150 years: Tarrawingee Primary School

Learn about the history of Tarrawingee Primary School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

Ovens Terrace, Tarrawingee, 3678
1 May 1872
31 December 1993
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Tarrawingee Common School, Tarrawingee State School

The history of Tarrawingee Primary School

  • 1870s

    Tarrawingee opened as a common school in 1872.

    The first head teacher was W.C. Waite and classes were held in a brick schoolhouse.

    The school became a state school sometime between 1873 and 1878. 

    David Young became the head teacher in 1873.

    The school closed during 1874 while the head teacher was in hospital with pneumonia.

    James Gough became head teacher in 1879.

  • 1880

    A timber house was moved from Stanley Forest State School (No.550) to Tarrawingee in the early 1880s. The house had 4 rooms, was unpainted and unlined, and had a shingle roof.

  • 1883

     A lean-to was added to the schoolhouse for the post office. The head teacher's wife, Mrs Gough, ran the post office.

  • 1905

    Blanche Dight became the head teacher in 1905. She moved out of the teacher's house after only a few months because the house was very run down. The walls were eaten by termites and creepers were growing through the floorboards.

  • 1911

    Coronation Day was celebrated by planting trees and giving Coronation Medals to the students.

  • 1915

    The brick schoolhouse needed repairing. The school inspector reported that, 'there is a large crack at one end; it is widening out and the floor rocks considerably'.

  • 1917

    The school closed for 2 days in 1917 when the Ovens River had flooded. The head teacher was unable to get to the school because where she was living was surrounded by water.

  • 1920

    A shelter shed for the students was built.

  • 1921

    A machine gun was placed on the school porch in 1921 by the Machine Gun Trustees. The gun was a German model captured in France during the first World War. It stayed there until 1939.

  • 1922

    A new schoolhouse was built.

  • 1930

    Student numbers were low and the school worked part-time with Oxley Flats State School (No. 2347). It shared its only teacher with Oxley Flat and the teacher split their time between both schools. 

  • 1951

    A new teacher's house was built in 1951.

  • 1952

    The Mothers' Club was formed in 1952 to raise money for teaching aids, books and equipment.

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Tarrawingee Primary School in 1970.

    There were 28 students enrolled at the school.

  • 1993

    Tarrawingee Primary School closed in 1993.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the archive of Victoria's State and local government. They look after some of our oldest school records, and we can use these records to help us understand what school life used to be like.

Now it's your turn to do some detective work. PROV currently only have paper records for this school. Take a look to see what info they have on this school.