settlement the area was utilised by the Wiradjuri people.
European settlement of the district began after Hamilton Hume's
exploration in 1824. A sheep station known as 'Murrumburra' was
established in the late 1820s. James Kennedy, superintendent of
the 'Murrumburra' run, opened an inn around the late 1840s which
was the first authorised business to be conducted on the
townsite. Gold was discovered a few kilometres to the north-west
of the present townsite in 1854 but serious prospecting didn't
begin until 1856.
At this time
Kennedy wrote to the government to interest them in the
establishment of a townsite. The settlement was gazetted in 1858
as Murrimboola (Aboriginal word meaning two waterholes or two
canoes). This was later changed c.1880 to Murrumburrah.
The mail service
began in 1860 and a flour mill soon followed. The first school
was established in 1862-63 and St Mary's Roman Catholic Church
was built in 1868. The larger runs of the district were broken
up in 1879.
In the course of
the 1870s the population increased dramatically from 182 to
1620. Until 1880 Harden was known as Murrumburrah North (the
name change was a decision made by the postmaster general).
It had become an
important rail centre when the railway station was built there
By the turn of
the century Harden's commercial centre had outstripped that of
Murrumburrah. It continued to prosper until the Great Depression
when larger locomotives negated the need for crew and engine
changes at Harden.