Many events that put Horsham on the map mark their anniversaries in 2019, ranging from moments of historical significance to some of the city’s toughest times.
Here are some of the major moments:
1849 – 170 years ago
At the suggestion of Horsham’s founder James Monckton Darlot, Scottish-born merchant George Langlands opens a store and post office near the Wimmera River crossing in October, on what is now the corner of Hamilton and Darlot streets. Many consider this to be the starting date of the township of Horsham.
1879 – 140 years ago
The railway from Melbourne reaches Horsham. The station served as the junction for the Natimuk East and Carpolac branch lines. The first passenger rail service to Melbourne left Horsham in 1882, with the most recent being in 1993.
Now it is my privilege to open the North-western Railway to Horsham. As the North-eastern railway will finally lead to a connection with Sydney, so will this railway finally load to a connection with Adelaide. There can be no doubt that the union of Melbourne with Sydney and Adelaide... will lead, before very long, to that federation of Australians.His Excellency Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Governor of Victoria, opening Horsham railway on February 6, 1879.
1889 – 130 years ago
The Council of Agricultural Education establishes Longerenong Agricultural College at Dooen. Original courses in land management were aimed at the sons of local farmers who required the equivalent of second year of high school to enrol.
The mere material advantages of having a large public institution established in,our midst with its physical wants and requirements having to be supplied will, we doubt not, be duly appreciated when things are in full swing,The Horsham Times editorial, May 22, 1888
1909 – 110 years ago
Horsham is inundated by record floods after about 82mm of rain falls in less than 24 hours in the Wimmera River catchment area. The river peaked at 3.87 metres, a record which was not broken for another 102 years.
The flood which the lengthened rains in this and other parts of the Wimmera gave cause to fear eventuated yesterday. Early in the morning the water backed up in Firebrace Street south and across a big portion of the botanical gardens, and it rose so rapidly that before evening people living south of Hamilton Street could not get to and from their homes except in vehicles.The Horsham Times, August 13, 1909
1939 – 80 years ago
Horsham Town Hall opens on May 31, replacing the original town hall building also on Wilson Street, which had to close due to structural problems. Builder Rupert F Anderson constructed the new hall for £6,500.
1949 – 70 years ago
Horsham is declared a city on May 24, 1949, after reaching a population of more than 6000 people a few years earlier. It had earlier been declared a town in 1932.
1969 – 50 years ago
Horsham Historical Society finds its permanent home in the Mechanics Institute on Pynsent Street on March 17, 1969, after agreeing to pay Council $25 a year. The society has existed since 1957, and now has about 80 members.
2004 – 15 years ago
Natimuk hosts the inaugural Triple J’s One Night Stand on July 28, 2004, beating another 50 towns to secure the event. Wimmera band The Dissociatives opened, while Aussie rock legends Grinspoon headlined.
Natimuk's entry was outstanding because the whole community clearly got involved. This is obvious from the 3000 signatures on their petition (from a town of 500). They even set up a website for the community to indicate their support, and they raised around $30,000 in pledges from local businesses and community members to contribute towards the success of the event.Triple J website
2009 – 10 years ago
Horsham becomes one of many parts of Victoria to fall victim to bushfires on February 7. Eight homes and the golf club are destroyed in the Haven area as flames scorch around 5700 hectares of land on the city fringe.
2014 – five years ago
The Wimmera experiences one of the biggest bushfires in its history – the Northern Grampians Complex fire.
It burns more than 55,000 hectares after being ignited by lightning on January 15. More than 135 structures were lost and about 7500 stock in the Brimpaen, Laharum, Wartook, Roses Gap, St Helens Plains and Dadswells Bridge areas.
Horsham-raised Sydney Swans AFL premiership player and dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes is named Australian of the year for 2014, for his work calling out racism the year before.
The Wimmera’s first Sunni mosque opened on Stawell Road on October 28 of the same year, after the plan for an Islamic place of worship received strong support from across the region.