Victoria - Colonial period: 1854-1900.
Wycheproof line.

The telegraph line from Bendigo (Sandhurst) was constructed to Inglewood during 1877 to link two important lines:

Tenders were called in June 1876 "for the supply and erection of Telegraph Poles along the railway line between Sandhurst and Inglewood". In August 1876, advertisements were placed in newspapers for "Men to sink Telegraph Holes between Sandhurst and Inglewoood".

Wycheproof Some offices - such as Charlton and Wedderburn - opened in the 1870s. The Wedderburn telegraph line was motivated by the first gold discoveries although, until 1858 it was known as Korong. The 1876 Report lists this station as the only station on the "Wedderburn Branch" which extended from Inglewood.


Charlton was an important agricultural and grazing centre especially for various grains including wheat, oats and barley. The line from Wedderburn to East Charlton was completed in late 1877 with the Telegraph Office opening in January 1878. This line from Inglewood to Charlton was 37.5 miles in length. The line was constructed "by the northern route" rather than "by the direct line" from Inglewood to Wedderburn and Charlton. A number of public meetings had been held to advocate the construction of the direct line because the freight potentially to be carried on this line would be significant and so the line would "form part of a great national scheme of railway extension intended to "top" the Murray trade".

Wedderburn's population was a mixture of mining and agriculture. The town was described by one of these meetings held in May 1880 to advocate the direct line as being "an important township, having at present a population of about 1,000 inhabitants, irrespective of its immediate surroundings. There are in it two branch banks — one of the Bank of Australasia, the other of the Bank of Victoria. Seven hotels, twenty-five general stores, post and telegraph office and Savings Bank, Shire Hall and Council Chambers, Mechanics' Institute - containing 3,000 volumes of well-assorted books - five churches, five establishments employing a considerable number of hands in the manufacture of farming implements, two saddler's shops, three schools — one of them being the State school, having an average attendance of 140 scholars; the other two private schools, each having a good average attendance - a police camp and court-house, large flour mill giving employment to a considerable number of hands, six butchers' shops and a large number of substantially constructed private residences".

Charlton had a purely agricultural population and was described at the same meeting as "an important agricultural township situated on the banks of the river Avoca and containing in or about 800 inhabitants. In it there are two flour mills, always kept fully employed, two branch banks - one of the Bank of Victoria, the other of the Bank of New South Wales - a court-house, post and telegraph office, Savings' Bank, literary institute and reading room, large number of first-class hotels, general stores, saddleries, butchers' shops, private residences and a foundry. Some of the public and the private buildings of Charlton lay claim to architectural beauty. The Bank of Victoria, for instance, is a large well-constructed building and would be a credit to any up-country town. The Post and Telegraph office is likewise a handsomely constructed brick building. The flour mills are each built of brick and occupy a prominent position in the town. King's Hotel is perhaps the next best building after the banks and the post office. It is fitted up with every convenience of a modern hotel".

In January 1882, tenders were called for the construction of the direct railway line involving "the four (railway) stations which it has been decided to erect between Korong Vale and East Charlton and, in a short time, tenders will also be called for three stations between Korong Vale and Boort and for a like number between East Charlton and Wycheproof". This work was implemented in concert with the laying of the telegraph line - which reached Wycheproof in 1883.