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My Hometown – Shepparton in 1882

September 22, 2020

From: The Illustrated Australian News  08 July 1882, Page 107

NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS AT SHEPPARTON

‘With the extension of our railway system many townships have sprung up within the last few years where before nothing was to be seen but the squatters’ cattle. In no district of the colony has this ‘gratifying change been more rapid than in the North-eastern district, particularly in the valley of the Goulburn, where the fine agricultural land has attracted a class of yeomanry that is now the strongest element in the prosperity of the colony, and which has converted Victoria into the granary of Australia. It may be that the science of farming has not yet attained with us that position that would meet the approval of a Mechi, as, in truth to say, our farmers, in the matter of retaining in the land, its natural vigor, are somewhat improvident; but there are signs of a steadv advance in the art of scientific agriculture in the older farming districts of the colony, which must have its effect on the more recently settled localities; and it may be hoped that all our agriculturists will in a few years recognise the principle of so tilling their lands that they will return a profit for the outlay of time and money expended on them.

Of the many agricultural townships that have come into existence during the last ten or twelve years, none now occupies so stable a position as Shepparton, situated on the Goulburn, and about 150 miles from Melbourne. The township, which is the centre of a large agricultural and pastoral district, had a population of thirty people in 1870, whereas it at present contains over 2000 inhabitants, and is an eminently thriving and prosperous place.

Several fine public buildings grace its streets, and branches of the  leading banks are established, The mechanics institute is a handsome and commodious structure, and boasts the possession of an extensive and varied library, whilst hotels are sufficiently numerous and good to meet all the requirements of the town. Shepparton is also an assize town, and is the centre from which business is conducted for many miles round. The growing importance of the place has been brought under the attention of the Government on many occasions, and lately a strong local agitation has been set on foot to induce the Ministry to provide it with suitable public buildings. After the usual delay the request was acceded to, and we give a sketch of the buildings as they will appear when finished. The whole of the offices are on one site, but the fixing of this was delayed for a considerable time owing to the difficulty experienced by the residents in deciding on which would be most central.

It was not until several polls of the ratepayers had been taken that Wyndham was finally determined on as the locale, but once this knotty point was decided the work was at once proceeded with. The plans of the building were prepared by the Public Works department, and are arranged to accommodate the post and telegraph offices, with the usual quarters; the sub-treasury and courthouse, each of which will contain the proper accommodation for those doing business therein. The building is of dark brick, with colored brick strings and Waurn Ponds freestone dressings, and a tower rises from the centre to an elevation of 70 feet. A four-dial clock will be placed in the tower, and will provide the township with the time of day. The cost of the building when completed will be about £9000, and it will be not only a great convenience, but also an ornament to the. town.

“NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS AT SHEPPARTON.” Illustrated Australian News (Melbourne, Vic. : 1876 – 1889) 8 July 1882: 107. Web. 22 Sep 2020 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63186141&gt;.

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