Post Office

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Grafton Post and Telegraph Office, Victoria Street, c.1890's. - Photo by Carl Ehlers.

Extract from : "The City of Grafton" a 1981 CRHS Publication.


The first postal services in the district were carried out by Arthur Price from his slab-hut store in 1840. Later Joseph Sharp took over this role. The first Government paid Postal Service was run by Thomas Fisher from 1859-1 870 at his store on the banks of the Clarence River.

The Telegraph Office originally housed in the Court House in 1862 was transferred to premises in Prince Street in 1865. In 1870 the Postal Dept. was also transferred to these premises and both services continued to function from there until 1878.

In 1874, Mr. Thomas Bawden, M.P. arranged for government funds and tenders were called for the erection of a new Post and Telegraph Office, to be located in Victoria Street. The architect was James Barnett, Colonial Architect, and Mr. William Kinnear was the successful contractor. In October of that year Mrs. Thomas Fisher, the Mayoress of Grafton, laid the foundation stone amid great ceremony which was followed by an official luncheon and a ball that night. Due to departmental problems in Sydney, the building was still not completed over three years later and much comment was made in the local papers about the high cost of renting the Prince Street premises and the delay in completing the new building. By early 1878, the main building had been completed and the staff quickly moved in, although the new furniture and fittings did not arrive until late the following year. Due to the incomplete nature of the building at the time there was no grand official opening.

The clock, built to replace the 1 o’clock time gun (which was very unpopular with Graftonians and mysteriously disappeared in 1874), was not installed until 1879. Although this clock did strike, it was out of sight of all the mair, business houses in Prince Street and so a more centrally located clock tower was the first choice of the City Fathers when a Jubilee Memorial was suggested in 1909.

The Post Office is part of the National Trust Victoria Street Classified group.


© Clarence River Historical Society Inc. PO Box 396, Grafton, NSW 2460

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