To satisfy the needs of a growing community, buildings quickly appeared to house new residents and accommodate the increasing range of services available to the public.
Railway Station – With the opening of the rail line in 1885, Boolarra became very prosperous and began to grow quickly. One of the earliest stationmasters was Mr. Gliddon, with the railway gates being kept by Mrs. O’Rourke. Later, under the care of Mr. Austin the station won the prize for ‘Best Kept Station’ for 1910 and 1911.
Postal Service - Until 1908 the railway station also operated as the post office, with the Station Master taking on the role of Post Master as well. Under pressure from the Progress Association the Post Master General (PMG) decided to erect a building on the corner of Duke and Christian Streets and appointed Mr T. Scanlon as the first Post Master. The following year this building was burnt down and the present building was erected to take its place. In November 1915, Ted Wilkins joined the horse-back mail delivery service, delivering mail and other goods through all weathers until the 1930s, when he gladly climbed off his horse and began delivering the mail by utility.
Law & Order - A permanent police presence did not come to Boolarra until 1907 when the Police Station was erected on the corner of Mechanics & Church Streets in 1907 and Constable Alex Millar became the first policeman to be stationed in the town.
Hotels - Boolarra’s first hotel ‘The Selectors Arms’ was built in 1884 and was licensed until approximately 1916, after which it is thought to have operated as a boarding house. Later named “Old Boolarra Pub”, it has now been restored and is currently a very attractive private residence. Clarke’s Club Hotel and Maher’s Railway Hotel also opened during the 1880’s. Maher’s Railway Hotel (located where today’s Memorial Hall stands) was destroyed in the 1937 fire.
Churches - The Presbyterian Church was the first church built in Boolarra in 1885. The Church was used to accommodate the State School as soon as it was completed as the School’s original home was a slab hut in very poor condition, making the children’s school life a misery. The School remained there until early 1890 when a new school and a four-roomed residence were erected. The Methodist Church in was completed in 1905 and moved to its present site in 1929 when the Country Roads Board needed the land to construct the Morwell- Boolarra Road. The Roman Catholic Church was built in 1907 on its present site, with the Church of England being erected in 1911.
State School 2617 - Boolarra State School opened with approximately 26 pupils on 17th October 1884 in a small slab hut and lean-to owned by a Mr. Hutton. Knee-deep mud, stagnant water and bitter cold in the winter, followed by snakes in the summer made conditions very challenging so Head Teacher, Mr. John Irving immediately sought a new site for the school. As he reported in a letter to the Minister of Education “Some of the parents object to sending their children to school on account of the wretched accommodation.”
The school found temporary accommodation in the Presbyterian Church until a permanent home was completed in February 1890, by which time pupil numbers had risen to 47. Pupil numbers continued to rise with the growth of the town and by 1909 there were 92 pupils enrolled.