Post Office and General Store, Towamba
So, my place (Hartneady's store) wasn't a
shop when you first came here? (mid 1960's)
Sally: No. It wasn't. Just Towamba store. Towamba store was wonderful. Beautiful big wooden counters and wooden floor and everything hanging from the ceiling...hobble chains and horse shoes and buckets and mops and brooms and bridles...everything you could imagine hanging from the ceiling. The post office was that little room off the end of the veranda and the telephone exchange. We had a phone on the wall (at home) where you wound a handle to make the bell ring in the exchange and then you'd have to ask for the number you wanted and she would get the number for you and put you through. Then she'd say "Three minutes, are you extending?" It used to be a trunk call, anything from here (Pericoe) would be a trunk call, sometimes she'd be kind and let you have a little extra time. Nene Egan had an exchange at Pericoe. Mary Mitchell had one at Lower Towamba.
***Excerpt from the interview with Sally Mirams in 'The Forgotten Corner Interviews'.
"You'd put on a clean apron and go a
bit early to have a chat before the mail
arrived," said Phyllis South.
"You could get anything from a needle to an anchor there," says Harold Farrell.The general store would set a small room or area of the shop counter aside for receiving and attending to mail business. Local residents would gather outside on the veranda waiting for the mail car and in later years, the school bus. It was one of the main gathering areas in the small village of Towamba.
|Towamba store cut off in flood time
from residents on the south bank of the river.
Photo K. Clery
TELEGRAPH OFFICES OPENED
Bega: October 26, 1868
Bombala: May 15, 1867
Cooma: October 7, 1865
Delegate: October 16, 1882. (was established)
Pambula: September 4, 1880. Edward J.Cornell was station master.
Eden-Bombala line: June 6, 1868. (cost of construction was £,201/11/2)
Merimbula-Eden line: November 1, 1868. (line of 4 miles opened at Merimbula. Cost was £173/1/0)
Pericoe: No date available.George Arnold, Manager.
Rockton: No date available
Rocky Hall: No date available
Towamba: No date available
Wolumla: This office was opened before the office at Wyndham since Wolumla's revenue is mentioned in discussions on the viability of the Wyndham line.
Wyndham: November 12, 1889
|House built early in 1871, probably Lower
Towamba's first Post Office
(if not Towamba's first Post Office).
Possibly John Mitchell and family as the Mitchell family still owned the property
in the 1960s and it was still in use as a Post Office. (see below)
|Old Post Office and residence
|Old Post Office and residence.
POST OFFICES OPENED
SOURCE: Copied from letters to Wilf Ingram of Widden Farm, Towamba from Joy Shackcloth, Historical Officer, Public Relations section of Telecom Australia, February 10, 1982
June 9 , 1870
* Tenders Invited: for the conveyance of the mails between Delegate and Craigie, China Town, twice a week; and to and from Eden and Towamba, once a week.
'The Manaro Mercury, and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser'
Saturday 13 August 1870
A New Post Office has been established at Towamba, near Eden.
GREVILLE'S POST OFFICE DIRECTORY 1872
Distance 298 miles South of Sydney
Mail closes at General Post Office by Merimbula and Eden steamers.
Mail arrives at Post Town Thursday 5 pm.
Mail leaves for Sydney Thursday 8.30 am.
Mail arrives at Sydney by Merimbula and Eden steamers.
Route - Merimbula and Eden steamer, from Eden 15m. Towamba.
SURNAME - CHRISTIAN - OCCUPATION - ADDRESS - POST TOWN
ALEXANDER. John - farmer - Pericoe - Towamba
ALEXANDER. Robert - farmer - Pericoe - Towamba
BARES. Richard - farmer --- Towamba
BEARS. (should read Beare) Thomas - teacher --- Towamba
BENNIE. (should read Binnie)Alexander - farmer - Jinco Ck. - Towamba
BLAIZE. (should read Blaze)Thomas - blacksmith --- Towamba
BOZENSKI. Edward - farmer --- Towamba
BRUCE. John - carrier --- Towamba
FALKNER. Anthony - farmer --- Towamba
FALKNER. John - labourer --- Towamba
FAIRWEATHER. James - farmer - Wag Wag - Towamba
GATES. Henry - carter --- Towamba
HIGGINS. Robert - farmer --- Towamba
HYDE. John - farmer - Wattle Flat - Towamba
LAING. Allan - farmer --- Towamba
LAING. Donald - woodman --- Towamba
LAING. James - farmer --- Towamba
LAING. William - farmer --- Towamba
LAYCOCK. Maurice --- --- Towamba
LENARD. Austin - carpenter - Pericoe - Towamba
MARTIN. George - storekeeper --- Towamba
MARTIN. Samuel - farmer --- Towamba
MITCHELL. Edmond - farmer --- Towamba
OWEN. Edward - dairy --- Towamba
PARKER. George - carrier --- Towamba
PARKER. Samuel - farmer --- Towamba
PARKER. Samuel jun. - selector --- Towamba
POWERS. John - farmer --- Towamba
RIAN. (should read Ryan) Daniel - farmer --- Towamba
RIXSON. James - manager - Towamba Station - Towamba
RIXSON. Thomas - farmer - Towamba River - Towamba
ROBERTS. Charles - farmer --- Towamba
ROBERTS. James - farmer --- Towamba
ROBERTS. Robert - carrier --- Towamba
ROBINSON. John - farmer - Towamba River - Towamba
ROBINSON. Richard - farmer - Towamba River - Towamba
SHERWIN. John - manager - Burragate Station - Towamba
SHERWIN. John jun. - stockman - Towamba Station - Towamba
SLATTERY. John - farmer --- Towamba
STEVENSON. George - squatter - Wag Wag - Towamba
WETHERHEAD. (should read Weatherhead) A. - squatter - Nangutta - Towamba
'The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern
Thursday 20 November 1873
Eden and Towamba, once a week- Samuel Martin, horseback, 3 years, £17 per annum.
Excerpt from the 'OFFICIAL POST OFFICE DIRECTORY'
Towamba - 298 miles south of Sydney, in the Eden district. Mails close at G.P.O., Sydney, as steamers depart, and leave for Sydney, Thursdays, 8.30 a.m.
Alexander. John - farmer, Pericoe
Alexander. Robert - farmer, Pericoe
Beazeley. John - farmer
Binnie.A. jun., - selector, Janco Creek
Binnie. A. sen., - farmer, Janco Creek
Binnie. Charles - selector, Janco Creek
Binnie. David - selector, Janco Creek
Blaze. Thomas - blacksmith
Clements. William - farmer
Corcoran. Michael - selector
Donnelly. James, jun., - selector
Donnelly. James, sen.,
Donnelly. Thomas - selector
Doyle. B. - selector
Doyle. Roger - selector
Fairweather. James A. selector, Wag Wag
Falkner. Anthony - selector
Falkner. William - Pericoe
Higgins. Joseph - selector
Higgins. Robt. - selector
Kepple. Charles - Pericoe
Keys. David - selector, Burragate
Keys. William - selector
Laing. Allan - selector
Laing. Donald - selector
Laing. James, jun., - selector
Laing. James, sen., - farmer
Laing. William - selector
Mahers. Richard - selector
Martin. George - selector
Martin. Samuel - farmer
Mitchell. Edmond - farmer
Parker. George - carrier
Parker. John - carrier
Parker. Samuel, sen., - farmer
Pike. James - stockman
Rixon. Charles - selector, Rocky Hall
Rixon. Thomas - selector, Towamba River
Roberts. Charles - farmer
Robinson. J. jun., - selector, Towamba River
Robinson. J. sen., - selector, Towamba River
Robinson. R. - selector, Towamba River
Ryan. John - selector
Sawers. Peter - selector
Sherwin. J. jun., - selector, Burragate
Sherwin. John, sen.,
Sherwin. Wm. - selector, Burragate
Slattery. John, sen., - farmer
Stephenson. George - squatter, Wag Wag
Stiles. Clement J.W. - selector
Thelan. Francis - carpenter
Van Hemert. Augustus - Pericoe
Weatherhead. A. jun., - Nangutta
Weatherhead. A. sen., - squatter, Nangutta
Weatherhead. W. - selector
'The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern Coast Advertiser'
8 November 1882
* Eden -and Towamba, once a week, Donald Laing, 3 years at £20.
'The Bega Gazette and Eden District or Southern Coast Advertiser'
25 April 1883
Rocky Hall.-From Bombala Times we clip that the first meeting of the Rocky Hall Progress Committee was held on Saturday last. Mr. T. Collins was elected chairman. These motions were carried:-"That the Hon the Minister for Works be respectfully requested to cause immediate action to be taken re the erection of the bridge across the Towamba River at New Building." "That the Secretary be instructed to write to Messrs Garvan and Clarke, asking them to urge upon the Minister for Works to clear and form the road between Candelo and Wyndham." The next business discussed was a mail service between Candelo and Towamba, and it was agreed to petition the Postmaster-General, praying that such a service might be established, the same to leave Towamba on Thursdays, meeting the Manaro mail at Wyndham, and returning on Fridays from Candelo in time to catch the up Manaro mail. The writer reports feed fairly plentiful and dairying prospects cheering. He thinks the day is not far distant when Rocky Hall will take its place as an important dairying district, judging at least by the number of selections that have been recently taken up.
July 3, 1889
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
* POST-OFFICE.-A post-office will be established at Pericoe, near Towamba.
'Pambula Voice' July 7, 1893
* I am informed that a receiving office has been granted here. It is to be in charge of Mr. Samuel Shipway who has been a resident for some time. This will supply a long felt want and be a great convenience to residents.
* Mr. Shipway has now started a general store and saves the public many a mile for formerly the nearest stores were Wyndham and Towamba being upwards of seven miles away.
March 29, 1895
Pericoe & Wog Wog
Mr. Editor - I write to let you know that Pericoe and Wog Wog are still in existence. The latter is about 15 miles in a south-westerly direction from Towamba, with Pericoe situated midway between the two places. Messrs. John Ramsey and W. Moorehead own large areas of land in the locality of Wog Wog utilised for dairying purposes.....
It is considered by many that Wog Wog is a second Towamba, only the former is more heavily timbered and costs more to clear. A mail travels once a week from Pericoe to Wog Wog, Mr. William Ryan being postmaster at the former place, while Mrs. Sawers is in charge of a receiving office at the latter, which is a great boon to the surrounding settlers.
March 1, 1896
* The telephone line from Wyndham to Rocky Hall is being speedily pushed on, and when completed must prove a great boon to the residents of the latter place.
'Pambula Voice' January 14, 1898
At a meeting held here last Saturday night it was proposed to make a presentation to Mr. P. Crotty, late mail contractor. Mr. L. Goldberg presided and a substantial amount has been collected. Of the many drivers on this route none was more obliging or more courteous than the genial Pat.
'Eden Free Press and Eden District Advertiser'
8 February 1899
MAILS LEAVING:- For Towamba, Pericoe, &c., Monday and Friday at 2 p.m. For Kiah, Green Cape, Timbilica and Genoa (Victoria), mail closes Monday at 9 p.m. and is despatched on Tuesday at 6 a.m., also for Kiah, Friday, 1 45 pm.
For Tasmania (Hobartor Launceston) direct, as steamers depart.
December 1, 1899
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
An additional mail per week is to be run between Towamba and Eden after December 1.
'Pambula Voice' March 16, 1900
* On and after the 15th instant Eden is to be favoured with a through mail bag from Sydney.
* The postal authorities have signified their willingness to establish a telephone office at Kiah on certain conditions relating to guarantee etc., which are being considered by the residents of the river district. It is hoped that ere long an arrangement will be made for the establishment of direct telephonic communication between Kiah and Eden.
'Pambula Voice' March 23, 1900
* A telegraph office is about to be established at Burragate, connecting the latter with both Towamba and Wyndham.
January 31, 1902
* The mail from Pericoe to Nungatta, which has been run by Mr. J. A. Love, sen., for about ten years, is now run by Mr. J. M. Ryan via Wog Wog from Pericoe, instead of direct to Nungatta as heretofore.
August 29, 1902
* Wyndham....... Progress Committee... it was resolved to ask that Mr. Edwards, Post Master, be appointed Deputy Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at Wyndham, owing to the inconvenience caused through the present Register Office being at Eden - 28 miles distant.
October 17, 1902
* A few business changes have taken place lately. C.J. Tiy War of Bega has commenced business in the storekeeping line here. Mr. Poole has closed his blacksmith business and taken over that of Messrs. Watson and Jamieson, the latter retiring Mr. R. Woollett has again stocked his establishment with fruit and hop beer, and trade in general is fair.
Monday 22 December 1902
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
* The Yambulla mail coach from Eden on Wednesday was carried off the crossing at Nullica Creek. A quantity of provisions was lost. The mails were saved with difficulty. The Towamba River was not crossable yesterday.
* Mr. Wm. Collins has started in the butchering line, in the premises lately occupied by Mr. McDonald.
May 15, 1903
'Bombala Times and Manaro and Coast Districts General Advertiser'
Official Correspondence. -
Mr. Aus tin Chapman M.H.R is in receipt of the following from the Deputy Postmaster General, and has made further representations concerning same : - ' With reference to my letter of the 28th ultimo, acknowledging the receipt of yours of the 24th idem, further respecting the delivery of correspondence addressed to Messrs. Watson, Hunt, and Love, residents near Pericoe, I have the honor to intimate that, as already explained, the regulations, which are in operation throughout the Commonwealth, require that when a private mail bag is made up for any per son the service must be paid for. From enquiries made it would seem that the discontinuance of bags for the three residents mentioned has not been stopped, their mail being forwarded, has apparently been represented to you, but it is sent loose by the Pericoe, Muskgrove, and Nangutta mailman for either roadside de livery or to be placed in boxes. No hard ship has been inflicted, they can jointly subscribe for a private mailbag to be ad dressed to any one of their number, or if they do not care to pay for accommodation their correspondence can be delivered as at present. All over the country, persons living off mail routes provide boxes at the roadside for their mail matter, and in many cases letters of an important character are placed in such boxes.'
'Pambula Voice' January 29, 1904
*Attention is directed to the advertisement in another column intimating that Mr. S. Goldberg has opened a branch store at Towamba.
Wednesday 24 February, 1904
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
* In consequence of representations from the Eden Progress Association, the Postmaster General has decided to institute a direct mail service between Bombala and Eden three times a week, and a letter-receiving office is to be established at Lower Towamba.
April 1, 1904
* Mr. Adam Twyford, formerly in the employ of Mr. W. Collins, has opened a shop on his own account and is doing fair business.
May 27, 1904
* The Whipstick Post Office has been removed from Mr. Crawley's to Whipstick proper. This will be a great convenience for the Whipstick and Jingera residents. Mrs. John Robinson is the new Post Mistress.
June 10, 1904
* Mr. S. Goldberg, store keeper of Wyndham, who has for many years conducted a branch of his business at Rocky Hall, notifies that he has disposed of the latter to Mr. G. W. Beare. Mr. Goldberg has also sold his interest in the Towamba business to Mr. J. Kelly.
November 11, 1904
* Mr. A.L. Twyford has sold out his butchering business to Mrs. W. Collins who has the whole butchering trade here now. Mr. Twyford has an idea of starting a bakering business.
'Pambula Voice' January 6, 1905
FIRE AT TOWAMBA
The district coroner (Mr. J. H. Martin) secured information of Tuesday night that the general store and contents owned by Mr. P. McCloy of Towamba, were totally destroyed by fire on the previous night. We believe that the verdict was the accidental upsetting of a kerosene lamp. It is estimated that the loss amounts to about £800, which is partly covered by insurance.
February 9, 1905
'The Sydney Morning Herald'
* The Postmaster General is now calling for tenders for the erection of a telephone from Towamba to Yambulla, via Pericoe. The distance is estimated at 14 miles. The wire is to be run on trees where they are available.
This line will be a boon to the district, as all correspondence and traffic between Wangrabelle and Eden passes through Yambulla.
'Pambula Voice' April 7, 1905
On Monday 24 instant, Mr. Robinovitz's store under the management of Mr. McCloy was totally destroyed by fire. The buildings belonged to Mr McCloy and we are given to understand were insured, but the goods were not. Mrs McCloy was in the act of lighting up for the evening and accidentally let the lamp fall. The oil caught fire and spread so rapidly that in 15 minutes the whole building from end to end was a mass of flames.
'Pambula Voice' July 21, 1905
I hear that Mr Jas Kelly, storekeeper, is likely to sell out his business to Mr Cunnington and remove to other fields of action.
'Pambula Voice' August 25, 1905
Mr Kelly has disposed of his store business at Towamba to Mr Arthur Cunnington of Wyndham. Mr Kelly is bound for Adaminiby.
'Pambula Voice' September 8, 1905
Mr J. Kelly has sold his business to Mr A. Cunnington, late of Mr S. Goldberg's, Wyndham, and I believe he has taken charge of his new venture.
'Pambula Voice' December 1, 1905
Our new storekeeper (Mr Cunnington) is kept very busy and is becoming very popular. We believe he will make a success of his venture.
'Pambula Voice' March 2, 1906
Another building is going up in the township for Mr A. Parker.
14 June 1906
* A young man named Beattie was conveying mails from Nangutta to Towamba, when his horse fell and rolled over him. He sustained injuries which resulted in his death.
'Pambula Voice' August 9, 1907
Mr. Martin is pushing on with his work of building his new store. Mr. Martin is 86 years old.
'Pambula Voice' May 15, 1908
Mr. Wm. Laing of Towamba is very ill, his trouble being epilepsy. He is a very old resident of our village.
'The Southern Record and Advertiser'
3 December 1910
We are in receipt of the following copies of Departmental correspondence directed to Mr. Austin Chapman, M.H.R. : - Sir, - With reference to my communication, of the 19th August last, advising you of the receipt of petition submitted by the then Chief Secretary (Hon. W. H. Wood, M.L.A.) from Messrs. D. Binnie, J.P., A. A. Young, and S. Goldberg, and other residents of Wyndham, Towamba and Burragate for Monday's return trip from Towamba of the Wyndham Burragate Towamba mail service to be altered to Sunday I have the honor to intimate that the proposed alteration has been given a trial but inquiry shows that Burragate residents are indifferent as to whether Sunday or Monday is observed and the matter does not materially effect Wyndham. The residents of Towamba, however, desires reversion to the original time-table. It appears that when mails left on Mondays the number of letters despatched from Towamba averaged about 35 whereas it has fallen to about 10 since the Sunday trip has been observed. It has, therefore, been decided to revert to the former time-table as regards the trip referred to i.e. leave Towamba Monday 7 a.m. arrive Burragate 9.10 a.m. arrive Wyndham 10.25 a.m. - Yours, etc., E. J. Young, Deputy Postmaster General.
'Pambula Voice' April 21, 1911
* Our postmistress has resigned her position, and Mr. G. Martin, jnr., has taken on the job. The young lady, Miss J. Cunnington, is moving to North Narribri. We trust we may be allowed to - well, wish her bon voyage, and every happiness in the near future.
'Pambula Voice' August 4, 1911
Mr. John Hartneady has opened a branch store at Yambulla, and is, we are informed, doing good business. So, you see, our Towamba tradesmen have some push in them.
'Pambula Voice' September 26, 1913
Mr. G. Martin Jnr., is building a new hotel (15 rooms) opposite to Mr. A. Robinson's store. Work is to commence on 1 Oct.
'Pambula Voice' October 31, 1913
Mr. W. Arnold, for some years assistant manager for Mr A. Robinson, storekeeper, much to the regret of the public, has gone to Sydney…
'Pambula Voice' July 10, 1914
Mr. John Hartneady has decided to close his store at Yambulla, and is having it pulled down and going to rebuild the store and billiard room in Towamba
|Hartneady's old store and billiard room on
south side of the river. Sections of this building
were moved from Yambulla to Towamba after
the gold fields closed. This was still operating as a
General Store in Towamba until the 1940's.
Now private residence. Photo K.Clery
January 6, 1915
'The Bega Budget'
* Mr. Geo. Strickland has secured the mail contract from Eden to Yambulla, via Towamba and Pericoe, and commenced his duties on Friday.
EXTRACTS FROM SAND'S SYDNEY & NSW DIRECTORY 1915
County Commercial Towamba
Dickie. J.M. & J.T. - Butchers
Hartneady. John - Store
Kennedy. W.F. - Blacksmith
McCoy. Charles - Towamba Hotel
Robinson. Alfred - General Store
'Magnet' March 1929
* Ally Harris, has Towamba mail run.
'Magnet' July 13, 1929
* A Shell bowzer has been installed by Mrs. E. I. Parker at her store. It will, we feel sure, be a boon to motorists both local and travelling.
'Magnet' October. 1929
* Mrs. A. Parker is having a new Post Office building built at Towamba.
'Magnet' February 15, 1930.
* Hartneady's store still in business.
'Magnet' August 2, 1930
* The Towamba Post Office was originally on the old Martin property 'Elmlea', (upriver from the wine saloon)
'Magnet' November 1, 1930
* Two Eden stores will be equipped with electric light.
'Magnet' September 12, 1931
* Wireless has now entered our regime, Mr. McPaul having lately installed a set. Mrs. McPaul and family are spending the school vacation on their Pericoe property.
'Magnet' October 3, 1931
* Mr. Joe Arnold has been notified that he is the successful tenderer for the Eden-Pericoe mail run.
'Magnet' April 2, 1932
* Owing to resignation of the Post Master, our Post Office is also to change hands, but so far its future location is undecided.
'Magnet' June 18, 1932
* Mr. Roy Mitchell - Post Office at Lower Towamba.
November 24, 1932
* Mr. Donald Laing, a pioneer of the Pambula district, died on Sunday of last week in the Pambula Hospital, at the age of 82 years. At the age of 21 years he took up mail contracting, his first route being Eden to Towamba, when there was only a bridle track over Towamba mountain. Later he had the contract from Pambula to Merimbula, and later the Pambula-Nethercote mail. He continued this till the end of 1931, thus completing 61 years of continuous mail contracting service.
'Magnet' December 2, 1933
* Mr. Arthur Love - Pericoe - the successful tenderer for the mail run Towamba - Wyndham service.
'Magnet' September 22, 1934.
* A barber shop licence was granted to Mr. J. McLeod, Towamba.
'Magnet' November 3, 1934
* The new contract for the Eden-Towamba-Pericoe mail service for the next five years has been secured by Mr. Arthur Love, Towamba.
Magnet' November 17, 1934
* Mr. Arthur Love, successful tenderer for the Eden-Towamba-Pericoe mail run will commence duty in the early new year.
'Magnet' December 22, 1934
* Mr. J. T. McLeod, Towamba, desired that license fees for Barbers shops be reduced to 5 shillings per annum to be advised that Council had fixed the fee at 10 shillings and was indisposed to alter it.
'Magnet' December 21, 1935
* Towamba Post Office hours from January 2nd, will be 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 8pm on weekdays, 9am - 1pm on Saturdays.
'Pambula Voice' June 13, 1940
A fire which commenced in Mr R. I. Parker's store room at Towamba last week was extinguished before it did much damage. Several bags of sugar were burnt.
|Post Office at Burragate run by Mr.&
Jean McPaul Collection, Eden Killer Whale Museum.
'Magnet' August 3, 1961
KIAH NOW HAS ELECTRICITY
After years of agitation by Kiah residents to have electric power extended to the area they now have their wish granted at last.
The power line which has been under construction for some months has been energised as far as the Kiah hall. Some residents have been connected and are now enjoying the benefits of the power for which they have fought so tenaciously.
The date for the celebration of the turning on of the electricity has been set for August 25th when an outstanding night has been promised.