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With thanks to Trentham & District Historical Society.
The little weatherboard cottage at 3 Camp St served as Trentham’s police station from 1866 to 1984.
That it is still standing today is largely due to Sgt Jack Burke, who was in charge at Trentham from 1961 to 1988. During the 1980s, he resisted pressure to move or demolish the police buildings, until their protection was taken over in 1987 by the newly formed Trentham & District Historical Society.
Government reviews of the time observed that the complex was a “fairly rare example of a 19th-century timber country police compound, which still retains a large and comprehensive range of early building types”.
When Trentham Police Station opened in April 1866, it is likely the portable single-cell lock-up was also on the site. The double-cell lock-up arrived in 1879, and the stables and tack room were probably built in 1885, at the same time as the officer-in-charge’s residence around the corner in Cosmo Rd (which later made way for the current police station).
Trentham had mounted officers until the late 1950s. It was the last police station in regional Victoria to have them.
The main police building originally consisted of two rooms with a shared chimney but no access between them. On the left was the office; on the right, the constable’s quarters. After 1930, the office and quarters changed rooms – and a door between them was finally added.
✍️ Sue Worthington, curator of Trentham & District Historical Society.
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