WYCHEPROOF HISTORICAL SOCIETY

WYCHEPROOF'S EARLY YEARS

The information following has been found in newspaper cuttings and from the book Pioneers & Progress by M P Boyce

THE FIRST BUSINESS PLACES

The first business place built in Wycheproof was the Mount Wycheproof Hotel, a weatherboard building of five rooms, on the western side of the Mount, The first store was established by Mr Fred Passey, on the Eastern side of the Mount & with it the first Post Office. Mr Felix Smith built a hotel & store - the Royal Mail. The post office,on the eastern side of the Mount was transfered from Mr JJ Ryan to Mr Felix Smith, who conducted it until the railway line was constructed , giving Wycheproof its first telegraphic communication.
The new townships first general store was set up in 1876, when the store was built and a Mr Kozminsky, with his partner Mr Hamgurg , began business. On February 3, 1882, Mr Kozminsky sold his interest in the store to his partner.Business apparently flourished for at the end of March the same year, Mr Hamburg had bought the business completely from his former partner (The store was located on the corner of Charles St and Broadway) continuing then for 3 years until he sold in March 1885,to George Tipping, of StArnaud. Mr Tipping ran the business until 1906 when he sold out to George McDonald, who earlier had been an employee at the store.
Mr McDonald bought Tipping's store, demolished it and used a large portion of the materials for additions to his own store (originally built by Mr Stowe) and this combined building is still in use today. The liquor licence No 210 has been a continuous licence since 1877 to this day


THE FIRST NEWSPAPER

The first newspaper at the Mount was the " Free Lance ". It was printed in two rooms at the rear of the Mount Wycheproof Hotel, but had a short existence. When Mr Boase arrived and started up the " Ensign " , the original paper folded up , two of its staff  Messers Hewett and Odgers, joined  the staff of the " Ensign ".
December 9th 1881, was the date of publication of the first issue of the Wycheproof  "Ensign". Its owner -editor was Mr T Boase, a man of great energy, a tireless townsman, and a fighter for all causes he considered to be worthwile.

FIRST MAIL SERVICE

The first mails came by coach from Charlton through Glenloth, Moffat, Wycheproof station and Fort Cameron. Cobb and Co. commenced a coach service with mails from StArnaud, serving the settlers with a mail on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, leaving Wycheproof at 6am and returning  at 9.30 pm. The first driver was Mr John Hall. Later, a tri-weekly mail service was run to Towaninnie  (Finlay's Station) with Ben Robinson as driver of the coach
Cobb and co Coaches meet in 1894

STATE SCHOOL

When a site was selected for a school at Wycheproof in October 1875, a meeting was called to discuss building of the school, It was held at Camp Park, the property of Mr T Passey, on October 15.Mr Huncleslider, the German born father of 12 children ,was voted to the chair. After discussion of the proposed building project, a committee of 13 was formed to raise the money to build the school. From donations and with their own labour, the committee erected the school building having it ready to open in 1876.(Mr Morgan was the head teacher of this Wycheproof school).
After about six years the school became too small for the number of children attending, and a request for a larger school was made to the Education Department. In 1882 a new school was built with Mr Morgan continuing as head teacher until his appointment to Learmonth State School as head teacher in 1886. As the township was well established on the west of the Mount and the school was still over on the east side, removal of the school to a more central position seemed logical. The discussion became heated since residents on the east of the Mount were. naturally enough, reluctant to agree to the removal of the school from their vicinity. West-side residents however,appeared to have the stronger argument when they pointed out that the present school had been built for 84 children (in 1882) and there were currently 100 on the roll, only 16 of them being from the east. The west-side therefore won the decision and plans went ahead for the removal of the school, although it was June 1893, almost two years after the decisive meeting before these plans could be effected.The school was delivered to the new site and was ready for use by August 23.
This building is now the library at the present school and as such, we are fairly sure it is the oldest building left in the town. The Education Department expects this building will suffice for many years to come.

POLICE STATIONS

The first Police Station was at Mr Passey's residence (he opened the first store on the east side of the Mount) with a lock-up in the back yard, near the school. Constable James Anderson was the first of the Police to arrive and was followed by Constables Sharkey and Gribbin.  New Police quarters were erected in Mr JJ Ryan's paddock in 1883. The building which is well built consists of 4 rooms, each 12' x 12', the walls being 11'in the clear. A passage 4' in width runs the entire length of the building, which together with rooms is tastefully papered.The front of the house is sheltered by a verandah, which is boarded and ornamented with friezework. A two-stalled stable has also been erected.Ryans paddock is just over the east side of the Mount, the pepper trees once surrounding the house can still be seen.
NOTE;- Mounted Constable Sharky, had also been appointed as Inspector of Nuisances at 5 Pound per annum he protested to Council  at the lack of pay for the extra job . He declared he was not willing to carry on as Inspector of Nuisances without pay.