The telegraph line beyond Tallangatta.

The extension of the telegraph line beyond Tallangatta.

In May 1885, Mr McGowan said to a deputation of concerned citizens that the papers on the matter of extending the telegraph line from Tallangatta to Corryong indicate that the Postmaster-General required an indemnity bond from gentlemen interested in getting the telegraph to Corryong guaranteeing the Department against loss on the proposed extension. This was owing to the fact that the postal business to and from that place was so limited that there was little prospect of the telegraph extension paying expenses. On the receipt of a letter stating the willingness of certain gentlemen who had proposed to sign a guarantee bond to proceed to execute it, the matter would be brought before Mr Campbell and there is no doubt the necessary steps would be taken. Soon after, the Postmaster-General formally called for expressions of interest for people who would sign a guarantee bond to indemnify the Government against losses for the Tallangatta to Corryong telegraph line of up to £210 per year for the next five years.

Finally, in the Wodonga and Toowong Sentinel of 28 November 1885:

Post and Telegraph Office,Melbourne,
10th November, 1885.

TENDERS will be received until twelve o'clock on Tuesday, 8th December, for the CONSTRUCTION of a LINE of TELEGRAPH between Tallangatta and Corryong.

Models and specifications may be seen at the inspector's room, General Post Office and specifications at the Post Offices at Wodonga, Beechworth, Tallangatta and Corryong. Tenders to be endorsed "Tender for Tallangatta and Corryong Telegraph," and addressed (if by post, pre-paid) to the Honorable the Postmaster-General, Melbourne, or deposited in the tender-box at the General Post Office, Melbourne. The amount of the preliminary deposit to be enclosed with the tender is £20. The lowest or any tender will not necessarily be accepted.

JAMES CAMPBELL, Postmaster-General.

The Wodonga and Toowong Sentinel (26 February 1886):

"The first pole of the telegraph line from Tallangatta to Corryong was erected on Thursday morning last. A large crowd was assembled to witness the interesting event, which was photographed by Mr. Bradley who is at the present time staying in the town. Immediately after the pole had been well and truly laid - that is, properly erected and rammed so as to pass the official eye - an adjournment was made to Carkeek's hotel, at the suggestion of the worthy host himself, who upon such occasions has always displayed a liberality worthy of commendation.

The large commercial room into which the company was shown was not got up for the occasion, though one could not help being impressed with the elegance and comfort of its appointment. On a table there stood liquors of all brands, the most conspicuous being the ever sparkling "fiz" surrounded by cakes, biscuits and fruits, artistically arranged.

Everyone having his glass charged, Mr Carkeek proposed "Prosperity to the line from Tallangatta to Corryong" as well as the health of our Corryong neighbors, who, by the chain, the first link of which was forged that morning in Tallangatta, had become more than ever part and parcel of ourselves. The interests of both towns were identical. The residents of Corryong were possessed of the same go-aheadism as those of Tallangatta, and he felt assured they entertained the same good feeling for us that we did for them. He was proud that such an opportunity offered of his expressing his good wishes for the prosperity of the Upper Murray and trusted that there would be no "heel taps."

Mr Wilkinson, in a few well-chosen words, responded on behalf of Corryong. Mr H. P. Stephen proposed the health of the contractors, to which Mr Jones responded. Mr Deering, Inspector of Telegraph Lines, proposed the health of Mr. Carkeek, whose generosity he was not a little surprised by. He was totally unprepared for such an occasion, and felt as if he were at a banquet. He would assure them that the construction of the line would be pushed on with the least possible delay and that Mr McGowan, who was well acquainted with the district, had intimated that its speedy construction would be a matter of great pleasure and satisfaction to himself. (Cheers.)

Mr. Carkeek, in replying, stated that nothing gave him greater pleasure than entertaining his friends on the occasion, celebrating the inception of any institution having for its object the advancement of the two towns to which he was so much indebted - Corryong and Tallangatta".

By 9 April 1886, according to the Wodonga and Towong Sentinel "the extension of the telegraph line from Tallangatta to Corryong and Tintaldra was progressing steadily and, when finished, will add considerably to the prosperity of the district. Communication with the outside, and in particular with the metropolis and the seaboard, will be quickened, and the local resources will be better known and appreciated".

In December 1898, a contract for £937/10/- was let to extend the telegraph line from Tallangatta to Mitta Mitta.

Even though the telegraph line was hailed as a marvel of rapid communication, it was not always the case. The Barrier Miner of 14 January 1920 reported the following:


"An important telegram sent from Albury by Mr. Matthew Mullins to W. H. Maddock, shire secretary at Tallangatta, was seven hours on the journey. The telegraph form showed the time of lodgment in Albury at 10.33 a.m. and the time it was received (says "The Argus") at Tallangatta office was 5.43 p.m. Ten minutes later it was delivered to Mr. Maddock.

After having sent the telegram, Mr. Mullins set out in his car for Tallangatta, and made several business calls en route. He arrived at Tallangatta four hours before his telegram".

Line to Bethanga.

Wodonga and Towong Sentinal.
18 February 1887

"At last the Telegraph Department has determined to extend the telegraph to Bethanga. Nearly twelve months ago, an agitation was started in the district for a line, but the usual petty differences as to the site of the office were started. The Postmaster-General, Mr Campbell, personally visited the township and, after hearing both sides and seeing the localities, he decided that it would not pay to extend the telegraph to Bethanga. Subsequently the department communicated with the local postmaster, asking him whether he was prepared to take the management of the telegraph office on the two-thirds principle. This Mr Cole agreed to do, and the necessary guarantee having been given and all papers expected daily, and the office should be in working order in about two months. There are only about six miles of posts to erect, the wire being connected at Foard's on the direct Upper Murray line through Tallangatta. This will be a great boon to the district, if with the railway at Foard's, Bethanga may then be considered within the pale of civilisation".


Post Office and Telegraph Department,
Melbourne, 6th May, 1887.

TENDERS will be received until twelve o'clock on TUESDAY., the 31st MAY,1887, for the CONSTRUCTION of a LINE of ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH between the junction of the Bethanga Road and the Tallangatta Telegraph Line via the Post Office, Bethanga.

Models and specifications may be seen at the Chief Inspector's Room, General Post Office and Specifications at the Post Offices at Bethanga, Tallangatta, and Wodonga. Tenders to be endorsed, "Tender for construction of Telegraph Line junction of Bethanga road to Tallangatta Telegraph Line" and addressed (if by post, prepaid and registered), to the Honorable the Postmaster-General, Melbourne, or deposited in the Tender-box at the General Post Office Melbourne. The amount of the preliminary deposit to be enclosed with the Tender is £10. The lowest or any Tender not necessarily accepted.