In the mid 1800’s the region was designated as Wild Cattle pastoral run. In 1878 everything changed when black coal was discovered.
Korumburra owes its origins and initial prosperity to coal mining. More than 2 thousand men mined 2 million tonnes of coal from the Korumburra coalfields from 1893 to 1962. The mine at Coal Creek operated from the 1880s to the 1958.
The town was originally named Coal Creek, for obvious reasons.
Korumburra grew with waves of migration of European migrants.
Antonio Radovick “Father of Korumburra” was a Croatian pioneer who contributed to the start and growth of Korumburra in the 1890s and 1900s. He built the first hotel in the town called the Korumburra Hotel (now known locally as “the Middle”) in 1890. The Korumburra Middle Hotel is on the corner of Radovick Street and Commercial Road.
Historical Changes to Korumburra
In this image you can see the top pub in the background to the right. Just left is a memorial.
The memorial is the Korumburra World War 1 Soldiers’ Memorial, designed by RV Courtney and constructed by GB Edwards in 1922 in Bridge Street. It was later moved to Coleman Park in Queen Street, Korumburra.
The building in the background to the left is no longer standing.
The Victorian Hotel (aka the bottom pub)
The Victoria Hotel
There are conflicting stories about how this beautiful old building met its end. Some say it was demolished by Vic Roads so the highway coming in to town could be straightened, around 1987. Others say it was already derelict and damaged by fire, so it had to be torn down.
Today the site is occupied by a BP station. If you visit, you can see a photo of this old pub hanging inside.
According to “Bunce’s Language of the Aborigines of the Colony of Victoria (1859)“, Korumburra is an Aboriginal word meaning maggot.
In 2007 a “history tour map” was created highlighting historical buildings and architecture around town.
Wall Murals around town pay respect to shops and Key influences on the development of Korumburra as a thriving community.
Black Coal discovered at Coal Creek
Korumburra proclaimed a town
Antonio Radovick builds the first hotel – the Korumburra Hotel (now known as “the Middle”)
Austral Hotel built (now known as “the Top Pub”)
Subway under the railroad tracks built
Baptist Church built – the only remaining original church
The South Gippsland Cordial Co (aka “the Lyre Bird” cordial factory opened. Renamed to “Joes” cordial in 1948
Korumburra Butter Factory opened
in 1909, the facilities were expanded to become the largest Butter Factory in the Southern Hemisphere
the State Savings Bank built (now home of an accounting firm)
in 1982 the station was included on the Victorian Heritage Register
the Butter Factory reopened as Burra Foods
Last public train from Korumburra station.
The tourist railway from Korumburra to Legongatha ran from 1993 to 2015.