Goorambat 3725

Goorambat is a rural township 17 km. north of Benalla, on the route between Benalla and Yarrawonga. It is set in mainly flat country with little tree cover, two kilometres east of Broken Creek.

The name came from the Goorambat pastoral run, and is thought to be an Aboriginal word meaning nonsense or frivolity, although another authority puts the meaning as hunting ground. Selectors took up farms near Broken Creek in 1861, forming the first Goorambat settlement. A Methodist church was opened in 1865 and a primary school in 1866.

Primary production was given a boost when the railway was extended through Benalla in 1873, and a greater boost when the branch line to Yarrawonga, via Goorambat, was opened in 1883. The line, however, was east of the settlement at Broken Creek and a new Goorambat developed around the station. A wood yard - for the transport of fire wood to Melbourne - and a flour mill were opened beside the station.

A hotel had been opened at old Goorambat in 1879 and the (inevitable) Railway Hotel was opened opposite the station in 1884. A mechanics' institute was opened in 1888.

Old Goorambat beside the Broken Creek had the benefit of water for agricultural activity, and the population was sufficient for the school to be kept open until 1931.

Goorambat has a township of about sixty houses with two churches, a large public hall, the mechanics' institute and a general store which celebrated its centenary in 1984 and the Railway Hotel. The railway station has been converted to a scout hall, and on the other side of the line there are grain silos. A recreation reserve is next to the school.

Surrounding farms have been consolidated and some farm families have moved to town dwellings. Wheat-sheep farming has replaced dairying.

Goorambat's census populations have been 62 (1901), 334 (1911) and 321 (1966).



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