Wodonga Saleyard history

The sale of stock in Wodonga goes back to its earliest history with yards being operated on the site of Elgins Hotel and the now demolished Police Station.  Horses were bred in the north-east for the Indian Market, and records show that a truck load of horses left Wodonga Station in 1875.

Further down the street where Centro is now, Campbell and Sons began selling horses in 1885 and did so for 50 years being joined by Younghusband for all but 10 years of that time.

On one occasion in the 1890’s as many as 13,000 cattle were sold by Dougherty Son and Parker in less than one hour.

Many of the cattle sold would have been walked from as far away as Queensland and across the Union Bridge as shown in the picture.

The raising of the Border Stock Tax from 5 shillings to 30 shillings per head in 1892 reduced the number of cattle making the crossing into Victoria. This was a tax per head on all cattle crossing the bridge into Victoria.

From June 1930 to June 1935 an average per annum of 500,000 sheep and lambs arrived at Wodonga from New South Wales During the peak of 1931 the number increased by 200,000.

In 1934 Wodonga Shire Council discussed the need to build new municipal saleyards and bought the saleyard sites operating at the time.

Several Councillors strongly opposed the need for the Council to own saleyards and two referenda were held. Doubt was expressed that the yards would pay their way and it was considered they could become a burden on ratepayers. However, Wodonga Shire Council decided to go ahead with the yards and called tenders for construction of the yards and for an office and tea rooms.

In January 1935 the tender of Mr. Arthur Dunstan of Wodonga was accepted to build the Wodonga Municipal Saleyards at a cost of £5,423.

A second tender for the construction of the office and tea rooms at the saleyards was let to Mr. L. Wolf of Wodonga for the amount of £357/14/-.

Dalgety’s held the first special sale at the new Municipal yards on 21st November 1935.