The Violet Town Station Precinct
In the years 1872/1873 the building of the North East railway from Melbourne to Wodonga was well advanced. A large bridge was built across the Goulburn River to reach Seymour. The railway infrastructure was then able to be quickly extended due to the flatter topography, and due to less need for curves northeast from Seymour.
The precinct around the Violet Town Station and adjacent to the railway was established with buildings, sidings, signalling equipment etc. Notable in the area was a large Goods Shed, very similar to the one still standing near the Euroa Railway Station with large local stonework.
The goods shed was in constant use from 1872 until it was demolished and relocated for use as as a shearing shed in 1985. In February/ March 1969 the Goods Shed was used to store materials from the Southern Aurora wreckage, and at times had an armed guard. Photos on this page from the Violet Town history group collection show the Goods Shed.
It is in this area now owned and managed for the Victorian Government by VicTrack on the northwest side of the railway, that the commemoration gardens are being established. The Southern Aurora Memorial Committee was established by locals in 2017 to oversee the commemoration project, under the auspices of the Violet Town Action Group Inc.
The Sydney Road running north-easterly was also known as High Street, Beechworth Road and no doubt other things in early settlement days due to its difficult and primitive condition as a rough track. The railway was built roughly parallel to the Sydney Road.
As a result the railway literally divided the town diagonally. Violet Town had previously been named as Violet Ponds by Major Mitchell when he camped there in 1836 on his Australia Felix expedition. A town area was surveyed and drawn up and released in 1838. It included blocks along the Sydney Road, with further streets based on a north-south orientation named with favored English flower names of the time. Cowslip Street was the name chosen for the main east-west street which continued westwards to Murchison and the Rushworth and Bendigo goldfields. It has been the main business street since the railways arrival.
The arrival of the railway substantially changed the way people and goods moved. It also was much faster. The Violet Town Station and goods areas became a transport hub with huge quantities of timber shipped to Melbourne and agricultural produce including wheat, sheep and cattle loaded aboard trains. It also became important for import of goods to Violet Town
The main entry to the new commemoration gardens is on the south side of Cowslip Street close to the level crossing, and across the road from the Post Office.