Yarram & District Historical Society Inc.

Preserving the Past for the Future

mckenzies store


The History of Yarram & District

Yarram Yarram, as it was known until 1924, found its origins in an Aboriginal phrase thought to mean 'plenty of water' or 'billabong'.

The site of Yarram had first been sold for farming lots in 1853. It was this private land originally named Barkly, which later developed and became Yarram Yarram.

John Carpenter, an early settler, established the town's first industry when he built a flour and saw mill on the north side of the Tarra River.

The first store was opened by Charles Devonshire in 1857. John Walsh had another store and William Ostler built a shanty on the site of the Yarram Hotel. The township grew quickly. In October 1859 W.H. Waite noted that whereas three years earlier there were few houses and not an infant to be seen, the population had quadrupled "and children have sprung up so fast that almost every female between 15 and 50 is to be seen nursing a fine looking infant or well-shaped little yearling."

The town of Yarram was gazetted in 1893. The town's growth related to the preference of local farmers for Yarram as a marketplace, rather than the more distant Port Albert.

Historic Buildings
Some of the older buildings in town include the Court House, the Regent Theatre (1928), the Yarram hotel, built in 1912 and more recently renovated as a government office, and "Hawthorn Bank" on Pound Road, an early and intact wattle-and-daub cottage, although the original shingled roof has been replaced with iron.

Copyright © 2010 Yarram & District Historical Society Inc.