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South of Wodonga, east of Wangaratta


The area had been part of the squatting run of Carraramgurmungee.

Started as a gold mining center on Spring Creek called Mayday Hills. At a height of 550 meters. A Gold Commissioners camp was established in the area in 1852. For the first few years the town consisted of tents with very few buildings.

The area had had the official name of the May Day Hills, but it was often known as Spring Creek or Reid's Creek. In 1853 the town was surveyed and named Beechworth. By 1856 the area had a population of about 10,000.

Between 1855 and 1860 most of the major public buildings that we enjoy today were built.

The Ovens and Murray Exhibition was a significant event (Argus23/8/66)



Importance of Beechworth

Former major gold mining centre, east of Wangaratta, and still one of the largest towns in North Eastern Victoria

cattle sales (OMA18/1/79)

Beechworth Mining Board (Mr Wm Ward (Chairman)(OMA5/4/1879)

Town with the horse with the golden shoes. What really happened (T&C8/4/1871)

What was Beechworth like in the late 1870s

The city was the site of many great parades and marches.

Description of the town (Argus26/2/73)

Beechworth was the centre of the Ovens gold field (Argus22/1/76) Production levels (Alexandra24/5/1872)

How was the gold mined in the area; detailed description. (Argus22/1/76)

Before the railway arrived, the cost or transport was an issue (Argus10/4/60) (Argus25/6/60) (Argus2/4/61)

The Rocky Mountain Extended Company, in 1875 started cutting a tunnel through granite, over 700 yards long, under Beechworth

On Boxing Day 1879 there was a fire brigade hose and reel competition between teams from Beechworth and Chiltern that was watched by a large crowd in Ford Street.

The main routes to Beechworth where from Melbourne via Greta and over the Ovens and from Wodonga in the north. Prior to the arrival of the railway Wangarratta was largely cut off from Beechworth because of the state of the road into the mountains; "it would shake the teeth out of a saw".

Was the rail line to go to Beechworth (Argus22/8/68) (Argus1/8/70)

Train line, why was it needed? The state of the Beechworth economy. (Argus17/4/75)

Facilities in Beechworth in the late 1870s

Population Hotels Bolam's,

Dreyer's Hotel ,


Harp of Erin


The Vine,


Star Hotel, Mr J S Clark

Transwell's Commercial Hotel Churches Methodist 1857

Presbyterian 1858

Anglican Church 1859 JG MacKie

St Joseph's Catholic Church 1868

Congregational Church 1869

Baptist 1873

Christadelphian Church 1873

Schools The public school (National School) 1858

The Beechworth Academy 1875

Beechworth Grammar School 1874 (Goldsworthy's)

St Joseph's School 1857

Brigidine Convent [[../../things/C_community/C_bankt.html|Bank]] Orient Banking Corporation Main Streets Shire President Frederick Brown (Argus26/2/73)

See (Argus17/4/75) (OMA15/3/79) Local Government Police Station Railway Station

The railway from Wangaratta to Beechworth was completed in late August 1876 - the opening of the line (Argus30/9/76)

Telegraph Office

Scott (Alexandra30/3/1878)[[../../people/peC/cheshire.html|../../people/peC/cheshire.html]]

HE Cheshire (Argus2/7/1880)

' ' Post Office

' Mr Deverell was the post master (RC13854)

RB Hodgson

Postal services started in 1853 and the post office on the corner Ford and Camp Streets was started in 1858.

Postal service from Beechworth to Everton

to Yacandandah via Wooragee;

to Wahgunyah via Chiltern, Indigo, and Rutherglen

to Hillsbrough via Stanley

and to Tarawingee Station via Reid's Creek, Woolshed, Reidford, and Eldorado

and between Wangaratta ,Oxley, Milawa, Moyhu Post Office, Taylor's Gap, Murmungee,and Beechworth

Other things of interest in and near Beechworth Artillery

12 solderers from the artillery were stationed in Beechworth in early 1879 under Sergeant O'Neill.

Beechworth Goal

The first lock up was built in 1852. Work on the present building was commenced in 1857. Mr Castieau was the jailer. He was in charge of the Melbourne Goal at the time of Ned Kelly's execution.

Beechworth Court House

Beechworth Mining Board (Alexandra11/6/1869)

Bible Society (OMA27/2/79)

'Buckland Gap'

The Buckland Gap is about 5km south of the town

Burke Museum

A suit of armour was wanted for the Burke Museum (OMA1/7/80)


Mr Gammon

Mr Geddes, Camp Street


At the heigh of gold mining in the area the Beechworth area had a Chinese population of over 4,000

see also [1]


Royal Mail Coaches left Beechworth daily for many locations in the area including Stanley, Hillsbrough, Running Creek, El dorado, Chiltern, Wandiligong, Yackandandah and Tarrawingee.


Ovens Gold and Tin Mining Company No Liability


Hear about how the Cricket team went. See (OMA11/2/1879)


George Hall

S De Saxe (OMA13/2/1879)


Dr Hutchinson practiced in the late 1850s

Dr Cleary (Argus8/11/78)

Dr Thomas Dick practiced in the late 1870s

Dr Frederick Peter Deshon practiced in the late 1870s

Dr William Augustus Dobbyn, see Aaron Sherritt's inquest (Argus7/5/74) (OMA27/2/79) looked after Ned Kelly (Herald8/8/80)

Henry Tregellis Fox (Argus7/5/74)

Dog Catchers

Phelan, Asked to serve an order on Aaron Sherritt for Mr Willis. (RC14044)


Grieg and Wilson

'Gold Mining (Argus22/8/60) (Argus8/2/64) (Argus15/8/64) '


The famous fight between Ned Kelly and Wild Wright statred when they met at the Imperial, a protestant pub.

In 1857 at the hight of the golden days of Beechworth there were about 60 licensed hotels.

Many sympathizers and other gathered at the Empire at the start of Ned Kelly's trial (Herald5/8/80)


The district hospital was a major building and the nearest hospital in New South Wales was in Goulburn. Work commenced in 1856 and added to during the 1860s and 1870s. Today only facade and a few major trees remain.

Members of the hospital Board (OMA27/2/1879)

Dr Antoine Mousse

Dr Dobbyn


Langtree (RC14044)

Frederick Mitchell

Albert Read (JJK)


William Zincke,

Licensing Magistrates

John Turner

George Gammon

Mechanics' Institute and Free Library

Registrar of Mines

Mining Surveyor H Davidson

Mining Board (OMA27/2/79) (Argus15/8/64)

Mining Companies

Rocky Mountain Extended Gold Sluicing Co Limited Spring Creek 1876

Office, William St

Manager, John Turner

Directors, William Telford, Thomas Dalziel

The Star Mining Company

South Alabama Quartz Mining Company Limited


Met in Oldfellows Hall once a mnoth


' 'The Ovens and Murray Advertiser' was started in 1855. 'The Constitution and Mining Intelligence' was started by Mr Nixon in 1856 and it produced its last edition in 1867.

Ovens Benevolent Aslum

A major building

Ovens District Hospital



By 1878 the three police districts of Benalla Ovens and Upper Goulburn were brought together with the head quarters in Beechworth. It was the largest town in the area. Soon after the police district was based in Benalla.

Insp Brook Smith was in charge at Beechworth at the time of the murders at Stringy Bark Creek (RC134)

SConst Mullane, Det Ward, Const Williamson were stationed at Beechworth.

Beechworth was the home base of a police district in the days before the KellyGang. (RC186)

Const Fitzpatrick was stationed at Beechworth for a time (RC12807)

Const Henry Casey.

Powder Magazine

Magazine keeper Const Samuel Maude

Railway Station

The station was built in the late 1870s. Beechworth was serviced by special engines on the line from Wangarratta because of the gradient on the line as it climbed into the mountains


Patrick Allen

Gammon Chemist (OMA13/2/1879)

Mr Reynolds

Wertheim's (RC14630)

London House (OMA29/6/1880)

Boot maker ;W Jacobs Boot Manufacturer, Ford Street Beechworth (OMA29/6/1880)

Dress maker ; Miss G F Aitken (OMA29/6/1880)


Beechworth Grammar School (OMA29/6/1880)


Mr Morres, district surveyor (Argus6/3/79)


Swimming Baths

Swiming races. J Morrison, bath keeper(OMA13/2/1879)


Mr HE Cheshire was the officer in charge of the telegraph station.

Alex Thomson the chief operator (OMA1/7/80)

Water supply (Argus2/4/61) (Argus1/5/80) (Argus8/2/64)

water supply was always an issue. Gold mining took lots of water and there were attemps to control its use from the earlier day of mining

Wool brokers

Hastings, Cunningham, and Co (OMA13/2/1879)

The Local Government Commission came to town (Argus26/2/73)

Links to the KellyGang

Hare was stationed at Beechworth in 1856 Recomm 1303

Steve Hart was born in Beechworth in 1859

Military from the Garrison Artillery sent to Beechworth to protect banks in town some time after the Euroa robbery and they were reinforced in January 1879 (RC2ndreportX) (RCApp8)

Soon after the Jerilderie robbery Dan Kelly was seen riding towards the Buckland Gap (RC1276)

In late 1879 when there was a threat that the KellyGang might hold up the banks Mr Deverell, the Postmaster, erected a telegraphic communication between all the banks and the police station, by wires being placed, and the uniting of these wires would cause an alarm at the banks and station, at any hour of the day or night that the KellyGang was likely to come. If they came to one of the banks, the station bell would ring, and police would be able to respond to the alert. (RC13584)

Aaron and Belle Sherritt were married on Boxing Day 26/12/1879 by Father Tierney of St Joseph's Church in Beechworth.

Joe Byrne's girl Maggie worked at The Vine Hotel. After Aaron Sherritt's body was brought to town it was identified by Anton Weekes the Vine Hotel

Ned Kelly was drinking in the bar of Dreyer’s Hotel, Beechworth. (Argus7/8/80)

Maggie Skillion, Tom Lloyd and David Gaunson stayed at the Hibernian during Ned Kelly's committal hearing. (Argus7/8/80)

Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into the KellyGang outbreak conducted hearings in Beechworth in 1881.

The Royal Commission said it was a grave error to reduce the size of the Beechworth police station (RC2ndReport)

Members of the Beechworth community

What happened at Beechworth after the time of the Kelly Gang

What is happening at Beechworth today

The Burke Museum has a number of important KellyGang relics and records. [2] Visit the town of [3] and the surounding area