Sale is a city situated in the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria and the council seat of the Shire of Wellington.
- Area:43.757 km2
- Elevation:12 m
- Local Government Area:Wellington Shire Council
Sale is a city situated in the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria and the council seat of the Shire of Wellington. It had an estimated urban population of 15,135as of June 2019.
The Aboriginal name for the Sale area is Wayput. Two famous Gippsland explorers, Paul Strzelecki and Angus McMillan, passed through the immediate area around 1840. The first white settler was Archibald McIntosh who arrived in 1844 and established his 'Flooding Creek' property on the flood plain country which was duly inundated soon after his arrival.
In the 1840s, drovers heading south to Port Albert crossed Flooding Creek and were confronted with the difficult marsh country around the Thomson and Latrobe rivers. A punt operated across the Latrobe River until a toll bridge was erected. A Post Office named Flooding Creek opened here on 30 September 1848 being renamed, somewhat belatedly, as Sale on 1 January 1854.The first town plots went on sale in 1850. When the new settlement was gazetted in 1851 it was named "Sale" – a tribute to General Sir Robert Sale, a British army officer who won fame in the first Afghan war before being killed in battle in India in 1845. An SBS TV documentary, Afghanistan: The Great Game, claims that it is actually named after his wife, Lady Florentia Sale (1790–1853), who wrote a famous journal of her experiences during the First Afghan War which became a best seller in the 1840s and was serialised in The Times (UK) and possibly in Australia. Certainly, her letters to her husband were enthusiastically published in Australian papers.The town greatly benefitted from the 1851 gold rush at Omeo as it was situated on the Port Albert to Omeo route and was an important base for the goldfields, until the arrival of the railways. It was also an important service centre for East Gippsland and the Monaro Plains of New South Wales. A building boom took place c. 1855–65.
In 1863 the population of Sale reached 1800 and it became a borough. The courthouse opened the following year. Shops, hotels and offices spilled over into Raymond Street and the first Anglican Church was erected on the site now occupied by St Anne's and Gippsland Grammar School. The Gippsland Times newspaper was established in 1861 while the first Star Hotel and the Criterion Hotel were built in 1865.
In late December 1874 a visitor to the township recorded a description of Sale “which has all the appearances of a flourishing township”.He observed that “the streets are wide and shops plentiful, but fruit is scarce, a few stale cherries being all I could obtain from the principal shop in the place”.St Paul's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland in Australia. The cathedral building, built in 1884, is a double-storey building with a rectangular footprint and is constructed of red brick and slate roofing.
In terms of access, the first reasonable road from Melbourne arrived in 1865 and Cobb and Co established a rough-and-ready 24-hour coach service linking Melbourne and Sale. The Latrobe Wharf was built in the 1870s and two hotels emerged to exploit the new centre of activity. It was located near the present swing bridge although little is left.
Anthony Trollope visited Sale in 1872. Writing of the experience in Australia and New Zealand (1873) he spoke of the town's "innumerable hotels" and concluded from his impressions that the Aborigines had little chance of surviving as a race. The children's author Mary Grant Bruce was born in the town in 1878.
A two-storey post office, with clock tower, was built in 1884 (it was demolished in 1963). HM Prison Sale was completed in 1887 and it operated for 110 years until it was replaced by a private Fulham Correctional Centre. The building has since been demolished, with only part of the large brick fencing still remaining. The site remained empty until 2014 when construction of the new Sale Police Station commenced there. It opened in March 2015.
Other landmarks in the town include Our Lady of Sion Convent and the Criterion Hotel. The former was designed by architects Reed, Smart and Tappin and built 1892–1901. Assembly halls and dormitory rear wing were added in 1938; the residential wing was added in 1953. The building is listed on the Register of the National Estate. The Criterion Hotel was built in 1865. It originally had a two-storey timber verandah, but this was replaced by a cast iron verandah between 1880 and 1900. It is considered "one of the most impressive hostelries in Victoria" and is listed on the Register of the National Estate. The Criterion Hotel closed in 2006 and its rapidly deteriorating condition caused local concern that it would be demolished. However, the site was subsequently purchased by a Traralgon-based developer who had previous expertise in restoration of commercial buildings. The Criterion received a complete rebuild in 2010/11 with the external heritage facade and verandah fully restored. It re-opened as a hotel, function venue and restaurant early in 2013.
With the growth of shipping on the local waterways and the Gippsland Lakes (and the establishment of a railhead at Sale in 1879) schemes emerged to develop Sale as a port. The construction of the Sale Canal (complete with turning circle) duly commenced in the 1880s, thereby linking the town via the Thomson River and the Gippsland Lakes to the open sea. It was completed in 1890. Other elements were the Sale Swing Bridge, completed in 1883, a high wharf, and a launching ramp which still exists in the heart of the city. However, neither the bridge nor the canal created the desired surge of trade and the depression of the 1890s soon engulfed the town. Sale became a town in 1924 and a city in 1950.
In World War II, the West Sale RAAF base was the landing site of 2 Japanese Mitsubishi Zeros.Sale has seen much development and redevelopment in the past decade, one example being the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the city's Port of Sale.
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