Victoria - Colonial: 1854-1900.
Telegraph Offices on the Wood's Point line & Branches.

The following stations were included on the main Woods Point Line (No. 4 N.E.) and from the four associated Branch lines. Some Offices listed were also on the main North-Eastern line and are included here.

Alexandra Avenel Baddaginnie Benalla Chiltern Euroa
Gaffney's Creek Jamieson Lake Rowan Longwood Mansfield Seymour
St. James Tungamah Wangaratta Wood's Point Yarrawonga  



The Telegraph Office opened in December 1873.

At the Alexandra Shire Council of 25 July 1870, correspondence was received asking for an extension of the telegraph and a daily mail via Yea.

The Ovens and Murrary Advertiser of 5 November 1885 carried the following amazing situation:


The Alexandra correspondent of The Age, telegraphing on Sunday, stated 'The local Post and Telegraph Office was struck by lightning yesterday afternoon and the whole of the operating instruments, including all the wires connected with the lightning arrester, were destroyed. Miss Powell, the Post Mistress, states that she was in the act of forwarding a message to Melbourne when she heard a terrific report as if someone outside the office had fired a revolver through the window. Immediately afterwards, a large ball of fire descended igniting the gutta percha wire, and completely destroying everything with which it came in contact. The molten gntta percha also set a quantity of paper on fire. Miss Powell staggered from the instrument quiet deaf and blind and called assistance. Her escape from death was miraculous".

Gaffney's Creek.

The Gaffney's Creek Telegraph Office opened in May 1871. A Post Office had opened at Gaffney's Creek on 1 January 1862.

Money Orders were sent to Gaffney's Creek in the later part of the Interim Period.


An excellent description of Jamieson in 1864 was published in The Argus of 19 August 1864.

Both the Post and Telegraph Office opened at Jamieson in June 1865. Since 1858, the postal facilities had operated from Mansfield. When the telegraph line to Jamieson was completed, temporary accommodation was found for a short time for both offices until the building previously occupied by the Orient Bank (which closed) was refurbished. This strategy was confirmed in the Legislative Council on 30 May in an answer to a question from Mr. Highett by Mr. Hervey.

The Gazette of 6 May 1880 noted that the tender for the construction of a new Post and Telegraph Office at Jamieson submitted by T. Carrison for £1,185 10s 6d had been accepted.

Jamieson was the station commencing the branch line (#134) from the main Woods Point line linking to Alexandra and Yea before terminating at Seymour.

The Office received 1,493 telegraphic messages in 1890. It was then staffed by a Postmistress, a Line Repairer, a Messenger and an Assistant.

Lake Rowan.
On the Yarrawonga Branch.

The Post Office opened on 1 July 1875 and closed on 30 November 1981.

The Telegraph Office opened in December 1882. It was on Line 175 and connected only to St. James.

It is supposed that Ned Kelly used Mr. Swanhill - a local resident - to sell horses for him about October 1877.

In 1890, the Office had a Postmistress and received 609 messages. In that year, the Morse instruments at Lake Rowan were replaced with telephones and the staff office was closed.

No special date stamp was supplied to the Office for use with telegrams.  

On the Woods Point Branch.

The Telegraph Office opened in November 1868 - but not before a long delay:

"The Mansfield Shire Council have received a letter from Mr. McGowan, Superintendent of Telegraphs, stating that the Government have no money in hand and there is no immediate prospect of a Telegraph Office being opened in Mansfield. This has given great dissatisfaction as the wire passes through the township, the instruments are on the ground and all that is wanted is an office and an officer. Moreover, a guarantee has been given for a certain return on the outlay". (The Australasian, 14 September 1867).

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

Used in black: 15 October 1892.

Size: Not seen complete.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

Mansfield B&B
15 October 1892.

12 July 18??

The Office was also issued with a rubber RR1-TS date stamp with the inscription TELEGRAPH SECTION.

Used in violet: 20 January 1978.

Size: 27 × 42 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

20 January 1978.

St. James.

The Telegraph Office opened in September 1883 at the Railway Station.

In 1883, St. James was a town which was rapidly developing. Later a shopkeeper named George W. Coles sold his small shop to his oldest son George James Coles for £4,500 before he moved to Wilmot, Tasmania to open another shop called "Coles Store". George Jnr. had been educated at Beechworth College. In 1914, George J. and his brothers opened another shop in Collingwood with the slogan "nothing over a shilling". From there, the major commercial empire began.

Importantly - George would have sent many telegrams!!


The Telegraph Office opened in April 1884.



The Office was issued with a 2 hole Belt & Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 7 May 1891 and 4 April 1892..

Size: Not see complete.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

27 November 1891.
Wood's Point.
Wood's Point Branch

The Telegraph Office opened in October 1865 while the Post Office had opened on 1 December 1862.

The Morning Star Reef had been discovered as a valuable gold body in 1861. By the time the Telegraph Office opened, Wood's Point had 36 hotels and a number of suburbs. From the 1870s to the 1890s, the activity slowly decreased but revived to some extent in the 1890s.

Mountain Express Goods Trains passing through Woods Point.
Courtesy of Museums Victoria, Public Domain.


The Telegraph Office opened on 30 September 1882.

A deputation had met with the Postmaster-General on 30 March 1880 and applied for an extension of telegraphic communication to Yarrawonga. The usual reply about "receiving attention" was given (The Argus 2 April 1880).

On 20 October 1882, the Gazette announced a tender had been accepted from N. W. Frogley to erect a new Post and Telegraph Office at Yarrawonga for £774.

The Argus of 10 December 1901 reported on a public meeting held at Yarrawonga to discuss the construction of a new Post & Telegraph Office. It was agreed the new building should be on the same site as the previous building.

Yarrawonga 2





Two types of date stamp were issued to the Post & Telegraph Office:

  1. A 1 hole Belt and Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 26 January 1891 to 15 November 1893.

Size: 27 × 38 mm. (0.70)

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 6.

9 February 1893.
Used on a wrapper to Gordon & Gotch
Yarra 1891

26 January 1891.
Yarra 1892
16 September 1892.

Used in blue: 10 February 1891.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

  1. a rectangular rubber date stamp with TELEGRAPH (RRH1-T) and postcode.

Used: 4 September 1984 (all same date).

Size: 32 × 51 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

Rarra 1984
4 September 1984.