If only the walls could talk! The heady days of the Victorian Gold Rush have left Beechworth with an impressive legacy of over 30 National Trust-listed buildings, all with their own colourful past and secret stories.
The Star Hotel, 33 Ford St
Built in 1853, this was the site of the earliest timber hotel. A wealthy miner, JA Wallace, bought the hotel in 1857, named it The Star and rebuilt it with weatherboard walls and shingle roof. In 1864, the new owner, JS Clarke rebuilt it in brick. This was the scene of the murder of Robert Murdoch, a young manager, whose grave you can see in the Beechworth Cemetery.
Freeman's Stores, 54-58 Ford St
This site has housed a variety of businesses, but between 1872 and 1875, the range began to change from the industrial to the domestic; the ironmongers, tinsmiths and saddlers gave way to the fruiterer, butcher, watchmaker and milliner.
Post Office, Corner Ford and Camp St
The Post Office was completed in 1859. Following a fire along Camp St in 1867 the Post Office was rebuilt with a bell and clock tower. The P.0. played an important role in communicating news in 1880 of the infamous murders of police at Stringybark Creek and the various exploits of the Kelly gang.
Newspaper Office, Corner Ford & Camp St
Site of the Argus office, the first newspaper sold in Beechworth. James Ingram, the newsagent, walked from here to the Woolshed Goldfields (approx 6km) to sell Argus newspapers. It was also the site of a drapery and clothing store, a tobaconnist and from 1861 to 1871, the Corner Hotel.
Newsagency, 26 - 28 Camp St
Since 1864 there has been a newsagency on this site, the original wooden structure destroyed in the great fire of 1867. It was owned by the 'Grand Old Man of Beechworth', James Ingram, a driving force in the development of the first hospital and school in Beechworth.
Zincke's Office, 22 Camp St
One of the most original shop fronts in Beechworth, this has been a solictor's office since the early 1860's. Zincke was the solicitor for the extended Kelly family, including Ned and Ellen and their associates.
HM Prison Beechworth, Cnr High and Williams Streets
Originally the gaol was a series of long wooden huts enclosed by a spiked stockade. The granite gaol was built in stages from 1858 to 1864. It housed about 35 male and 5 female prisoners who toiled in the labour yard and at their respective trades.
Alliance Hotel, 1A Camp St
A very early hotel, originally the Alliance, later the Railway. Past the beer garden, just around the corner in High St, on the banks of the creek was the reputed site of the 1874 bare knuckle boxing fight between 'Wild Wright' and Ned Kelly, lasting 20 rounds.