Brief Horsham History

In 1836 Major Mitchell led an expedition to investigate the country of what was then part of New South Wales. It had been a very wet year and he wrote glowing reports of the area. The development by squatters of the area surrounding what was later known as Horsham, followed his report.

In 1842 James Monckton Darlot, was the first squatter to take up land in the area. It is believed he named both his Brighton run and the town of Horsham after towns in his native England.

Horsham, Australia became the centre of the Wimmera grain and wool growing district.

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.

The first inhabitants of the Horsham area were the Djura Balug clan who spoke the Jardwadjali language.

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. Other settlers were English, Scottish and Irish.

Horsham was declared a town in 1932 when the population was 5,000 and it became a city in its centenary year of 1949.

In 1995 the Horsham Rural City was formed incorporating the City of Horsham, Most of the Shre of Arapiles and some of the Shire of Kowree.

Horsham celebrated the 150th anniversary of its settlement in 1999.

In 2021 the population of Horsham Rural City was 20,369 and is aptly named "The Capital Of The Wimmera".