Victoria - Colonial: 1854-1900
Telegraph Offices on the Echuca (No. 2 North) and the Deniliquin (No. 3 North) lines.

The Post & Telegraph Offices on the Echuca and Deniliquin lines are listed in the table below together with those Offices on the associated branch lines.

Chewton Echuca Deniliquin Elmore Goornong
Huntly Kyabram Ravenswood Rochester Tongala


Fryerstown branch.

Located about 4 kilometres east of Castlemaine. In the Chewton Borough Council of 1 February 1872, "Cr. Meredith noted that the attention of the hon. the Postmaster-General be called to the great want of a telegraph station at Chewton in connection with the Post-Office".

On 18 May 1872, a deputation met the Postmaster-General: "A new post office was wanted at Chewton, the present building being only 8ft square. Telegraphic communication was also needed. The wire ran through the town but the inhabitants had to send their messages by horse or car to Castlemaine and the extra cost was 1s per message. They would be content with a Wheatstone instrument for the present though the borough contained a population of 5,000 persons".

Telegraphic communication was opened to Chewton on Monday 7 October 1872.


The Telegraph Office was opened in December 1858. Mr. Penton was the Officer in charge.

Echuca is at the meeting place of three rivers - the Murray, the Goulburn and the Campaspe - in traditional Yorta Yorta country. The name given to that area originally meant "meeting of the waters". European settlers called the township they established Hopson's Punt but changed that to Echuca in 1855. The Post Office had opened as Hopson's Punt in 1854.

One of the main reasons for Echuca being prioritised for telegraphic communication was its role as a River Port. Indeed by about 1870, Echuca was Australia's largest inland port.

In the Legislative Council of 23 November 1858, Mr Rutledge asked the hon. the Postmaster-General 'What is the cause of the electric telegraph at Echuca not having been brought to use for some time past and when it is likely to be commenced'?

Dr Evans replied "it was owing to a dispute with the contractors as to the completeness of the work".

The fight for a new Post and Telegraph Office in Echuca continued for years. For example, the Riverine Herald (published in Echuca) of 16 May 1876 reported:

"We understand the deputation that waited on the Postmaster-General last week, with reference to the new Post and Telegraphic Offices in Hare Street, received a very favorable reply to the request made. Without being considered to take an ungracious view of the subject, we must confess that it is now about time the government took some steps to provide the town with these conveniences, namely suitable offices for the Post and Telegraph Departments. The promise made was that the site should be fixed in accordance with the wish of the majority of the towns people and that, when this was ascertained, the work would be proceeded with. There can be no doubt now as to the public opinion with regard to the site being in Hare StreetThe site of the old State School. and it only remains for the government to fulfil their part of the promise made".

It is directly across the Murray from the NSW town on Moama which had been the Victorian Post Office of Maiden's Punt from 1848 to 1855 when it was transferred to NSW. That Post Office changed name to Moama on 1 January 1858. Unfortunately the Post Office was destroyed by fire in December 1861. The Moama Telegraph Office in NSW was opened in October 1864.

A special telegram was sent to The Argus in Melbourne and the text was published on 5 March 1879
(p. 4) which said:

With reference to the Kellys, our Echuca correspondent telegraphed last night:
"The four horsemen who have lately been seen in the neighbourhood of Kerang have been proved not to be stockmen, and it is believed by many that they are the veritable Kelly gang. Over 20 troopers are searching the country where they were last seen ".

A Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station in June 1865.

For those who are interested in collectables more broadly (than telegrams), Echuca is also the home of the National Holden Motor Museum.


The earliest evidence of the operation of the Echuca Telegraph Office is a stamped O.H.M.S. cover sent from Echuca to the Telegraph Station Master at Balranald NSW on 4 November 1872.
There is also a delivery form shown below sent from Echuca with a Richmond Belt and Buckle date stamp of 7 July 1890.
Balranald EchucaProvenance: Besacon Collection (Corinphila May 2018 Lot 3464).
Johnstone Collection.
Echuca to Balranald
4 November 1872.

OHMS cover addressed to the Telegraph Station Master.

Has a 2d dull lilac mauve De La Rue design.

Cover had crossed the Murray River from Moama to Echuca on 2 November and passed the Customs inspection as shown by the NSW intaglion Crown hand stamp.

Very rare.


VC-DO-12 delivery form used for a telegram from Echuca to Richmond on 7 July 1890.

The Telegraph Office was issued with two versions of the Belt & Buckle date stamps:
  1. a one hole format

    Used: 17 May 1882 to 10 July 1893.

    Size: ??)

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 3.

21 November 1885.

28 August 1884.
Rare use on a 5/- Stamp Duty.
Provenance: Freeman, Johnstone.
10 July 1893 on a 2d Stamp Duty pair.
  1. a two hole format:

    Used in black: 25 January 1890 to 11 July 1893.

    Size: ??

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 0.

The Echuca Telegraph Office was also issued with four types of rubber double oval date stamps. They had two different inscriptions at the top.
  1. Post & Telegraph Office

Used: 1920.

Size: 27 × 45 mm (e = 0.80)

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

  1. Telegraph Office

Used: 19 December 1957.

Size: 30 × 50 mm (e = 0.80)

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

  1. Telegraph Office

Used: 13 June 1966.

Size: 29 × ?? mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

  1. Telegraph Office

Used in black: 3 August 1988.

Size: 28 × 47 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

3 August 1988.
Archival strike - maybe on last day of operation.

A Telegraph Office opened at Elmore in June 1865 at the Railway Station.

A Post Office had opened on 1 January 1849 as Bertram's Inn. It changed name to Campaspie (1850), to Runnymeade (1864) and Elmore (1882).

There were no special date stamps issued for use with telegrams.

The Telegraph Office at the Railway Station appears to have closed (on a date unknown) but reopened in 1911. It was reclassified as a Post office in 1915 and closed in 1916.


The railway line linking Sandhurst and Echuca was opened in 1864 but was located 4 miles from the developing community at Goornong. That placement forced the town to move so that they could be serviced by the rail - and the Post Office opened at a new location in 1864.

The town developed considerably. The Argus of 23 February 1876 reported (p.4) that "a  deputation from the residents of Goornong, a township on the railway line between Sandhurst and Echuca, yesterday waited on the Postmaster-General, and presented a numerously-signed memorial, asking for the establishment of a telegraph office at that place. As it appeared that there was a considerable amount of postal business done with Goornong, Mr. Ramsay promised, if the Minister of Railways would arrange to have some one appointed to the station who understood telegraphy, to open an office at once".

The Goornong Correspondent of the Bendigo Advertiser wrote the following for the 7 October 1876 edition:

"Your article in to-day's issue of the Advertiser with regard to the urgent necessity there exists for a telegraph station at Goornong has been read with much interest by your readers here with complimentary remarks for your advocacy of the matter. Your arguments in favor of the immediate appointment of an operator are cogent and conclusive and it is hoped they may tell with desired effect upon the "Powers that be". The necessary apparatus for the working of the telegraph has been stowed away in an anteroom at the railway station here ever since the last great picnic - which occurred here some three years ago - so that little expense will be required for the erection of the same. The new station master, who took charge of the station a week ago, has a daughter who is an operator at Meredith. Could not the Government unite the family by transferring her services here?".

The Bendigo Advertiser followed up that story on 9 February 1877:

"We at last are to have a telegraph station here. The workmen are busy in erecting the operating room preparatory to connecting the battery with the main line of telegraph. I understand Miss Jonboy - daughter of the stationmaster here - is appointed as operator. That young lady has had considerable experience in operating on the Ballarat line and is fully competent for the duties".

The Telegraph Office was opened in September 1877.

About that time, there were four hotels in operation. There were also another six hotels within a five mile radius. A police station opened in 1875.

Goornong is now one of the smallest towns in Australia with 250 people.

A Telegraph Office opened at Goornong Railway Station in 1911. It was reclassified as a Post office in 1915 and closed in 1916.

The earliest (only) telegram for Goornong is a message received at Sandhurst on 12 January 1888 from Goornong and copied onto a telegram delivery form (VC-DO-11C) .

There were no special Goornong date stamps issued for use with telegrams.


A Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station in 1865. Unfortunately the Station was not used as frequently as had been expected and so, as reported in the Bendigo Advertiser of 21 December 1892, "that as the traffic at the Huntly railway station did not warrant them in keeping a man in charge there they had decided to place a woman in charge of the station. The telegraphic facilities afforded by the station were, the letter further stated, a matter for the consideration of the Postal department".


The Post Office opened on 23 September 1878 and the Sheridan Post Office opened on 1 September 1884.

On 8 April 1886, Kyabram was renamed Kyabram East and Sheridan was renamed Kyabram - in advance of the railway line coming through.

In February 1893, the Gazette called for tenders for new Post & Telegraph Offices at Kyabram.

Kyabram is about 20 kms east of Rochester and 10 kms south of Tongala.

The home of Henry Jones and IXL Jams.

Kyabram Post & Telegraph Office about 1910.


The Telegraph Office opened at Ravenswood on 19 November 1929 and closed on 17 December 1963.

The Post Office had opened on 15 November 1858 and was renamed Ravenswood Railway Station Post Office on 15 April 1884.

A T.O. date stamp was issued to the Office for use with telegraphic work - with T.O. following Ravenswood.

Used: 13 September 1928 (?).

Diameter: 31 mm.

Rated: RRR (only known archival).



The Riverine Herald of 24 February 1875 reported the situation at that time in Rochester:

"The Shire Council very properly passed a resolution yesterday, directing their Secretary to bring the subject of the establishment of a Post and Telegraph office at Rochester — which was petitioned for by a large number of the ratepayers in that locality — before the Government. A communication had been read from the Postmaster-General of the ordinary Governmental "how not to do it" character in which the council were informed that "the subject was under consideration" or that it was "delayed for furher information" or that some such red-tapeism was holding the matter in check. Cr. Glass remarked that it was now about two years since this most urgent want of the people of Rochester had been brought under the notice of the Department and, although everything had been promised, and the telegraph office actually erected, the work of completion, by the appointment of the officer, was apparently as far from being consummated as it was two years ago.

As affording an illustration of the inconveniences which the people of Rochester have to suffer in having to communicate by telegraph with other places, and at the same time as a proof of the absurdity of the departmental management, it may be stated that a telegraphic communication from Rochester to any place situated between there and Melbourne has in the first instance to be forwarded to RunnymedeA short distance south-east of Elmore. — which has the happiness of possessing a Telegraph and Post Office (at the Railway Station) although not of larger extent than Rochester — and should a person in Rochester be suddenly called on to communicate with Echuca, he must only wait for the arrival of the train from the latter place, then forward his communication by train to Runnymede to have it sent by wire to Echuca; thus making an additional varying, but erratic route of twenty four miles - half by rail and half by wire - before the message can reach its destination at Echuca. The force of folly and the course of circumlocution cannot go much further".

Rochester Post & Telegraph Office - possibly about early 1940s.


The Telegraph Office was opened on 11 May 1875.

The Post Office had opened on 11 May 1863 and the railway passed through in 1864.


Photograph from Wikipedia taken by Wiki User Mattinban - one of a large number of his excellent contributions of a variety of Australian architecture and scenes.

Rochester is the birthplace of Sir Hubert Opperman the famous Australian cyclist born in 1904.


The office was issued with a rubber rectangular TELEGRAPH date stamp (RRH1 - TO).

Used: 15 March 1963 - 18 March 1963.

Size: 29 × 44 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Rochester TO
15 March 1963.
Used on AA-DO-13B.

The first Post Office in the Tongala area opened on 27 April 1878. In 1882 it was renamed Kanyapella and a new Tongala office (presumably offering postal and telegraphic services) opened to the south. This latter office was renamed Tongala East in 1908 and a new Tongala office in the town replaced the office at the Tongala Railway Station office.

In 1878, residents were happy to be getting a school and had long term aspirations of some day having a rail connection.

Tongala is east of Echuca and north of Kyabram. It is probably on a telegraph line linking Shepparton to Echuca.


Tongala 1943
Tongala - usual postal date stamp.
27 March 1943.

Used on AW-DO-9 (42).