Korong Vale

Korong Vale is a rural township and railway junction 11 km north-west of Wedderburn. The railway line comes westwards from Bendigo, and divides into the lines to Charlton and Quambatook in the north-western wheat lands.

The Korong Vale township was reserved in the early 1870s as farm selections became available. Its original name was Kinypaniel. A Wesleyan chapel was opened in 1875, to which was added a school in 1877. The change of name to Korong Vale occurred in 1881, derived from Korong shire and Mount Korong. In that year surveying began for the railway line, and two years later the rail junction was completed. There were extensive station facilities, including a water reservoir for steam engines, a post office, refreshment rooms, repair workshops, shunting yards and storage sheds. The Victorian Railways Institute later had a library.

Korong Vale’s main landmark, Scully’s hotel, was built in 1891, and the second mechanics’ institute in 1905. Railway extensions to the Mallee farmlands in 1915 resulted in the station facilities being enlarged. In 1903 Korong Vale was described in the Australian handbook:

Although dry spells and farm consolidations reduced the district’s population Korong Vale’s population nevertheless increased to about 600 people in the 1930s. The railway activity sustained Korong Vale. Other local industries included timber cutting, bee keeping and eucalyptus-oil distilling in the Wychitella forest reserve to the south-west. Korong Vale continues to be a minor district centre, with a recreation reserve, golf club, tennis and bowling facilities, substantial Anglican and Catholic churches, Scully’s hotel and the mechanics’ institute hall. The railway facilities, however, are much depleted and the vacated railway houses were sold at low prices. The school closed in 1998.

Korong Vale’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Korong Vale 1891 140
  1901 293
  1911 487
  1921 585
  1933 613
  1947 403
  1954 376
  1966 422
  1971 323
  1981 238
  1996 247
Korong Vale and environs 2006 170
  2011 248

At the 2011 census, the median age of residents was 60, (Australia 37).

Further Reading

Trevor Budge and Associates, Shire of Korong heritage and conservation study, Bendigo, 1991