Victoria - Colonial period: 1854-1900.
Telegraph Offices on the Narracoorte line (No. 3 West).

The Post and Telegraph Offices on the Narracoorte line (No. 3 West) are included together with those on the associated branch lines.

The Telegraph Offices which are discussed on this page are:

Apsley Balmoral   Cavendish Dunkeld Edenhope
Fiery Creek Glenthompson Harrow Kowree Lake Bolac Linton
Lyons Macarthur Newton-Scarsdale Piggoreet Rokewood Scarsdale
Skipton Smythesdale Streatham      



The Telegraph Office opened on 30 August 1882.



The Telegraph Office opened in October 1875.

Balmoral Post and Telegraph Office circa 1910.
The office was issued with a rubber double oval Post & Telegraph Office (RO3-P&TO) date stamp.

Used in violet: 26 March 1931 (only recorded date).

Size: 28 × 47 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


26 March 1931.


The Telegraph Office opened in January 1885.

A Post Office had opened on 1 April 1853.

No special date stamp for use with Telegraphs was issued to the office.


The Telegraph Office opened at Dunkeld on
The Post Office was opened on 1 December 1855. A previous Post Office had been opened on 1 January 1854 when Mount Stugeon had been renamed Dunkeld. That Office closed on 31 January 1854.

A Telegraph Office also opened at the Railway station about 1910. That Office closed about 1916.

Dunkeld Post & Telegraph Office about 1930.
The joint name can just be made out in the sign above the doorway above OFFICE.


The Telegraph Office opened on 30 August 1882.

A Telegraph Office was also opened at the Railway Station about 1910. It was reclassified as a Post Office in 1915 and closed in the following year.

Edenhope Post & Telegraph Office about 1930 (sign above the door).

Fiery Creek.

Tenders were let in December 1857 for the erection of the Telegraph Office at Fiery Creek to Edmonds and Dawson for £515 3s.

There were two Fiery Creek stations - renamed to Raglans and Streatham.


The Glenthompson Telegraph Office was opened 19 August 1878 at the Railway Station.

A Post Office had opened as Glen Thompson on 1 November 1866. It was renamed Yuppeekiar on 20 December 1871 and then renamed back to Glen Thompson on 18 April 1872. Date stamps produced more recently (in the 1890s) merged the two words to Glenthompson.


The Telegraph Office opened on 12 July 1875 under the charge of Mr. Brent of the Melbourne Telegraph Office.
The Post Office opened 10 years later.

Harrow is one of the earliest inland settlements in Victoria.

The Office was issued with a 1 hole Belt & Buckle date stamp.

Used: 25 July 1884.


Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

25 July 1884.

2? July 1884.


A Telegraph Office was opened when Maryvale was renamed on 1 January 1917. The Maryvale Telegraph Office had been opened in August 1911.

The Kowree Telegraph Office was closed on 30 November 1954.

Manufacturer's proof: 33 August 1947.
Real date: 14 June 1939.

Size: 29 mm.

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 2 proofs made.

33 (?) August 1947.

Lake Bolac.

No special date stamp for use with Telegraphs was issued to the office.


The Telegraph Office opened on 22 October 1868. Prior to 1860, the township had been known as Linton's.

In the Ballarat Star of 7 July 1868, there had been a report that the Chief Secretary's Office had replied to the effect an office for a Telegraph at Linton, together with the necessary instruments, was ready and the arrangements would be completed as soon as funds could be provided for the purpose. On 17 October, the Star reported "Our local correspondent writes:"It appears that telegraphic communication between Linton and Smythesdale is going to be started forthwith, as the department has a man at present at Linton getting the wires in order".

Finally, on 23 October, the Star reported "J. B. Scurfield, who has been placed in charge of the Linton Telegraph Office, had the apparatus in full play on Thursday (22nd) and transmitted and received some messages. A few of the residents sent messages to their acquaintances merely for the purpose of showing them that the wires are now in perfect working order".

A few year later, the Ballarat Star of 23 January 1875 published the following letter to the Editor:

SIR, In your issue of the 20th instant, there appeared a letter from Mr Harrison, Scarsdale, complaining of the inefficiency of the telegraphic arrangements at Linton. Sir, as a business resident and as one to whom the use o£ the wire is o£ great advantage, I cannot but feel indebted to Mr Harrison for commenting on the absurd management of this branch. Though for many years a resident of this place, I may say that I have never been put to such a degree of inconvenience as that which I have experienced since the advent of the new telegraph mistress. Confident that towards Mr Harrison, I only echo the feelings of the Linton community and apologising for trespassing on your space, I am. P.Q.

Hostile reaction was swift - on 26 January, the same newspaper published two articles in strong support of the Postmistress. One of these was:

Referring to a letter in this day's Star, purporting to be written by a business resident at Linton reflecting injuriously on the management of the Telegraph Office here since the advent of the new telegraph mistress and claiming to echo the feelings of the Linton community in this matter, we the undersigned residents, having constant business in connection with the Telegraph Office, desire to express our entire dissent from the statements contained in such letter and, on the contrary, to state that we have always had our business transacted punctually and satisfactorily by the present telegraph mistress whom we have at all times found courteous, attentive and obliging. We cannot but regret that an insinuation of so grave a character affecting a public servant should have been made by a writer who, while claiming to speak for the public, lacks courage to append his own signature to his letter:
S Lewers, J.P, manager of Bank of New South Wales; David M'Fadzean, councillor shire of Gren ville; W.G. Bennett, councillor shire of Grenville; R. S. Nelson, carpenter; Thomas Austin, tailor; Andrew Clarke, surgeon; B. N. Dodd, draper; E. O'Sullvan, storekeeper; J. Shepherd, storekeeper; Geo. Ronald, produce dealer; Thos. Trevorrow, hotelkeeper; and 27 additional business people with names and occupation.

Hamilton-Portland branch.

Lyons is about 20 km north west of Heywood.

The Post Office was opened on 5 October 1889. It was reclassified as a Telegraph Office on 15 July 1918 and closed on 5 July 1971.

The Office was not issued with a special date stamp for use with telegraphic work.
Instead the usual postal date stamp was used on telegrams.

Used: 17 June 1958.

Size: 29 mm.

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.
The only recorded example.
The only previous strike recorded was an archival strike
with a short date line.

17 June 1958 (during the TO period).
Mossgreen March 2015 Lot 1591.

Macarthur-Hamilton Branch.

The Telegraph Office was opened in January 1880.

On 24th August 1894, "The vacancy in the telegraph messengership occasioned by the removal of J. Fahey has been filled by the appointment of Sam. Law, a son of our local J.P..The appointment was unexpected and as such the more acceptable" (the Hamilton Spectator).

The Hamilton Spectator of 29 May 1897 passed to its readers the following sad news:

"General regret was expressed here to-day when it became known that Mrs. J. E. Cowling had reached the end of a long and wearisome illness and passed away this morning at one o'clock. The deceased was perhaps more publicly known as Miss Loney having filled the position of Post and Telegraph mistress in Macarthur for some five years and left the public service and single life at the same time when she married Mr. Cowling about nineteen months ago. About six months later she developed diabetes and, though no effort was spared for her recovery, nothing availed and after a year of suffering, death came as a relief to her".

On 26 February, the Spectator noted that the Macarthur Progress Association had received a reply from the Postmaster-General "in response to their request for painting of telegraph poles in Macarthur. In this the department stated they were willing to bear half the cost. The full cost is £3. If the amount had been £3,000 and in Melbourne, it would have been granted without any demur. But Macarthur is so far from town that anything is good enough for us".

On 22 October 1908, the same newspaper reported: "Since the erection of the pole upon which the Lux light has been suspended, nothing but disaster has attended the lamp's efforts to shed its refulgent beams upon the dark places of our town. The culminating point was reached yesterday on the advent of a team of 10 bullocks which, in the absence of the driver, wound themselves round the pole, smashing the lamp and careening the pole onto the telegraph wires at the intersection of the main streets".


(Rokewood Branch)

The Telegraph Office opened at Scarsdale on 4 September 1872 as a combined Post and Telegraph Office.

"The town clerk sent a congratulatory message to Mr. W. Clarke, M.L.A., to whose exertions the establishment of the office was chiefly to be attributed".

A Post Office was established at Newton-Scarsdale on 11 November 1868 and it was closed on 8 March 1957.

The Ballarat Star of 4 July 1887 reported "At the meeting of the Browns and Scarsdale Borough Council on Friday (writes our Smythesdale correspondent) it was decided that the Town Clerk write to the members for the district - Messrs Davies and Young, M’s.L.A. - respectfully reminding them that the time was fully come to deal with the question of a new Post and Telegraph office at Scarsdale and requesting their immediate attention to the matter".

Telegraph Offices also opened at Newton Railway Station and at Scarsdale Railway Stations about 1910 and closed about 1917. The link amongst the four offices is not known.

The area is about 25 kms south-west of Ballarat and is situated between Smythesdale and Linton. The northern part of the area is Newton while the southern area is Scarsdale.


A steel circular date stamp was issued to the office. It was inscribed T.O. NEWTON. Maybe Scarsdale was too long :-)
Used: 1 September 1913 to 30 March 1932.


Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4.

1 September 1913.

9 August 1928.

30 March 1932.
(Rokewood Branch)

The Telegraph Office opened in March 1875.


(Rokewood Branch)

The Telegraph Office opened on 16 September 1873.

Several good nuggets of gold found at Rokewood. During the last week of August 1873, over 100 ozs of gold were obtained by one party (Elders) and a sketch of another nugget weighing 63 ozs 17 dwt was sent to the Mining Department in Melbourne. In September 1889 several nuggets were found not more than 8 inches under the surface weighing between 5dwt and 48 ozs.

The Geelong Advertiser of 8 January 1874 reported the following grievance about Rokewood:

"The blunders that are sometimes made in the Telegraph department are very annoying and we trust the following will be strictly enquired into.

We had made every arrangement to have the result of the trial of Dr. Cooper at Rokewood, telegraphed on Tuesday night and were very much surprised when the wire brought us no information. Yesterday we received a letter from our correspondent stating he had handed a telegram into the office for us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The message left at 7.55 p.m.via Smythesdale but was never sent on to Geelong until the following day. If this is the manner in which the Telegraph Department, which costs the country so much, is going to manage its business, it will be advisable to return to the old system of sending messages by carrier-pigeons. It is not the first time the officials at Rokewood have shown their incompetency and, as we have paid for a telegram which is comparatively useless, we have, we think, a right to ask Mr Turner to enquire into the matter strictly".

The Colac Herald of 26 April 1895 reported this amazing account:

On Good Friday (writes the Corindhap correspondent of the Ballarat Courier) a somewhat peculiar accident  but fortunately attended by no serious consequence, happened at Rokewood. A large telegraph pole which stood almost in front of the Rokewood Post and Telegraph Office and store fell and crashed through the verandah of the office. It is stated that the cause of the accident was a goose while, in trying to fly over the line, came in contact with the wire about the centre of the space between the two poles - causing the pole in front of the post office to fall, it being rotten at the foot. Mr.Evans was standing on the verandah just before the fall took place, and narrowly escaped injury.

Since the shooting of wild turkeys was prohibited, we have heard frequently of turkeys meeting with sudden deaths by flying against telegraph wires but this is the first time we ever heard of a goose knocking over a telegraph pole. It would be interesting to have authentic dimensions of this destructive bird. Mr Daly will see, perhaps, that it is possible for a rotten pole to do an immense amount of damage, whether it is knocked over by an elephant or a tomtit.

The account of the incident is not complete, for history has not yet recorded what happened to the goose - whether it subsided into a quiet life again, or is still charging down on telegraph wires, or has been eaten as a deodand for the damage it did".

The Ballarat Star of 4 July 1896 reported that the residents of Rokewood  held a public meeting to
petition the Post and Telegraph Department to appoint a messenger to the local office.


The Telegraph Office opened in September 1876.


Tenders were called for construction of the P&T Office in the September 1862 Gazette. On 7 January 1863, Ballarat Star reported on the situation:

"The works of the new Post and Telegraph Office at Smythesdale are being carried on in a very sluggish manner. The time specified in the contract for the completion of the building was the end of the present month but there is very little chance of the office being opened to the public before the beginning of April. The neglect shown to this district by the powers that be is a problem difficult to solve. We have no water and have roads that cannot be called such. The more that is written on the subject and the more the deputations that are sent to town, the less chance there appears of our wrongs being redressed".

The Telegraph Office was opened in June 1863. The Gazette of 16 June 1863 noted "John Nicol to be Manager of Electric Telegraph and Collector of Imposts, also to act as Postmaster at Smythesdale from 15 June, 1863" (transferred from Daylesford). A note in The Star of 28 July indicated that the Office was working well.

The Ballarat Star of October 1868 recounts "a somewhat amusing incident in connexion with sharebroking occurred at Smythesdale on Saturday. The Galatea Company, Springdallah, is at this time attracting considerable attention and a Melbourne gentleman, an ex-M.L.A. who is largely interested in the company, paid the district a visit on Friday to ascertain personally the position and prospects of the mine. A bore was put up on that day, and the result was enchanting.

Early on Saturday morning, the delighted capitalist hastened with all possible despatch to the Smythesdale telegraph office to flash the gratifying intelligence to his brokers. Unfortunately, however, in the hurry and flush of his joyous excitement, the Melbourne gentleman left behind him a copy of the message on the desk of the outer apartment of the telegraph office.

Immediately after he was gone, and probably while the wires were yet vibrating with the communication, the wide awake Smythesdale representative of a Ballarat and Smythesdale broking firm, who was particularly on the look-out for news from the Galatea Company, that morning went to the telegraph office on business when he found the very information so much desired by his firm lying before him on the desk.

It is almost superfluous to add that it may safely be assumed that the timely presence of such a valuable piece of news furnished additional work for the telegraph wires in double quick time".

Unfortunately, the Advocate of 27 August 1870 reported that "Mr. Linton, the telegraph and post-master, has been suspended by the inspector. Report states that there are defalcations in his accounts to the amount of £53".

Snake Valley.

In 1858, Snake Valley had a population of 2,304.

In 1880, the Postmaster was R. Haworth on a salary of £36 per annum. There was no telegraphic activity and no indication of how many postal articles were handled. The Post Office issued 133 Money Orders and paid for 144. There were 11 Savings Accounts at the beginning of the year and 15 at the end of 1880.

A Telegraph Office opened in December 1883.

In 1884, Snake Valley had a Post Mistress and a Messenger and handled 13,780 letters posted and transmitted 493 telegraph messages (with revenue for the year from these messages of £29 19s 9d or an average per message of nearly 1s 3d - so about 12 words). Money Orders issued had risen to 226 and 150 were paid.

Before the serious search for gold was extended to the Snake Valley region, there were almost no references in the press to Snake Valley in any regard. Perhaps the biggest reference appeared in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser of 2 April 1858:

Chinese Riot.

Yesterday afternoon a riot occurred between the Chinese residing in one of the camps at Snake Valley. The rioters were from two different provinces and, if we are correctly informed, the row originated in some trifling dispute about money matters. About fifteen Chinamen were wounded, some of them, we regret to say, seriously, not less than three hundred were engaged in the melee some using bamboos, some stones etc. etc. We understand several of the ringleaders have been apprehended and are now in the custody of the Police".


Tenders were let in December 1857 for the erection of the Telegraph Office at Streatham to Edmonds and Dawson for £515 3s. The Telegraph Office opened in early July 1858 while the first line to South Australia was constructed.

The Gazette of 22 January 1864 notified that John Noble would be acting manager of the Electric Telegraph and Collector of Imposts also acting as Postmaster at Streatham from 29th December 1863 vice W. S. F. Payne suspended from duty.

Fiery Creek PO was renamed Streamline on 1 January 1854.

The gold rush started at Fiery Creek in 1854 and was generally finished by 1859.

  Streatham 1911