Diggora and Diggora West

Diggora which has ceased to exist as a village, was in north-central Victoria, 14 km north-west of Elmore and 35 km south-west of Echuca.

The area was part of the Burnewang pastoral run (1841) which was subdivided into east and west portions in 1864. Burnewang West was acquired by William Degraves in 1867. It is reputed that the Aboriginal rendering of ‘Degraves’ was rendered as ‘Diggora’ and the named was adopted.

Degraves was a Tasmanian who came to Melbourne in 1849 with funds presumably drawn from his father who had established the Cascade Brewery. Among several interests Degraves had a flour store (and possibly a short lived mill) in Flinders Street. It is thought that Degraves Street was named after him.

Free selectors came to the area at the time of Degraves’ acquisition of Burnewang West. A church was opened on Brick Church Road by a Bible Christian congregation in 1873, and the building served as the local school during 1874-79. A hotel was opened in 1875. There was a large creamery built in the 1890s, but both it and the hotel closed around the end of the decade. The brick church outlasted them all, its Wesleyan services ending in 1967.

In 1915 a railway line was opened, running north from Elmore to Cohuna. Diggora West was established as the railway siding, with a grain bunker and silos later being built.

The last school in the Diggora district closed in 1963 and the post office closed in 1967. The railway line closed in 1981 (Diggora West to Cohuna) and 1986 (Elmore to Diggora West).

Diggora West is a pastoral and cereal growing district and the rich loamy soil is regarded as good for crops.

The census populations have been:

  census date population
Diggora West 1911 326
  1961 196
Diggora and Diggora West 2011 206

At the 2011 census dairy farming accounted for 14% of employment and other farming accounted for 29.9%.

Further Reading

Patricia Couglin, Memories of Diggora: its schools and its people, the author, c1992

Live and prosper: a record of progress in Rochester and district during the period 1854 to 1954, Rochester, 1954

Significant sites at old Diggora, Diggora Commemorative Committee, 1995