Stanthorpe in 1898

Children outside St. Joseph's Convent School Stanthorpe, ca. 1898

The following is an excerpt from ‘They Came to a Plateau’ by Jean Harslett and Mervyn Royle.


A brief resume of increased services and other offices reflects the changes brought about by Stanthorpe’s floating and skyrocketing population:

September 1872: Extended mail services from Warwick to Stanthorpe to seven days a week.

Also the post office opened daily (Sunday excepted).

January 1873: A Stanthorpe to Ballandean bi-weekly service was introduced and also Stanthorpe to Bookookooara bi-weekly.

The first country post offices were opened in January 1873 at Ballandean and Sugarloaf respectively.

The office at Ballandean was attached to “Britannia House” and Mr Thos Fletcher was appointed postmaster.

He continued in this capacity for an excellent term.

Also in January 1873 a post office was opened at Sugarloaf, the new office attached to the Sugarloaf Hotel.

1873 also brought the extension of a mail service from Stanthorpe to Inglewood.

1878: Brought two more extended coach mail services and a Post Office to Pikedale Homestead.

The same year a post office at “Pikedale Reefs” in the far north west of the district, on the newly found “Gold Fields” was opened.

1881: The construction of the new Southern Border Railway Line, employing 900 people, created the establishment of a post office at Dalveen.

There were two mail services emanating in the same year from Dalveen, one to the Pikedale Road and school house, six times a week.

It became the Dalveen Mountainside service in 1883.

1882: Kyoomba established a Post Office with Mr W. Spiller in charge.

1885: Wallangarra Post Office was opened, coinciding with the rail border link and the same year the Stanthorpe – Ballandean mail coach service was extended.

The latter was instituted because of angry protests by railway construction workers who had to “traverse rough indecent roads to Fletcher’s” for mail, the only other point where they could receive mail being Stanthorpe.

1887: On 14 February, the first mail was forwarded by train from Stanthorpe to Wallangarra.

1890: Mountside P.O. was established and Mrs E. McLucas installed as postmistress.

1896-98: Private mail-boxes were introduced in Stanthorpe, but only two people took advantage of them.

The 1900’s brought further development of the fruit industry and closer settlement.

Many new offices were opened and services extended in subsequent years.

It is interesting to note that a telephone directory of 1909 had only 45 names on it.

The only country subscriber was C.F. White of “Pikedale”.