Telegraph Offices on the Ballarat line (No. 8 West).

The following Telegraph Offices are included on this page:

Bacchus Marsh Ballan Ballarat East Blackwood Buningyong Gordon
Melton Mount Egerton Myrniong Rockbank Sebastopol  


Bacchus Marsh.

On 17 January 1874, The Bacchus Marsh Express commented on an advertisement which would shortly be placed by the Electric Telegraph Department. They anticipated tenders were to be invited by the Government for the letting of a Post and Telegraph Office in Bacchus Marsh. The presumption underlying that action was that offices would not be erected at Melton or Myrniong and, in the opinion of the Express, should not be erected there until it is seen how many telegrams flow to the Marsh office.

The Telegraph Office was opened in 14 October 1874.

The Post Office first opened in 1844 with the name Ballan but that was changed in 1850.

At the Bacchus Marsh Shire Council meeting on 3 January 1874, "As Engineer, the Secretary reported that the contractor for the telegraph line had put in pegs for the poles in the centre of the contemplated footpaths down below the Post Office, He thought there would be no difficulty in getting the poles put out nine foot from the frontings, instead of four feet, if they were to write to the Government. Instructed accordingly. Cr, Tyson said that a peg had been put in a very awkward place near his premises".

A week later, the tenders for the first Telegraph Office were advertised on 24 January 1874 as seen at the right.

On 21 March 1874, the Express announced that "The premises in Bacchus Marsh belonging to Mr. Crook, and opposite the National Bank of Australasia, have been leased by the Government for a Post and Telegraph Office. There is yet no sign of the wire being fixed on the poles which have now been in position to receive it for some weeks past".

"We hear that the new Bacchus Marsh Post Office and Electric Telegraph office will be opened to the public in about three week as time, but after so long and so unaccountable a delay in opening the office the public will doubtless be dubious as to the opening of the office within that time. Dr. Madden has given notice of his intention to ask the Postmaster-General on Tuesday next when the Bacchus Marsh office will be opened"
(Bacchus Marsh Express 19 September 1874).

"The Postmaster-General has promised to give a small salary for a telegraph messenger for Bacchus Marsh but something more than a messenger is required as it is not reasonable to expect the Postmistress to attend unaided to the constant calls for letters received by the three mails brought to the office daily per coach, also to the receiving and transmitting of telegrams, the making up of the numerous outward mails and the heavy office work in the shape of money orders, post office savings bank and routine clerical duties.

An assistant is urgently required and, if he or she can also deliver telegraph messages, so much the better for the Department but, if not, then a messenger as well should be employed and, if the Government cannot afford the expense, probably an arrangement might be made for paying the messenger either by fees to be collected on the delivery of each message or by paying the Government a fixed annual for for the privilege of having telegrams delivered to the party paying the fee, just as private bags or boxes are now granted to individuals on their paying an annual fee.

In our opinion, the Government should never open a telegraph office without providing for a delivery of the messages, either by messengers paid by the Department or by some system of local payment, as we have suggested, for otherwise the telegraph system is a most dangerous delusion. People living in places where telegraph messages are delivered naturally expect that messages are also delivered at every place where there is a telegraph office (and the Postal and Telegraph Guide says they are delivered free within one mile of every office) and, such not being the case, always is likely to cause serious results. At Wyndham, for instance, the telegrams are received at the railway station and letters at the post-office. Telegrams are not delivered to persons to whom they are sent but are allowed to lie in the office till called for and, as residents seldom call anywhere else than at the Post Office, the chance of receiving a letter sooner after despatch than a telegram are very great.

The Wyndham Council is about to seek a remedy for this state of matters and, in our opinion, the mooting of the Bacchus Marsh Shire Council should not p)ass over to-day without a similar effort being made to improve the arrangements at the Bacchus Marsh Post Office"(14 November 1874).

A new building was announced in May 1889.

Bacchus Marsh Post & Telegraph Office in 1913.
The sign under the clock confirms the two Offices.

Bacchus Marsh

The Gippsland Times of 17 December 1874 reported a sad story:

"According to the American Register, Mrs. Farmer, who a few months ago died at Bacchus Marsh (Victoria) after trying to qualify herself for a promised appointment in the Telegraph Office here to maintain her almost blind husband and their four children, was of good birth. It was over anxiety to effect this object by attending lectures, when suffering from a severe cold that caused inflammation of the lungs to take such hold of a somewhat weak frame, that Mrs. Farmer just lay down after returning from one of these lectures by a teacher of telegraph operations and never rallied, but died three or four days afterwards, leaving four children, aged about eight, four, three years and 14 months. This paper says that these unfortunate people were Sir George Farmer and Lady Farmer and that they dropped their titles and came to Victoria from sheer poverty".

The Office was issued with an rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO).

Size: 33 × 52 mm (e = 0.77).

Use: 30 April 1986 (only recorded date).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

Bacchus RO2
30 April 1986 (only recorded date).

The Bacchus Marsh Express of 31 January 1874 reported "The new Telegraph and Post Office at Ballan, erected by Mr. Flack adjoining his present promises, is nearly finished and will present a very good appearance, being two stories in height and built of brick". A delay caused the opening of the Telegraph Office to be delayed until 16 September 1874.

The Ballarat Courier of 21 February 1874 had contained details that "Should the telegraph station at Ballan prove a success, after a trial of its collections for six months, a similar office will be established in Gordon; and Miss S.M. Robertson, the respected Post-Mistress (who has been studying telegraphy for some time past), has been promised the appointment of telegraphist".

The third Post Office with the name Ballan opened about September 1953.

No special date stamp was issued for use with Telegrams.

A Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station about 1913 and closed about 1917.

Ballarat East.

The Ballarat Star of 6 June 1877 reported that "the question of additional postal and telegraphic conveniences being given to the residents of Ballarat East has been brought under the notice of the Government and that the Post Office officials here have instructions to extend the delivery of letters and papers to Eureka Humffray and Queen Streets. Seeing that the Town holds some 16,000 inhabitants, the council holds that it deserves a Telegraph Office of its own or, at least, that the delivery of telegrams from the office in the City should not be restricted to within a radius of one mile. Mr John James, M.L.A, has seen the Deputy Postmaster-General on the subject and Mr Turner promised to lay the matter before the Minister without making any promise himself".

A further development in the people's quest for a Telegraph Office was reported in the Ballarat Star of 13 January 1879:

"We wait with some little anxiety to see what Mr. Patterson, one of the members of the Ministry of promise, will say to the reminder about to be made by the Town Council, with regard to the arrangement of a Telegraph and Money Order Office at the Eastern Library. When last waited upon at his office by a deputation of the Eastern councillors, the Postmaster-General replied to a request made for a Telegraph Office as follows: "Gentlemen, just walk up stairs, take the first door to the right and you will find the permanent head of my department. Tell him from me that he is to arrange what you require and explain what you want. The matter is quite settled; you shall have the office at once".

But Ballarat East has not so far been further favored with a look, a word or a line from either Mr Patterson, the Minister or Mr Somebody else "the permanent head of my department”. He is to be reminded of his promise. We can guess his reply —“Put your requisition in writing gentlemen and, as soon as the great pressure of business on the department is disposed of, I will consult my colleagues. You may rest assured that” etc., etc,

“And then what?” asks someone. Then the deputation, having thanked the Minister, retired. But what of the Telegraph Office and Minister’s promises? That is a different matter. With regard to the promises, we may add in the words of Professor Baldwin: “Sometimes they'll work, sometimes they won’t” and if this does not prove the competency of the Berry Administration we should like to know what does".

On 6 March, the Ballarat Star reported: "A petition is now being handed round for signature in Ballarat East in favor of the proposed Post and Telegraph office being erected in Victoria Street between East Street and King Street, that locality being considered by many to be the most suitable. It is intended to present the petition to the Town Council on Friday night and a large number of signatures have already been affixed to it".

The Telegraph Office opened in July 1879.

A Telegraph Office opened at the Railway Station about 1910 but was re-classified as a Port Office about 1915 before closing about 1917.


About 1850, there were three very large pastoralist holdings in the Blackwood area. Then in the mid 1850s, gold was discovered (accidentally and while looking for bullocks). In 1873, it was agreed that there were really three townships in the place - Red Hill, Barry's Reef, Golden Point (where gold was first found) and Simmon's Reef. The considerations of selecting the site for the Post and Telegraph Office at Blackwood are discussed elsewhere with Red Hill being the preferred location. At last came a response from those "higher-up" :

"A letter has been received from the Postmaster-General stating that the Inspector sent up by him reports that one telegraph station should be enough for the district, to be placed in the most central position and this, he considers is the township of Red Hill and that this course will be adopted when the Government office shall be established at Blackwood".

A Post Office was opened as Mount Blackwood in September 1855 and closed in 1921.

A Telegraph Office was opened as Mount Blackwood in August 1875 (and announced in the Gazette on 3 September 1875). In 1876, 991 messages were transmitted for revenue of £55 15s 4d. In 1887, 951 messages were transmitted.

An excellent description of the gold diggings and the community in 1873 is accessible elsewhere. That source also indicates that the people were awaiting the approval of "telegraph wires and passable roads".

Alas when there are four places in close proximity, community spirit sometimes breaks down. The Bacchus Marsh Express of 19 December 1874 published the following letter to the Editor:

"To the Editor of the Express.

SIR,--Who is your correspondent himself at Barry's Reef? Does he write that he may live, or live that he may write, or is he:

One with luckless brains, that's to the wrong side leaning?

Doing much writing with much pains and little or no meaning?

The other week he gave us a mass of figures in £ sterling said to be taken from mines in his locality, but did not mention that it was pound for pound in nearly every instance. Let him publish calls and dividends so that the outside public may not be made "victims of duplicity". Again, in his reply to accusations of not knowing "facts", " stealthiness" and "flagrant misrepresentations". If he knew facts, why did he (in the petition) state that the population were leaving the Point when it is well known the population has been stationary for the last ten years? If there were no stealthiness, why were the inhabitants of the Point not allowed an opportunity of signing the petition? As to the flagrant misrepresentations, I have evidence of many witnesses that it was to them represented merely as for a telegraph to Blackwood. Had they known it was to disturb the Post Office, they would not have signed it. His assertion that other parts of the district are now of far greater importance than the Point ever was in its palmiest days is another proof of his not knowing facts. There were at one time ten thousand people at and below the Point. Will there ever be a quarter of that at Barry's Reef? Verily your correspondent at Barry's Reef is a new chum, and has much to learn.

Blackwood, 9th Dec, 1874.


The Post Office opened when the Bunnenyong Office was renamed Buninyong on 17 January 1859. In 1857, Buninyong had been made a gold escort station on the route from Geelong and Meredith to Ballarat. It is located a short distance to the south of Ballarat and is about 2 miles from Magpie.

The Telegraph Office opened on 27 October 1862.

The Bendigo Advertiser of 23 November 1868 announced that "The Government have removed the letter carrier and telegraph messenger to another district without appointing any one in their place and great inconvenience has been caused in the borough in consequence; and the burgesses are very much chagrined at the treatment they have received".

On 17 June 1872, The Herald reported "The Hon. the Treasurer, in answer to Mr. Russell M.L. A., today stated that he would favorably consider a request which had been made by the residents of Buninyong to have new premises erected as a Post and Telegraph office". Tenders were called for the new building on 18 January 1873. The following month, Jenkins Lewis was announced as the successful tenderer for the erection of the Post and Telegraph office, Buninyong with an agreed cost of £1,101 10s. l1d.

Buninyong Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.
The Post & Telegraph sign is above the windows.

The Telegraph Office used a 1 hole Belt & Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 13 April 1891 to 11 May 1894.

Size: 27.5 × 39 mm (e = 0.71).

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 5.

13 April 1891.
(earliest recorded date).
Bun Postage Due
24 December 1891
On a 2d Victoria Postage Due.
  Nuningyong 1892
21 January 18??.
Most complete strike recorded.


The Telegraph Office opened in March 1875.

The Ballarat Courier of 21 February 1874 contained the details that "Should the telegraph station at Ballan prove a success, after a trial of its collections for six months, a similar office will be established in Gordon; and Miss S.M. Robertson, the respected Post-Mistress (who has been studying telegraphy for some time past), has been promised the appointment of telegraphist".

The Post Office opened on 1 July 1858 as Gordons had changed to Gordon in 1887.

No special date stamp was issued for use with Telegrams.

A Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station about 1910 but was reclassified as a Post Office about 1915 and closed about 1916.


The Telegraph Office opened in September 1877 in conjunction with the Post Office.

Prior to that, the Bacchus Marsh Express of 20 September 1875 noted "The absence of a telegraph office, with the wires running through the midst of the township, is frequently commented upon by strangers visiting the township, and is justly attributed to the lethargy of the inhabitants. There is no doubt but that a telegraph office would prove a benefit and convenience to the neighbourhood and a little agitation would ensure its establishment".

On 19 May 1877, the same newspaper reported "In all probability a telegraph office will be established here by the end of the month, as it will be opened as soon as the necessary arrangements are completed. It is a want much felt, and the boon will, I am sure, be appreciated by the business people here and in town".

The Office was issued with a T.O. date stamp which was used in two formats:

  1. T.O. before Melton:

Used: 7 April 1913 to 23 January 1922.


Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 4.

Melton 1915
18 March 1915.
March 1918
27 March 1918.
  1. T.O. removed.

Used: 24 June 1922 to 27 July 1939.


Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Melton rem
28 January 1937

Mount Egerton.

The Telegraph Office opened in January 1878.

A description of Egertonabout one year later is given in the Ballarat Courier of 7 January 1879.


The Telegraph Office opened in February 1876.

A Public Meeting at Myrniong on 6 July 1874 (reported in the Bacchus Marsh Express of 11 July 1874), summarises the reasons why most towns on the North Western line considered they needed a Telegraph Office as well as gives some background to the general area:

MYRNIONG, (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) A Public meeting was held in the Mechanics' Institute on Monday evening last to urge on the Government the necessity of providing this township with the means of telegraphic communication. There was a good attendance, and the meeting evinced considerable anxiety on the subject. Mr. George Granut was voted to the chair. He said the object of the meeting was to ask the Government to give them a telegraph office at Myrniong. He thought that they had more need of an office than either of the two places in the neighbourhood which were about to have telegraph offices for the reason that at each of said places, the inhabitants had the privilege of being able to reply to their letters on the day they received them. He considered they were entitled to an office at Myrniong and hoped they would soon have one.

Mr, T. C. Fraser proposed, and Mr. H. Meikle seconded, the following resolution, which was carried unanimously: "That it is the opinion of this meeting that it is most desirable that the Government should grant a telegraph office at Myrniong for the benefit and convenience of the district". In moving the resolution, Mr. Fraser said that he thought the district was as much entitled to a telegraph office as any place on the line. It was the centre of a large pastoral and agricultural district, and it was of the utmost importance to the inhabitants, many of whom paid high rents for their land, that they should have the earliest and latest information possible as to the state of the markets.

The State had made and was extending great lines of railway to the remotest corners of the colony, a matter which he was glad to see, but the practical effect of that was that not only were those remote districts in one sense, and that a very important one, nearer the great markets, but even neighbouring colonies were brought within a few hours journey of these markets, The consequence was that farmers, graziers, and others, who paid high for their land, had to compete with the great stock owners of New South Wales, as well as those of our own colony, who paid only low rental for Crown lands, so that the terms on which they met were most unequal, By having a telegraph office here, producers could send down or hold back at the last moment, and thus catch a good market when stock happened to be high, or save their gear from being sacrificed when there was a glut.

Again, they were entitled to an office to make up, in some degree, for the disadvantage under which they laboured at present owing to their postal arrangements. Three coaches met at Myrniong daily, except Sunday, and yet they could not answer their letters by the same day's post. The other townships on the line had all the advantages of the time elapsing between the passing and re-passing of the morning and afternoon coaches, to open and reply to their letters, while they had to wait till the next day. Some of the townships had actually two mails a day, and he had several times to send to Bacchus Marsh, involving a ride of about 24 miles, in order to catch an early post for another part of the colony. A telegraph office would go far to remedy this grievance.

Another reason for advocating the establishment of an office here was the benefit it would be to the Police Department. The last but not the least weighty reason he would state was that there was no medical man nearer than Ballan or Bacchus Marsh. In a case of emergency it would be a long way to go to either of these places, and perhaps after all not finding the doctor at home. The wire would improve our chances ten to one, for the whereabouts of each doctor could be ascertained in a few minutes. He knew of no more benevolent object for which the wire could be used than that of alleviating pain or saving life, and it was now extensively so used.

He trusted the Government would not deal niggardly with them for the matter of a few pounds, when they considered the benefit they would bestow on the district at large. Mr. T. White said he was in favour of a telegraph office here for its numerous advantages, as Mr. Fraser had already stated, and also because it would not be expensive, for the line already passed close to the post office. He hoped he would soon have the pleasure of seeing such a great acquisition to their interests in full working order in Myrniong. Mr. H. Meikle proposed, and Mr. Meehan seconded, and it was carried "That a committee, consisting of Messrs. Fraser, Rowland, White, and the mover, be appointed to draw out a memorial in support of the resolution, and forward the same to the Treasurer for the colony of Victoria.".

Mr. Meikle endorsed what had already been said in favour of a telegraph office, and thought the time had arrived when this important addition to their township was really necessary in order to keep pace with the advance of civilization and trusted the most favourable consideration would be given to their request by the Government of Victoria. Other speakers followed, and all testified to the great advantage it would be to be connected and brought within call of the principal parts of the colony. The meeting then terminated. A petition embodying the foregoing resolutions, &c., has been forwarded to the Hon. the Treasurer".


The Telegraph Office at Rockbank (below Melton) opened about 1914 and closed about 1919. A Post Office had been opened at Rockbank on 1 January 1862. It was closed on 1 July 1996.

Rockbank was also an important link in the Beam Wireless operated by AWA. A receiving station was constructed there and, on 8 April 1927, operations commenced to link Australia wirelessly to England and Europe.


The Office was issued with a
T.O. date stamp in three different formats for use with telegrams:
  1. T. O. Rockbank/Vic.

Used between 10 August 1916 and 19 December 1939.

Diameter: 27.5 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 5.

Rockbank 1916
10 August 1916.
Rockbank 1939
19 December 1939
(on reverse side of the cover below).

Rockbank cover
19 December 1939.

Rockbank T.O./Vic on cover - very rare (better of two recorded examples).

  1. T.O. Rockbank/ Vic Aust.

Used between 12 December 1940 and
18 February 1957.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 5.


Rockbank 1942
12 December 1940.
Rockbank 1951
29 November 1951.
  Rockbank TO 1957
18 February 1957 (LRD).
  1. T. O. removed.

Used: less than 4 months about July 1957.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Rockbanj TO rem
26 July 1957.


A telegraph office was opened in January 1870.

"Mrs. Landells, the Post and Telegraph Mistress of Sebastopol, has been appointed to the vacancy caused by the death of Mrs. Aspinall. Mrs. Drury, wife of the late Mr. Drury, P.M., has been appointed to the position vacated by Mrs. Landells" (The Age 15 April 1875).