licensee of the Cricketers' Arms hotel at One Tree Hill. He also operated a blacksmith's shop there in opposition to Alexander Warwick's workshop near Deasland. McLaughlin sold up in 1896 to Murrumbateman publican, Malachi Hollingsworth.
It is not yet known whether McLaughlin married or what happened to him after he sold the hotel.
- Gillespie, L. L., Ginninderra: Forerunner to Canberra, Campbell, 1992
- Purchase, S. (ed.), Canberra's Early Hotels: a Pint-sized History, Canberra, 1999