History House

Horsham Historical Society Inc.

Registered Number A0033688K

Visitors since 8 October 2014

  Visitor Counter
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 1.30 to 4.30 p.m. or by appointment
Closed: Mid December to mid January. By appointment only.
  Email For Research Appointment
  To arrange a Visit or Talk
Phone: 0421 101 267
LOCATION: Mechanics Institute
33 Pynsent Street
Second Wednesday of the month
(Except January)
  8.00 p.m. February - April, October - December
  6.00 p.m. May - September
From 1 July to 30 June each year
$25 single
$35 couple / family (Includes children under 15 years)
    Includes emailed quarterly newsletter Horsham Historian and supervised access to our collection
$15 Horsham Historian only

$5 for a printed version of Horsham Historian

To Join or renew membership 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 phioto 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, one in the main room and one in the library are searchable by members and visitors, whilst our scoiety 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 mote than twenty five yeas 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. It currently boasts a population of 13,000 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)




50th anniversary of Grains Innovation Park
Grains Innovation Park, Horsham, will mark a milestone in 2018 when celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Over the past 50 years, more than 1200 people who have been employed at Grains Innovation Park, have made a significant contribution to the region, both economically and socially, as well as to the grains industry as a whole. To celebrate their many achievements, GIP will open its doors to the public this year. For more information visit

A display recognising the history or the site and showcasing the work carried out has been put together and from July this year stakeholders, business, schools and community groups are invited to book in for a tour of the site which will take in the world-class plant phenomics facility, the Australian Grains Genebank and a specially planted field demonstration featuring crop varieties grown in the region over the past 50 years. For more information visit DEDJTR Horsham

Horsham Historical Society will help curate and archive some of the GIP history working towards a publication set to be released in 2019.

To be advised when this book will be available, download and complete the form here and send it to Lindsay Smith including GIP History EOI in the subject line.

or mail to

Attention: Lindsay Smith
  Horsham Historical Society
  P.O. Box 1113
  Horsham, Vic., 3402



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]


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

Digital $15.00

MEMORIES OF DOOEN. 1990. Available as PDF Document Only.

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF GREEN PARK. 1992. Available as a PDF Document

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF JUNG JUNG. 1991. Available as a PDF Document

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF PIMPINIO. 1993.125 pages and photographs. Index. A4 spiral bound soft cover.LIMITED PRINTED BOOKS AVAILABLE. Can be purchased as a PDF Document

Book $20.00

Digital $10.00

MEMORIES OF QUANTONG. 1991. 82 pages and photographs. Index. A4 spiral bound soft cover. LIMITED PRINTED BOOKS AVAILABLE. Can be purchased as a PDF Document

Book $20.00

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. can be purchased as a PDF Document.

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.

$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


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 $

40th ANNIVERSARY - 1967-2007 - HORSHAM FILM SOCIETY — a collection of images and news articles from film society events. Researched and compiled by Jeff Harvey. A soft cover, A4 size booklet of 40 pages. LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


A FIELD GUIDE TO THE GRAMPIANS FLORA — a soft cover book, 144 pages, 14cm x 21cm. Index and Glossary. Text: Rodger Elliot. Illustrations: Trevor Blake. Photographs: John Brownlie. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


A HISTORY OF THE HORSHAM AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY — A hundred Horsham shows. A hard cover book, 182 pages, 14cm x 23cm. Researched and authored by Ian Maroske [1978] RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


DON’T DARE SAY DINKLEDOODLEDUM — 16 chapters outlining the history of the Dunmunkle Shire. A hard cover book, 203 pages, 14cm x 22cm. Author: Alan Finch. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


GRAMPIANS SKETCHBOOK - a hard cover book, 64 pages, 15cm x 22cm. Drawings by: Fraser Hay. Text by: John Béchervaise. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


HAVEN’S HERITAGE — Volume 1: from the Common, Volume 2: Our Families. A comprehensive look at the Haven community. Researched and compiled by The Haven Community [Wendy Donald]. Soft cover, Volume 1 — 470 pages, Volume 2 — 250 pages, colour.

2 book set:$140
Vol 1 only:$80
Vol2 only:$60

HISTORY OF THE HORSHAM HIGH SCHOOL 1912-1950. A soft cover book, 52 pages, 19cm by 25cm. Author: I T Maddern. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE — SOME COPIES SECOND HAND


HORSHAM CENTENARY SOUVENIR BOOKLET — one hundred years of progress. Published as part of the Horsham Centenary celebrations by the Horsham City Council. A soft cover booklet, 60 pages, 22cm by 28cm. Researched and written by Helen C Coulson. [1950] RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE. Note: available in green and beige cover — beige has all pages included but some are out of sequence.


INK IN HIS VEINS — A biography of the author’s father: Alfred Wright Lockwood. Hard cover book [15cm x 21cm]. Author: Allan Lockwood. [1985]


MURTOA FOOTBALL CLUB 1889-1980 — a soft cover booklet of 84 pages, 18cm x 24cm. Authors: Gordon Aummann and Peter Janetzki. Produced to commemorate Murtoa’s first senior premiership in the Wimmera Football League. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


“NEAR THE BIG ONE” Ni Ni East State School 3045 and District: 1890-1946. Researched and compiled by Graham Schultz and Stan McKenzie. Soft cover, A4 size book, 89 pages. [1994] LIMITED AVAILABILITY


NORTON NOSTALGIA - A comprhensive look at the Lower Norton community and surrounding districts especially Bungalally, Darragan and Vectis. Over 55 families are profiled. Researched and compiles by Wendy Donald. Soft Cover A4 size book of 251 pages.


$25.00 DVD

OLIVE SHOOTS IN NATIMUK — an autobiography by Allan Lockwood. Hard cover book, 158 pages, approx. 14cm x 21cm. [1989]


ROAD BOARD TO RESTRUCTURE — The history of the shire of the Wimmera 1862-1995. Researched and compiled by: John Reid, Keith H Lovett and Les Blake. A hard cover book, 18cm x 26cm, 161 pages. [1996]


SURVIVING 100 YEARS — A HISTORY OF RUPANYUP SHOWS. A soft cover booklet of 32 pages, 11cm by 19cm. Compiled by John Teasdale. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


THE BELL SOUNDS PLEASANTLY — The story of Ebenezer Mission 1839-1902. Author: Susan Robertson. Soft cover book, approx. 14cm x 21cm, 85 pages. [1992] LIMITED AVAILABILITY


THE VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE TRUST — photos of aboriginal artefacts with a description of their use. A soft cover booklet of 12 pages, 15cm by 21cm. Text by: Jim Berg V.A.C.H.T. and Rose O’Shea. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


THE WIMMERA STORY — Distribution area: Ararat and Donald in central Victoria to Keith and Naracoorte in South Australia. Contains many coloured photos. A soft cover booklet, 68 pages, 22cm by 28cm. Edited by Joan Starr and Alan Berry. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


W.A.G. Tales — Published by the Wimmera Authors’ Group. Contains a short profile of the 11 authors and 47 items of poetry and short stories. Soft cover book, 15cm x 21cm, 108 pages. [1994]


WALTER ZUMSTEIN PIONEER [1967] and WALTER ZUMSTEIN: Pioneer of the Zumstein’s recreation area [1986]. Two soft cover booklets of 12 pages, 14cm x 22cm that reproduce a talk given by Otway Vernon Carter to the Horsham and District Historical Society on May 17th 1967. The second booklet is a reprint due to the popularity of the initial publication. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE

$5.00 for each booklet

WARRACKNABEAL — A WIMMERA CENTENARY — first published 1967 in association with the Council of the Shire of Warracknabeal. Author: Susan Priestley. A hard cover book, 128 pages, 15cm x 22cm. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


WHAT HOUSE IS THAT? — A guide to Victoria’s housing styles. Third Edition — project co-ordinator: Pauline Hitchins [2011]. It documents features of architecture in Victoria plus paint schemes and energy efficiency. A soft cover booklet of 31 pages, dimensions approximately 22cm by 16cm.


WHAT TO SEE — HORSHAM AND DISTRICT — lay-out: a series of car trips from Horsham, setting out points of interest for the traveller to note. A soft cover booklet, 24 pages, 14cm x 22cm. Publisher: Horsham and District Historical Society and the Horsham Field Naturalists Club, 1967. RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


WIMMERA — A REGIONAL HISTORY — A soft cover book, 96 pages, 14cm x 22cm. Author: Les Blake. [1972] RARE BOOK — LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE


WIMMERA SHIRE CENTENARY — the development of the shire through time. Compiled by: L J Blake and K H Lovett. First published in 1962, 4th Edition: 1970. LIMITED AVAILABILITY