South Australia - Colonial period: 1855 - 1900.
Telegraph lines in the Tailem Bend - Pinaroo to Border Town region.

The South-East lines to Victoria.

The main South Australian lines crossing the area from Tailem Bend in the north to Meningie in the south and Pinnaroo and Bordertown in the east were:

  1. the No. 1 line from Adelaide via Goolwa to Mount Gambier and then to the Victorian Western Coast line;
  2. The No. 2 line from Adelaide via Mount Barker, Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend to Bordertown and to the Victorian Horsham line.

The details directly related to these major inter-colonial lines are described in the pages for those lines.

The only other main line in this region was that east from Tailem Bend towards the Victorian border past Lameroo via Pinnaroo.


  This map continues to Strathalbyn and Mount Barker.  
This map continues across the Coorong to Adelaide. This map continues to the Horsham line in Victoria.

This map continues south east to Narracoorte and Mount Gambier and then to Victoria.


The line to Pinaroo.

There is little detail to be retrieved about this line.

Post Offices were established at both Pinnaroo and Lameroo in December 1905 although the rest of the district had to rely on the Tailem Bend Post Office - many miles away.

The Mount Barker Courier of 16 August 1907 reported that "In the House of Assembly on Tuesday, the Premier stated that he would direct the attention of the Government to the request for a public rate for the use of the telegraph line to Lameroo and Pinnaroo". Note this decision was taken in the State Parliament because Federal responsibility through the Postmaster-General's Department did not begin until 1913.

Various newspapers began referencing Telegraph Offices at both Pinnaroo and Lameroo about 1908.

At a public meeting at Lameroo to talk with Mr. J. Livingston M.H.R., the visitor said "there was a time, not so very long ago when, if any white man had spoken of coming to the Pinnaroo district to farm, he would have been told he would lose all he had. But he was glad that those who came had made money and were doing well. He believed that when men went on the land in out-of-way places they should receive railway and postal facilities. He was sure they would obtain better postal arrangements. But the rules and regulations of the Federal Parliament had taken the power out of the Postmaster-General's possession and instanced to show how ridiculous was the present situation of the P.M.G. The postal authorities had only recently told the residents of Pinaroo that a Post and Telegraph office would not pay there at present. It was the duty of the postal department to study the wants of the people on the land. He was of the opinion that it would pay the State Government to run a motor train over this line three days per week, the same as at Millicent. While he had a seat in the Federal Parliament he would fight for Post and Telegraph facilities to accommodate the people. He was pleased to hear that there were over 50,000 acres of land under wheat in the district. The world had not more than six months supply of wheat and wheat production was very necessary. He admitted that once he was opposed to the Pinnaroo railway but he was sure that, without the aid of super-phosphates and the improved methods of farming, there would not have been many farmers here now".
Pinaroo Country News 21 August 1908.

On 23 April 1908, the Vigilance Committee stated "Another matter which the committee went thoroughly into was that of the Post and Telegraph office - the latter especially coming in for severe condemnation. The general opinion was that it was just about impossible for a stationmaster to properly run his own office and the telephone too. The public expected a better service and the meeting considered that the best thing to do was to request the members for the district to ask for a return of business done through the Lameroo post office and that a semi-official office apart, from the railway, altogether be granted".

The Register of 14 October 1908 reported that after an accident in which a man was badly burned, "the Lameroo doctor was telegraphed for..."

The Pinaroo Country News of 4 September 1908 provides an insight into why a telegraph line was constructed to Pinnaroo:

"While on their recent trip to Pinnaroo, Messrs. Livingstone, Schenckel and Charleston met Mr. Ryan of Messrs. Ryan and Bond who has just completed his task of valuing the land from Cow Plains, in Victoria, to the border near Pinnaroo, and that gentleman assured them that there is land for a distance of over 30 miles from the Border, on the Victorian side, of just as good quality as that at Pinnaroo. He was delighted with it. He doubted if the Victorian Government would run a railway beyond Cow Plains and believed that much of the traffic from the country between them and the border would go to Pinnaroo. The residents in the district think it would be wise if the South Australian Government would extend the railway from Pinnaroo to the border — a distance of three miles — in order to catch that trade. It would bring the Victorian Border settlers 100 to 120 miles nearer Adelaide than any Victorian port. He was surprised that the Government had not erected better sidings and stations on the railway and was disgusted at the miserable Post Office and Telegraph provision at Lameroo and Pinaroo and the poor police accommodation".

The Evening Journal of 13 August 1909, reports a notice presented to the House:


The Premier told Mr. Senior that he would direct the attention of the Government to the request for a public rate for the use of the telegraph line to Lameroo and Pinnaroo.

It may be that these offices were at the railway stations on the line from Tailem Bend but nothing can be found to confirm this assumption. The available photographs do not support that conclusion - unless the buildings had been removed from the railway stations.

The Pinaroo Country News of 13 December 1909 reported that "a meeting of delegates appointed by the various Vigilance Committees to discuss matters of importance to the district generally was held at Pinnaroo on Monday evening ... The Secretary was instructed to write to Mr. J. Livingstone, M.H.R. urging the necessity of establishing better postal and telegraphic facilities in the district and also ask the Hon. R, H. Foster to co-operate".

At a meeting of the vigilance committee held on 21 February 1910 in the Lamaroo institute, members expressed indignation at the treatment being received from the Commonwealth in the matter of post and telegraph facilities. It was decided that the Lameroo vigilance committee withdraw from the combined vigilance committee.

Nothing is quite like having an election in the offing. On 8 March 1910, Mr. J. Livingston - the Liberal candidate for the division of Barker in the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament - addressed a meeting of electors in Lameroo. In part he said "With regard to better post and telegraph facilities for the district, the latest report was that the material for the telegraph line was on the way and, immediately on its arrival, the work of erection would be proceeded with without any further delay. He also stated that a sum would be placed on the next Estimates, in June, to provide proper post and telegraph offices at Lameroo and Pinaroo. (Loud applause)." Amazing how things happened in the old days!!!! There was however no commitments by Mr. Livingston about change rooms at sporting fields or horse/car parks at the railway stations.

On 9 December 1910 - after the election on 13 April in which Andrew Fisher (Labor) defeated Prime Minister Alfred Deakin (Liberal) - the Mount Barker Courier announced "The local post-office at Pinnaroo (under the charge of Mr. Butterworth) is to open out this week as a telegraphic office also. The wires have all been laid to Murray Bridge and it only remains to put the instruments in proper position. This will be a great boon". On 16 December, the Commonwealth Gazette announced the creation of two positions at Lameroo - Postmaster grade VII and Telegraph Messenger grade I,

The Mount Barker Courier of 3 November 1911 reported that "Teams are busy carting sand and bricks for the new post and telegraph office at Lamaroo". So "without delay" really meant 20 months!!