Before any significant development occurred at Illabo, and as happened in all the small communities in the district, calls were made for a school, indicating that families were moving to the district or there were local marriages and that education was valued. An application made in April, 1882 eventually resulted in a Provisional School in January, 1884, becoming a Public School on November 1, 1884.
This school has provided for hundreds of local pupils ever since, meeting academic, sporting and social needs. Some early pupils walked to school, others used horse transport but much later, in 1948, a parent funded “bus service” was provided using a 1936 Chevrolet utility with a canopy and carried about 17 children. Local MP Eddie Graham soon arranged for a full government subsidy.
In 1926, a Diptheria epidemic struck Illabo and Junee. School attendance dropped from 50 to five as parents kept children home because of illness or as a preventative. Sadly, two local pre-school children died.
In 1879, a Receiving Post Office was established at the railway station, later relocated and reclassified from time to time. It became the starting point for mail deliveries to outlying properties for many years. Banking facilities were provided by two banks and a building rented as a station for the use of the local mounted policeman. Livestock yards were provided near the original railway station which was replaced in 1942, when the line was duplicated. These yards served a very important service in the transport of stock to or from the district.
The second station, under the care of Station Master Les Sweeney and his assistant, won the Railway Garden Competition in 1960, 1961 and 1962. These beautiful gardens were known over a large area and were very much admired by train passengers.
Illabo village has had its trials over the years as government services and businesses closed or people left the area. One obvious one was the closure of the railway station in 1974 and afterwards, its complete demolition. The gatekeeper’s house was demolished in 1978 and the station master’s house in 1983. However, the district has reason to be proud of not only agricultural success but the Guides and Brownies, School of Arts, sporting groups such as tennis, football, cricket, polocrosse and the widely-known Illabo Show.
It is difficult to imagine now but in the late 1880s, it was reported that there were hundreds if not thousands of brumbies (wild horses) throughout the Boree (Marinna), Illabo, Bethungra, Junee Reefs area and one local claimed to have culled more than 1000 for which he received a substantial bounty.