Old Post & Telegraph Office
Come and visit the iconic Walhalla Old Post & Telegraph Office in the main street and experience the last remaining government building in this historic town.
Built before Federation, it remains largely unchanged since it was built in 1886. It has many features which fascinate visitors. This heritage listed building includes both the post office itself and the post masters residence.
No cost for entry but donations help us to care for the building so if you enjoy your experience, please leave a donation so that this iconic building may be maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.
The Old Post & Telegraph Office is run by Volunteers.
History of the Walhalla Old Post & Telegraph Office
In March 1886 the new post & telegraph office building opened in the prosperous township of Walhalla. It stood grandly amid a cluster of prominent buildings such as the Empire Hotel, the Roman Catholic Church, the Bank of Australasia, the Bank of Victoria and the Mechanics Institute.The addition of a veranda and then a public lobby soon followed to meet public demand.The post and telegraph business had grown to be the third largest in Gippsland handling nearly 50,000 items of mail a year.
A door separated the rear residential area from the front public area. Here the Post master could live in some comfort. There was even a set of bells to summon the service of a maid although the history doesn’t tell us if one was ever employed. But the building was not to house families as often as originally planned. In 1923, after five years as Post Mistress, Frances Seymour had to resign and vacate the premises when she married town clerk, Henry Sabine. Married women were not allowed to hold this important position. The same applied to her successor, Eileen Meehan in 1927 when she married policeman Ossie Clemann. Doreen Hannan took over as post mistress in 1928 but didn’t live in the building until 1948 when she purchased the building from the Commonwealth Government. She remained post mistress until 1963 at which time the Post Office transferred to the General store next door, Miss Hannan continued to live in the residence until 1988.
Miraculously the building has been spared from the disasters that have hit the township. In 1888 a flickering candle in a drapery store caught onto some straw hats and a disastrous fire resulted in much of the township being destroyed. During the Great Flood of 1891 when the creek behind the building banked up to a depth of ten feet the swirling torrent circled the building but it survived. In 1939 raging bushfires threatened the town but luckily didn’t reach the Walhalla town ship. Again in 1945 fire threatened but the Post Office escaped thanks to the efforts of a handful of local men. In 1978 flood waters swept through the building but did little damage. Most importantly for us today, it was Doreen Hannan who saved the building by not making any changes to it. She left it just as it was when she moved in as Post Mistress and this has allowed us to see it as it is now.
In 1988 the building was acquired by the Victorian Government in association with the then Narracan Shire. It is now listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and the National Register. It is the only original public building remaining in the town. The wallpapers in particular have been classified as highly significant.
It remained closed to the public for many years and was only reopened in 2011 by the Board of Management using Volunteers.
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4.00pm and Public Holidays.
Bookings are not required. However, please let us know if you have a group of 10 or more.
Group tours can be conducted out of normal hours by prior arrangement. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.