A substantial agricultural based town of over 6,000 people, Gatton, is west of Brisbane, located between Toowoomba and Ipswich in South East Queensland.
Gatton is the primary commercial centre of the Lockyer Valley. First discovered by Major Edmund Lockyer in 1825, settlers first entered the valley in 1841 taking up pastoral runs. The township of Gatton was proclaimed in 1859, town allotments started being sold in 1860.
In 1866 the railway line from Ipswich reached Gatton, its arrival coincided with immigrant farmers entering the valley including many Irish and German settlers. Gatton post office, police station, court house and catholic school opened in 1868.
Dairy farming came to the fore in the late 1890’s supported by the opening of the Gatton Agricultural College in 1897. During the post war years Gatton’s population climbed, but the dairy industry slowed and was quickly replaced by an expanding horticulture and market garden industry that continues to thrive today.
Today, Gatton has a comprehensive shopping precinct, golf, bowling, swimming and horse racing venues, a showground, indoor sports centre, hospital, public and private primary schools and a high school plus numerous churches, a heritage museum and a civic centre.
Gatton Agricultural College, a campus of the University of Queensland, is east of the town centre and includes veterinary teaching and research facilities.