We can think ourselves lucky to have our local Chewton Post Office. Originally, the first diggers had to post and collect their mail from Kyneton. In 1851 a Mr Evans opened a post office in his residence on what became known as Post Office Hill. Between 1851 and 1879 there were a number of new postmasters, each one using his own home as the post office.
In 1871, J.B. Patterson who was a Chewton councillor, was elected to parliament and went on to become Commissioner for Public Works. He decided he would like to provide Chewton with a “nice little public building” and commissioned an architect to design it.
The Post Office was opened in 1879. Some time later in 1916, the Commonwealth government decided that they would close the Post Office. Several Chewton businessmen decided to buy it on a debenture system and successfully applied to the government to keep it open and pay the wages of the postmaster.
Much later in the 1990’s the post office was owned by Mt Alexander Council and they decided to close it. A huge public campaign began and eventually in 1997 the post office was handed over to the people of Chewton under the management of the Chewton Domain Society. The post office is therefore a community asset which is leased to the postmaster.
Our quaint and friendly post office has been brought into the 21st century: as well as sending and receiving mail, the services include, banking, eftpos, and bill payment. Our postmaster Robert has lockable post office boxes available and says that it makes more sense for Chewton newcomers to get a post office box here rather than in Castlemaine. There is always some post which is addressed to the street address and will come to Chewton PO. If the resident has a post office box elsewhere it then has to be redirected.
With so many battles to save the Chewton Post Office lets appreciate and utilise this community asset.