Wychitella is a rural village on the railway line from Wedderburn Junction to Charlton. It is 17 km north of Wedderburn, and is separated from that town by low ranges which include the Wychitella Flora and Fauna reserve.
During the mid-1870s farm selections became available in the Wychitella district. A school was opened in 1876 in a mechanics’ institute building, and a second school, Wychitella North, was opened in 1879. The township was surveyed in 1878. There were Presbyterian and Catholic churches by the 1880s.
The railway line was constructed in 1883 and two years later a third school was opened near the line. First named Woosang North, the school was renamed Wychitella Railway Station in 1903. It is thought that the name ‘Wychitella’ is derived from an Aboriginal word referring to a swamp rush.
The average rainfall in the Wychitella district is enough for wheat/sheep farming, but prolonged dry spells caused farmers to cart water for stock use. In 1928 the Waranga-Mallee channel was constructed, providing substantial relief for farmers.
All of the Wychitella schools have closed, and the school building in Wychitella itself was moved to Charlton after closing in 1971. The small timber Railway Hotel (1902) survives, having been taken over as a community venture in 1959. There is a local hall (1906) and a former Anglican church which was moved to Wychitella from Powlett Plains in 1951.
The Wychitella reserve consists of five blocks amounting to 39 sq km. Its preservation began with a local preservation league in 1968 and is notable for having a Mallee Fowl habitat. Two of the blocks contain the Skinners Flat Reservoir (Wedderburn) and the Korong Vale Reservoir, both having been decommissioned for local domestic supplies.
Wychitella’s census populations have been:
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Fae Stevens, ‘Smoke from the hill’: a story of the Boort district 1836-1968, p.148-51, 1969
Trevor Budge and Associates, Shire of Korong heritage and conservation study, 1991
Wychitella ... the first 100 years, Wychitella, 1982