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History

GHOSTS, GOLD & A WHITE ELEPHANT

On 27 March 2011, the Wandong - Heathcote Junction Community Group launched a book on the history of Wandong, Clonbinane and Heathcote Junction and called "Ghosts, Gold & A White Elephant".  The content of the book took two years to collate.  It was written by Mr Ron Pickett who was brought up in Wandong where his father was Stationmaster for 27 years.  The book retails at $45 (plus $10 postage if applicable) and can be ordered through "contact us" on this website.

WANDONG TIMBER AND BRICK INDUSTRY

In its heyday Wandong boasted a large timber industry, seasoning works and brickworks.

The great days of Wandong lasted from 1885 until 1902 when the Australian Seasoned Timber Co ran a large timber seasoning and joinery works near the station. Timber was drawn from the hills to the east via a lengthy tramway.

Wandong Railway Station was the former terminus for the Mount Disappointment State Forest tramways. In the 1880's Mount Disappointment State Forest was riddled with tramway lines and logging settlements and the Wandong Railway Station boasted a large timber seasoning and joinery works (built in 1884/85) with several rail sidings for the loading and transport of timber. However, all physical recognition of this has disappeared over time.

 

Timber Seasoning Company circa 1900

 

The Old Wandong Public Hall - click here for rates

Originally built in 1902 the hall was first known as the Wandong Mechanics Institute and Free Library. A donation of timber from the Australian Seasoned Timber Company helped build the hall and it was the social hub of Wandong for many years with dances and gatherings on a regular basis. The hall celebrated it's centenary in 2002.

Heathcote Junction Railway Station is on the main Melbourne to Sydney railway line and was the junction for the now closed Heathcote Junction to Kilmore/Heathcote/Bendigo and Kilmore/Lancefield railway lines. Originally named Summit, it was altered to Kilmore Junction in 1888, then to Heathcote Junction in 1922. Heathcote Junction railway station is the highest point (349 metres) and has the steepest grade on the North Eastern railway line between Broadmeadows and Albury.

THE HUME FREEWAY

Construction of the Hume Freeway bypass from Wallan - Broadford began in 1969. Completed in 1976, it was opened by the then Premier of Victoria, Rupert J. Hamer. The Freeway and the North East Railway line has provided easy access to the city of Melbourne.