History House
Horsham Historical Society Inc.
Registered Number A0033688K



Phone: 0421 101 267
LOCATION: Mechanics Institute
33 Pynsent Street
From 1 July to 30 June each year
$25 single + emailed Newsletter
$30 single + printed Newsletter
$40 couple + emailed Newsletter
$45 couple + printed Newsletter

(Family includes children under 15 years)

    $15 emailed Newsletter only
    $20 printed Newsletter only
    Membership allows supervised access to our collection
$15 emailed Newsletter only

$20 for a printed Newsletter only

To Join click here


PRESIDENT: Rod Jenkinson
Phone: 0421 101 267
SECRETARY: Jacquelyn O’Connor
Mobile: 0419-883-959
RESEARCH: Click the Research Tab above for further information and charges
Horsham Historical Society
PO Box 1113


Horsham Historical Society

Horsham Historical Society was formed at a meeting on 13th May 1957 with 10 inaugural members and membership set at 5 shillings. Today we have an average of 80 members, including 6 life members, and an extensive Horsham and district local history collection of information. We still abide by the original charter ...to foster the collection and preservation of local history records.

First meetings were held in the municipal library in the Mechanics Institute building and later in the local CWA hall and private homes. All the while, Society members pressed the local Council for a permanent home. This was finally achieved on 17 March 1969 when the Mechanics Institute building was secured by a donation of $25 per year to Council for its use.

Mostly monthly meetings have been held over the years. In 1982, the rooms were opened to the public for one Sunday each month. Today, we open Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons 1:30 - 4:30 pm and other times by arrangement. 

Our Horsham Historian newsletter is published quarterly in February, May, August and November. 

In 1986, an upgrade of the Mechanics Institute premises by renovating and repainting was undertaken. Three years later, further refurbishment and additional shelving were added and, in 1991, with the nearby Horsham Theatre and Wimmera Legacy redevelopment, the Society acquired the welcome addition of a third room to expand its archive holdings. 

In 2000, we converted a back store room into an office, installing new furniture and a computer system, increasing our premises to four rooms. This room and the computers are now used to scan photos, negatives, slides and edit video as well as inputting information relating to photo history. From one Windows 98 computer, which is still being used to scan negatives, there are now three computers used in the back office.

Two computers, are searchable by members and visitors, whilst our society laptop computer is used for general emailing and research enquiries in the main room. Another computer in the library is available to produce documents.

A small kitchen and archive box storage area with shelving was added in 2007 when a new external wall was added on the east side.

Previous audio tapes of guest speakers and interviews are being typed up to make the information more accessible. Some of these were recorded more than twenty five years ago.

The society now has two video cameras that can be used to record guest speakers and for interviews to preserve stories of the past and present.


Early Horsham

Horsham, Australia is the centre of the Wimmera wheat and wool growing district. It was named by James Monckton Darlot, the first squatter to take up land in 1842. It is believed he named both his Brighton run and the town of Horsham after towns in his native England.


The Wimmera district was previously known by the aboriginal word bogambilor, meaning place of flowers, for the site was covered with a dense scrub of wattles at the time.

George Langlands and his family arrived on 30th June 1849 after a suggestion put to him in Melbourne that the Horsham area had a sufficient squatter population to support a store and post office.

In the 1870s when squatting runs were divided up for smaller selection, a large German population settled in the area and many descendants still remain today.

Horsham was declared a town in 1932 when the population was 5000 and it became a city in its centenary year of 1949. Thus, Horsham celebrated the 150th anniversary of its settlement in 1999. In 2016 the urban population was 15,627 and is aptly named The Capital Of The Wimmera.



Please ensure that your research enquiries are specific and that you provide the information you know already so we are not charging you for time spent carrying out research you do not require.
NOTE: All prices are in Australian dollars.
RESEARCH: $15 per hour, or part thereof


One Photograph on USB $15
  Two Photographs on USB $21
  Three Photographs on USB $23
  Four Photographs on USB $25
  Additional Photographs $5 each
Click here to download a research request form
Horsham Historical Society has an extensive local history collection of the city and district, including -
Hundreds of files of information on people, businesses, buildings and organisations
Thousands of photographs dating from the 1870s to the present day, currently being indexed
The Horsham Times newspaper index up to 1900 of births, deaths, marriages and businesses
Government Gazettes
Town and district maps
Horsham burial records from 1920 to 1999, completely indexed
Original Horsham Times and Wimmera Mail-Times newspapers from 1886 to 2015. (Editions before 1960 inaccessible to the public due to their fragility but available on microfilm at Wimmera Regional Library, Horsham or the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.) The Horsham Times 1882 - 1954 can be searched on the Australian National Library Website.
District history and family history books
Oral history tapes
Borough of Horsham Rate Books, digitised 1883 - 1934
History of all Horsham hotels
History of all lawyers and law firms (see Legal History of Horsham on Publications page)





To order books click here to download an order form .

Note: All prices are in Australian dollars. Prices subject to change.

Postal cost: Please contact us by email or our postal address P.O. Box 1113, Horsham, Vic., 3402 and provide the title[s] and number of each title so that postage costs can be determined.


PRICE — Aust $

by Wendy Donald and Helen Curkpatrick. 2014. 245 pages and photographs. Index. A4 high quality soft cover.

50% Colour $60.00

B&W $45.00

FLYERS OF TIME — By Kevin O’Reilly. Pioneer aviation in country Victoria. The first 50 years. Large hard cover book of 407 pages. [2012]


HORSHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY FILMS (DVD or USB) Titles available on request.

Digital $25.00


Digital $15.00

by Noelene M. Jenkinson and Marie P. Foley. 1999. 150 years of Horsham in then and now comparative pictures of businesses, scenes and streetscapes. 208 pages. 500 b&W photographs. A4 high quality laminated soft cover.


LEGAL HISTORY OF HORSHAM: 1875-1992 - A history of all Horsham law firms and alphabetical biographies of Horsham Lawyers. Researched and written by Noelene Jenkinson, B+W photos. [1993] Available as a PDF Document (USB)

Digital $15.00

MEMORIES OF DOOEN. 1990. Available as PDF Document (USB)

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF GREEN PARK. 1992. Available as a PDF Document (USB)

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF JUNG JUNG. 1991. Available as a PDF Document (USB)

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF PIMPINIO. 1993.125 pages and photographs. Index. A4 spiral bound soft cover.Available as a PDF Document (USB)

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF QUANTONG. 1991. 82 pages and photographs. Index. A4 spiral bound soft cover. Available as a PDF Document (USB)

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF RIVERSIDE. 2008.171 pages and photographs. Index. A4 spiral bound soft cover. LIMITED PRINTED BOOKS AVAILABLE.

Book $35.00

MEMORIES OF WONWONDAH. 1988. 200 pages and photographs. Index. A4 spiral bound soft cover. Available as a PDF Document (USB).

Digital $10.00

by E. Vivian Reynolds. The story of the naming of the streets of Horsham is a "potted history" of the town. 134 pages and photographs. A4 high quality laminated soft cover.



OUR FIFTH DECADE. 1997 - 2007. 50th anniversary history of Horsham Historical Society. 45 pages and photographs. A4 sprial bound cover. Researched and compiled by Jim B. Heard.



STREWTH! — A two volume publication comprehensively examining the involvement of the Rural City of Horsham in World War 1. Winner of the Victorian “Local History Prize” in 2015. Project Managers: Gillian and John Francis. Soft cover, A4 books, pages total over 800. [2015]. can be purchased as a PDF Document (USB).

$100.00 per set

Digital $25.00

THE HISTORY OF SMITH'S MILL. DVD including Heritage Day Meeting 2005. Interviews and slide shows.


by Ercil McIlvena. 2001. Includes volunteers personal details, 87 photographs, letters from the front. 244 pages. High quality laminated soft cover.



ZUMSTEINS — A CENTURY OF MEMORIES — a series of stories relating memories in the popular recreation area: Zumsteins. The book records the development of the site and the effects of government management, floods and fires. Researched and edited by Rod Jenkinson [2015]. A soft cover A4 size book of 322 pages. Includes maps, B&W and colour photos and newspaper items.





Surplus Second Hand Books for Sale


Click here to download a list of books and an order form.

 Note: All prices are in Australian dollars.

Prices subject to change.

Postal cost: Please contact us by email or our postal address P.O. Box 1113, Horsham, Vic., 3402 and provide the title[s] and number of each title so that postage costs can be determined.