The Sandy Creek / Tarnagulla Post Office

Article researched and written by Donald W. Clark.

Original Post Office

Original Post Office, March 2000.

The Post Office at Sandy Creek was opened on 13th August, 1856, with A. Leverrier as Post Master, on a salary on twenty pounds per annum. John Papineau was appointed on 1/3/1859, at a salary of thirty pounds per annum. Tenders were called in 1859 for the erection of a Gold Warden's Office at the corner of Victoria and Stanley Streets. The building was erected by Cross & Noble at the cost of 540 pounds.

It was never used as a Warden's Office but was taken over by the Government as a Post Office. Although still not completed, it was opened as the Tarnagulla Post Office on Tuesday, January 1, 1861.

In 1860, land had been set aside for use for a Post and Telegraphy Office, bounded on the north by Victoria St., on the east by Gladstone St., on the west by the Court House and on the south by the boundary of land set aside for the Presbyterian Church purposes. The offices were not built following the taking over of the Warden's Office.

The local correspondent for the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser of January 2, 1861, reported, "The site for the post office was selected regardless of and contrary to the survey, and the adaption for a Post Office of a building first intended and erected for a Wardens Office is altogether ill advised. The distance from the Post office to the most populous part of the township will necessitate a receiving office in the main street and the appointment of a letter carrier immediately and imperatively necessary".

At this time the township was divided in two by the "Main Lead" of the alluvial gold field consisting of innumerable fossickers holes and mounts of earth. During 1861 the electric telegraph lines were connected between Dunolly and Tarnagulla, and Tarnagulla and Inglewood.

In August, 1861, Mr C. M. Maplestone, who was appointed as Officer in Charge of the Telegraph Station, was appointed to be Post Master also.

During 1872 inspections were make of several lots of land suitable for a site for the erection of a new Post Office. The Tarnagulla Borough Council recommended a block of land in Commercial Road, on the west side, between Poverty Street and Weyman Street. The land was found to be suitable and the Government set aside one thousand pounds for the building of a new Post Office, and instructions were issued to proceed. Tenders were called for and the tender of J. Markey at 1165 pounds was accepted. Work was authorized by Alfred Deakin on 23/7/1885, under contract No. 719, for a building in Commercial Rd.

On Monday, 7th September, 1885, in the presence of a good number of spectators, the ceremony of laying the first brick of the new Post Office was performed by Mrs Annie Lewis of the Golden Age Hotel. After which, those present were invited to the hotel where several corks were drawn to celebrate the event.

The new Post Office was completed by the contractor in March, 1886, and the fence was erected by Mr Jarvis of Maryborough. On Tuesday 25/5/1886 a gang arrived to connect the telegraph line to the new Post Office. Miss Knight was appointed as the new Post and Telegraph Mistress in January, 1887.

The old Post Office was sold by public auction at the Dunolly Land Sales on Thursday, 10/2/1887 to Mr D. J. Duggan for one hundred pounds and has been used as a private residence ever since.

Original Post Office

Current Post Office, March 2000.