Tallarook 3659

Tallarook is a rural township and district in central northern Victoria, 10 km. south of Seymour. It is on the railway line from Melbourne and on the Hume Freeway, which pass between hilly ranges east and west of the township.

Tallarook was the name of a pastoral run supposedly originating with the overlander, Joseph Hawdon, in 1838. In any event there was a Tallarook homestead erected in 1841 or 1842 when the run was tenured by the Jamieson brothers. The run adjoined the Goulburn River and the King Parrot Creek, extending almost from the present township to Seymour.

In 1855 river flats in the Tallarook pastoral run were sold as farms, which were used for growing cereals, dairying and fattening of stock. A school was opened in 1864, and another about five kilometres to the north in 1867, where Dysart railway siding was later situated. In 1872 the railway to Seymour came through Tallarook, and the station served as a transport point for local saw mills. Between 1882 and 1891 Tallarook became an increasingly active railway junction as lines were opened eastwards to Yea and Mansfield. An Anglican church was opened in 1884, and the second Catholic church, St. Joseph's, was opened three years later. A mechanics' institute was built in 1891.

Sporting activities were added to Tallarook: the local football team was premiers for six consecutive years during the 1890s, and golf and tennis facilitates were provided in the early decades of the next century.

Tallarook became best known by the national saying "Things is crook in Tallarook," popularised during the second World War by soldiers, many of whom probably trained at nearby Puckapunyal.

The Hume Highway passes through the township, but since the early 1980s it has been quieter with the nearby freeway carrying most traffic. Tallarook has received a small boost in population since the freeway put it within commuting distance from metropolitan Melbourne. The school has continued and there are two churches, the mechanics' institute, a hotel with a private cricket oval and tennis and golf clubs.

Tallarook's census populations have been 155 (1871), 225 (1901), 339 (1954) and 244 (1996).

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