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Euroa, VIC

Town where Ned Kelly held up the National Bank

Euroa is a substantial country town located beside Seven Creeks, a tributary of the Goulburn River, between Seymour and Benalla. The district has long been noted for its fine-wool production and its thoroughbred horse industry, although its name is probably more familiar in relation to Australia's most famous bushranger Ned Kelly. He held up the local bank and stole £2000.

Location

Euroa is located 147 km north-east of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway. It stands at an elevation of 175 m above sea level.

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Origin of Name

The area was occupied by the Ngurelban Aborigines prior to European settlement and it is probably from their language "Yera-o" or "Urowa" meaning "joyful" or "push".

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Things to See and Do

There is a two page Euroa Heritage Trail (https://www.visiteuroa.org.au/heritage) which lists a total of 35 places of historic interest in the town. There are excellent and detailed signs outside the relevant places. The most interesting include:

1. The Farmers’ Arms Hotel - and Museum
Located at 25 Kirkland Avenue, and now operating as the Farmers Arms Hotel Museum, this building, completed in 1876, was a hotel for about 35 years. In the 1920s Mrs Edith Smith turned it into a boarding house and ran it as such for over 50 years. In 1974 it became the Farmers’ Arms Hotel Museum. It has an impressive collection of local memorabilia (clothing, household items), farm machinery and old buggies. Adjacent is a small timber building that was originally the National Bank building at Longwood. The museum is open Wednesday and Sunday from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm. Tel: (03) 5795 2483 or https://www.historyvictoria.org.au/directory/listing/euroa-historical-and-genealogical-society-inc.

3.Hume and Hovell Cairn
Located near the bridge on Kirkland Avenue, is the Hume and Hovell Cairn which commemorates the 1824 journey of the first European explorers in the district. It was erected in 1924 as part of the centenary and is one of 33 monuments which were erected from Violet Town to Everton. Each was unveiled between 15-21 November, 1924 to match when the explorers had passed through the area. For more information check out http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/landscape/exploration/display/33648-hume-and-hovell-expedition.

4. St Paul's Anglican Church 
Located in Clifton Street, St Paul's Church of England was built for £800 (with a debt of £300) and was completed in November 1884. This is the nave of the present church. Over the years the church has been enhanced to include the English Gothic Bell Tower designed by Louis Williams which was added in 1929 (it cost £400), and a Baptistry and Lady Chapel (built in 1978). There is a very detailed history of the church at http://www.anglicaneuroa.org.au/st-paul-s-euroa. The stained glass window and Stephen Laurie Pipe Organ are listed in the Victorian Heritage Database.

5. The School House
Located on Clifton Street, Euroa Primary School No. 1706 opened in 1876, replacing Euroa School 217 which was a Church of England School.

6. Former Methodist Church
Located on the corner of Binney Street and Bury Street, the former Methodist Church was built by G. Whyte in 1897 at a cost of £30. It is a simple red-brick Gothic Chapel.

7. Euroa Court House
Located at 99 Binney Street, the Euroa Court House was constructed in 1892 to a design by  J.T. Kelleher of Public Works Department. The Victorian Heritage Database notes that "The building is an outstanding and essentially intact example of a small number of buildings designed at a time when the Public Works Department was experimenting with new styles while exploring the idea of a uniquely Australian architecture. The former Euroa Court House is one of a group of buildings responding to the American Romanesque of the late nineteenth century ... it retains a substantial part of its purpose built furniture including witness box, prisoner's dock, clerk of court's bench and judicial bench." Check https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/440 for more detailed information.

8. St John the Evangelist Church
Located at 34 Kirkland Avenue, the St John the Evangelist Church was built in 1886-1887 by Lawrence Hanlon of Benalla.  The architects were Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy. It is a simple redbrick Gothic Chapel which was dedicated on 6 March, 1887. The church cost £2000 to build.

10. Euroa Flour Mill
Located at 17 Kirkland Avenue is the old Euroa Flour Mill which was built by Jared Graham in 1873. Brands of flour produced were “Pride of Victoria” and “White Eagle”. It is important historically as one of Euroa’s early large industries, and notable architecturally for its Romanesque detailing such as the banded brickwork central arch (now painted over) and the Art Nouveau-patterned, rendered bank at the parapet line.

14. National Bank
Located at the corner of Binney and Railway Streets, this was the third National Bank built in Euroa. The Victorian Heritage Database writes that the bank "was designed by the architects Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy and was built in 1885 by O'Dea and Kennedy at a cost of £5,000. It was the third National Bank built in Euroa within twelve years, reflecting the growth and prosperity of the Euroa region and of northern Victoria at this time. The first bank, a weatherboard hut, and a manager's cottage were built in 1873, following the opening of the railway through Euroa in the same year." It notes its exceptional quality and grandeur. "The former National Bank in Euroa is a Queen Anne style building, with a single storey banking chamber on the corner of Railway Street and a grand two storey manager's residence and a garden behind. Both the bank and residence are of red and cream brickwork with stone detailing, with gabled slate roofs and elaborate chimneys. The former banking chamber has large segmental arched windows with triple lights on two sides, and small ventilation dormers in the roof. The entry porch has been extended towards the south. Internally the banking chamber retains some original features, including the high coved ceiling and deep skirtings. Opening off this room is the former manager's office (which once opened directly into the house), and the safe built by Hobbs, Hart and Co of London. The house is a grand two storey building, which is considerably larger than the bank building. It has a separate recessed entrance porch facing Railway Street and a two storey cast iron and timber verandah overlooking Binney Street." For more information check out https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/2441.

15. Blairgowrie
Located at 47-53 Binney Street, “Blairgowrie” was built for H. London, a pharmacist in 1890. The London’s name, and that of his wife, “HL” & FL London” and the date of erection “1890” worked into the panels on the facade. There is a detailed sign outside. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Database.

18. Post Office
The impressive Euroa Post Office is located at 90 Binney Street. Described on the Commonwealth Heritage List as "Euroa Post Office of 1890, which originally incorporated a post office, telegraph office, sub-treasury and integrated residence, has been a very prominent and highly visible public and postal building for 120 years in Euroa, and forms an important streetscape pairing with the nearby 1892 Court House. The substantial post office incorporates part of an earlier 1880s postal building, which burnt down; it also underwent major remodelling and additions in the 1960s ... Stylistically and architecturally, Euroa Post Office in its original form was a fine example of a design which combined Romanesque style with American freestyle and Federation Queen Anne influences. It was also one of several 1890s post office and courthouse designs where a free Romanesque style was mixed with other treatments. The 1960s alterations and additions altered the building front quite substantially, particularly in relocating the entries, and are confusing at one level as they attempted to retain and work within the original freestyle. On the other hand, the thoroughness with which the free Romanesque was pursued in these alterations was rare in Australia in the early 1960s, coming before Romanesque and nineteenth century Italianate and freestyles were generally well understood in architectural circles." Check http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detail;place_id=106201 for a very detailed assessment.

22. Euroa Hotel
Located in Railway Street, the Euroa Hotel was built without the veranda by George Sutherland in 1884. The sign explains that "The style is an adaptation of Queen Anne work suitable for a country hotel, the architects being the then well-known to Euroa Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy." There had previously been a timber hotel on the site and the new brick building was claimed to be the best of its kind outside Melbourne.

24. Railway Station
Located on Railway Street, the Euroa station in 1873 and the first permanent station building was erected in 1878 just before the Kelly Gang robbed the Euroa National bank. The platform was initially 91m long, being extended to 120m in 1900. A second 91m long platform once existed against the goods shed wall and in use between 1880 and 1904 to permit the handling of two crossing passenger trains. An iron footbridge linked the two platforms between 1900 and 1904.

25. North Eastern Hotel
The huge and impressive North Eastern Hotel is located on northern side of the railway line. It was built by O'Dea and Kennedy at the corner of De Boos and Elliott Streets by Michael McKenna in 1889 at a cost of £5000. The building contains 300,000 bricks and has 48 rooms. When the furnishings were added the total cost was £9000. It is recognised as one of the largest hotels outside Melbourne. As a symbol of its confidence it has a superb second storey verandah and High Victorian style. It was originally known as O'Keefe's North Eastern Hotel.

26. Butter Factory
Located on Boundary Road, Euroa’s huge Butter Factory was built in 1901 at a cost of £7000. It is an historically important building which is functional but its size and the quality of its brickwork bear witness to the role the dairy industry played in the development of Euroa around the beginning of the twentieth century. It currently operates as: "Beautiful boutique Bed and Breakfast accommodation has been established within the old building along with function spaces on the old factory floor and within the garden for a special celebration. The old butter storeroom, now known as ‘The Store’ is open on weekends serving great regional produce, wine and craft beers." Check out http://www.euroabutterfactory.com.au.

32. Fermoy and the Old Euroa Inn
Located at the corner of Tarcombe and Gobur Streets is “Fermoy”. The sign outside, part of the excellent Heritage Trail, explains: "Fermoy is Euroa's oldest building and was built by Maurice Garrett himself. The bricks were made from clay found nearby. He had purchased the land in 1857. He commenced the Euroa Inn in 1863 and held the licence for 49 years with an exceptional record of not one incident being recorded against him. It is believed that Benjamin Gould stayed here so he could inform the Kelly Gang of the goings on in the town in the lead up to the bank robbery in December 1878. It was occupied continuously by the Garrett family until 2001 and was re-established by the Young family."

Miniature Steam Train
Located at 11 Turnbull Street and running on the fourth Sunday of the month, the Euroa Miniature Railway is a non-profit organisation which is designed "to provide fun and entertainment to the community young and old". For more information check out its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/Euroa-Miniature-Railway-125300524187531/about/?ref=page_internal) for tel: 0458 958 758.

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Other Attractions in the Area

Eliza Forlonge Memorial
Located on Eliza Forlonge's grave at the foot of the Gardens Range. The memorial can be accessed via the Euroa-Strathbogie Road. Nine km from Euroa turn left onto Forlonge Memorial Road. The memorial, which is in the shape of a wool bale, is about 6 km along this road. The Memorial was established in 1933 as a tribute to Eliza Forlonge who introduced the first fine-wool Saxon merino sheep into Victoria. She hand-picked the sheep in Saxony then had them shipped to Tasmania in 1829-1830. The Forlonge family bought and moved to Seven Creeks station near Euroa in 1851.

Walks in the area
There is an excellent site (https://euroa.squarespace.com/walks) which provides details and brochures for five walks in the local area. Most of the information can be downloaded and provides handy maps.

* Seven Creeks Walking Track
Established in 1988 as a Bicentennial project, this 7 km walk (about 90 minutes) starts at the east end of Bury Street and is a figure eight formation with a 3 km circuit to the north and a 4 km circuit to the south. The brochure describes the walk as "situated on a natural floodplain and is largely made up of two types of vegetation communities, Floodplain Riparian Woodland and Plains Grassy Woodland. The dominant trees are River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) providing hollows and canopy for habitat. Silver Wattle and Blackwood providing nectar when in flower and there is a ground cover of grasses, herbs (non-woody small plants), fallen branches, twigs and leaves. The variety of habitats attract a range of fauna, such as microbats, possums, gliders, koalas, echidnas, snakes, blue tonged lizards, geckos and skinks. Regular bird surveys have been conducted recording over ninety different bird species. Granite boulders can be found along the creek towards the southern section of the reserve. The creek bed can change as a result of soil from the banks eroding due to fluctuating water levels and water flow velocity creating backwater billabongs and deposits of sediments forming sand bars and sand slugs. The creek supports habitat for aquatic species such as native and exotic fish, water rats, platypus, and frogs. A fish ladder is installed, adjacent to the weir, enabling fish to swim up and down the stream for breeding as part of their natural life cycle."

* Bridge to Bridge Walking Track
This pleasant track between two bridges can start at either Smith's Bridge or Spring Creek Bridge. It takes about 15 minutes one way or 30 minutes return and passes along the banks of Seven Creeks and Spring Creek. The brochure explains: "You’ll walk beneath a canopy of Swamp Gums along the creek where you can see a variety of bird and animal life – ducks, bush birds, even Platypus and Koala. There are wooden benches spaced at intervals along the track and information boards for those interested in local natural history information."

* Balmattum Hill Walking Track
This is both a short and long walk. The short walk is only 294 metres and goes from the car park to the rotunda. The long walk is 1036 metres, passes a rock stack built by soldiers during World War II (they carried rocks up the hill as part of their training) and offers views over the Victorian Northern Plains. The brochure describes the walk "Balmattum Hill Bushland Reserve was established in 1979 and consists of 78.6 ha of crown land under the management of Parks Victoria. The vegetation community is Grassy Woodland, White Box (Eucalyptus albens) being the dominant tree species with Grey Box, Red Box and Wattles also present. A range of grasses such as Kangaroo, Wallaby and Spear cover the ground as do lichens and moss and herbs, together with a range of shrub species. The Balmattum Hill Bushland Reserve is home to many different kinds of native fauna such as birds: owls, parrots, honeyeaters, finches, treecreepers, kookaburras; mammals: microbats, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, gliders, phascogales; and reptiles: tree goannas, snakes, blue tongued lizards, skinks and geckos."

* Golden Mountain Walking Track
This is a 4 km walk which varies from easy to moderate and takes around three hours.  The excellent brochure explains that it is a 45 minute drive from Euroa and describes the walk as "a slow ramble towards the peak of Golden Mountain. Walking along old logging tracks you will pass large moss covered granite boulders, Eucalypts including Peppermint Gum and Ti-tree thickets. At the summit you will be rewarded with magnificent views to both the east and west."

* Ruffy Snow Gum Reserve Walking Track
Located 33 km south of Euroa at Noyes Lane (off Buntings Hill Road, two kilometres from Ruffy township. Starting at Ruffy Recreation Reserve Gate) is the Ruffy Snow Gum Reserve. The brochure describes the walk as "This track meanders down an unused road reserve through open narrow-leaf peppermint forest until it crosses a walking bridge and enters the Ruffy Flora Reserve. A circuit of this reserve takes you through swampy riparian woodlands dominated by ancient mountain swamp gums, past a tiny population of snow gums, remnants of a colder climate and skirts a chain of dark deep billabongs into bandicoot and koala territory."

Mt Wombat Lookout
Mt Wombat Lookout is located 20 km south of Euroa via the Euroa-Strathbogie Road. It lookout provides panoramic views of the area from Mount Wombat (799 m). It is possible to see both the Goulburn Weir at Nagambie and the Waranga Basin from the lookout. Check out https://www.visitmelbourne.com/regions/high-country/things-to-do/nature-and-wildlife/scenic-lookouts/mt-wombat-lookout.

Polly McQuinns Weir
Located 25 km south of Euroa and east of the Gooram Falls, this reservoir is well signposted to the south of Strathbogie. Water cascades over rocks at this place which is a reservoir, a concrete weir, bridge and a swimming hole. It is ideal for a picnic. For more information check out https://www.visitmelbourne.com/regions/High-Country/Things-to-do/Nature-and-wildlife/Lakes-and-waterways/Polly-McQuinns.

Gooram Falls
Located 21 km south of Euroa, the Gooram Falls are two cascades in Seven Creek. It is an ideal place for bushwalking and has good picnic and simple barbecue facilities. There is an excellent and detailed website. Check out https://waterfallseasons.com/waterfalls-in-victoria-gooram-falls-euroa.htm.

Longwood
Located 21 km south-west of Euroa via the Hume Freeway, Longwood was established a few years prior to Euroa. Today it is a tiny town with a number of historic buildings particularly the White Hart Hotel which dates from the 1880s.

Ned Kelly and Euroa
The famous/infamous bushranger Ned Kelly committed one of his most famous robberies at Euroa. Ned, who was only 22 at the time, and his younger brother Dan hid in the Wombat Ranges to the south-east of Euroa in 1878 and that was where Ned killed three constables during a shoot out.
In December, 1878 one of the members of the gang, Steve Hart, was sent into Euroa to reconnoitre the town and its potential. On December 9, the gang raided the Younghusband Station on Faithfull Creek 7.5 km from Euroa. They were planning to use it as a base for their first bank robbery. Taking over the property involved locking 22 people in a storeroom and leaving Joe Byrne as a guard. Then Ned and Dan Kelly and Steve Hart cut the telegraph lines (to stop communication with the police in Benalla) and rode into Euroa where, just on closing time, they robbed the National Bank which at the time was located at the corner of Binney and Railway Streets. With little sense of history it was demolished in 1975.
The gang's robbery was successful. They stole £2000 in cash and gold (the best source claims they took "68 £10 notes, 67 £5 notes, 418 £1 notes, £500 in sovereigns, about £90 in silver; and a 30 oz ingot of gold) and took the bank manager, his mother, wife and seven children, two servants and two tellers to Faithful Creek station where they held them until late in the evening.
According to reports the gang were gentlemanly and polite with their 'guests' and entertained them with trick riding. Ned spoke at length. He explained his actions, listed his grievances (particularly regarding the police) and he handed over a lengthy document which outlined his reasons for his actions. It was to be mailed to politician Donald Cameron whom they hoped would put their case before parliament (which he did not).
At eight o'clock in the evening Ned declared that nobody was to leave for three hours after the gang's departure, on pain of death, then they rode off into the Strathbogie mountains.
When one of the captives returned to Euroa he was thought to be joking until the bank was checked and it was found that the doors and safe were open and nobody there. The next morning a number of police and black trackers arrived from Benalla by train. As a result of the Euroa robbery the reward was doubled and the gang's run was eventually terminated at the famous shootout at Glenrowan in June, 1880.

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History

* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was home to the Ngurelban Aborigines.

* The first Europeans in the district were explorers Hume and Hovell in 1824.

* In 1837 Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell passed through the area on his Australia Felix expedition.

* Overlanders drove their stock through an area to the north of the present townsite in 1837 or 1838 while following the track cut by explorer Thomas Mitchell in 1837.

* Squatters began taking up runs in the district in 1838.

* One of the first runs of 28,300 ha, named Seven Creeks, was established by Janet Templeton and Eliza Forlonge in 1838.

* Urowa station was taken up by James Kirkland in 1840.

* Euroa was surveyed in 1849.

* In 1850-1851he settlement was planned as a roadside squatting centre on the road from Melbourne to Wodonga. Drovers camped at the spot due to a permanent water supply.

* At Seven Creeks station the first fine-wool Saxon merino sheep in Victoria were introduced in 1851 by Eliza Forlonge.

* By 1852 the townsite consisted of Euroa homestead and two huts occupied by a bootmaker and a married couple who worked on Euroa station.

* A hotel opened in 1853.

* A post office opened in 1854. The first school was established that year.

* In 1856 wheat farming began on small blocks. That same year Euroa became a regular coach stop on the Melbourne to Beechworth run and an Anglican school was opened.

* In 1857 an Anglican Church was opened in the town.

* The first Catholic church was built in 1867.

* Floods devastated Euroa in 1870.

* The town's boundaries were extended in 1872.

* In 1873 the railway reached the town. That year saw a flour mill opened in the town.

* In 1874 the railway reached the town. That year saw a road cut through to link up with the Shepparton Road.

* In 1878 a National Bank was opened.

* In the Wombat Ranges to the south-east of Euroa, in 1878, the bushranger Ned Kelly killed three constables.

* On December 9, 1878 the Kelly gang took over the Faithfull Creek sheep station, 7.5 km from Euroa, using it as a base while they prepared for their first bank robbery.

After cutting the telegraph lines, the Kelly brothers and Steve Hart proceeded to Euroa where on 10 December they robbed the National Bank and stole £2000 in cash and gold and then took the bank manager, his mother, wife and seven children, two servants and two tellers to Faithfull Creek station where they held them until late in the evening.

* Euroa Shire was established in 1879.

* As a result of the Euroa robbery the reward was doubled and the gang's run was eventually terminated at Glenrowan in June 1880.

* A weekly newspaper's first edition appeared in 1884.

* A butter and ice factory was opened in 1891.

* A Court House was opened in 1892.

* In 1895 Violet Town became a separate shire.

* A Higher Elementary School was opened in 1919.

* A Catholic Primary School was opened in 1921.

* The town acquired a Bush Nursing Hospital in 1929.

* The Euroa Shire Hall was opened in 1939.

* In 1951 the Euroa Butter Factory closed.

* Euroa High School opened in 1956.

* In 1994 the town was absorbed into the Strathbogie Shire.

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Visitor Information

Euroa Hub Tourist & Resident Information, 50 Binney Street, tel: 1800 444 647 or (03) 5795 1199. The 1800 number connects to the Nagambie Visitor Information Centre, 293 High Street, Nagambie.

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Useful Websites

There is no dedicated local website but https://www.travelvictoria.com.au/euroa/ is useful.

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