One of Queensland's earliest rural settlements, Gatton lies in the
heart of a rich farming area. Its fertile black soils are used to grow
potatoes, onions, and vegetables for the Brisbane markets and
contributes towards its healthy beef and dairy industries.
Location: 90 km west of Brisbane; 104 m above sea level.
As part of the "Salad Bowl" of the Lockyer Valley, the area is
primarily agricultural, with vegetables making up the majority of
crops. Fruit was grown extensively in the Shire until the 1990s, when
economic conditions changed and many of the orchards were removed.
There is also significant beef and dairy cattle farming, (Stanbroke
Beef operates its abattoir at nearby Grantham) along with a growing
equine industry, and the town is also a noted producer of fodder crops,
particularly prime lucerne hay.
Places of interest: Lake Apex; Gatton College (1897); Gatton and
District Historical Society Museum; Gormans Gap Road (The Marked Tree
Line, an old wagon route since 1840s); Rocky Scrub Creek Aboriginal
rock shelter and engravings.
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The area was explored in 1825 by Major Edmund Lockyer (after whom
the Lockyer Creek was named), the man who established the town of
Albany in WA two years later. The area was settled by Europeans in the
1840s after land around Moreton Bay was opened up to free settlers.
In April 1855 the village of Gatton was gazetted and had become a major
stopover point on the road from Brisbane to the Darling Downs. The town
was officially surveyed in 1859 and town allotments went on sale in
1860. The railway from Ipswich reached Gatton in 1875.
Origin of name: believed to be named after the village of Gatton in Surrey, England.