Quorn History

Quorn Mill

Situated at 2 Railway Terrace this important building was constructed for John Dunn in 1879. Dunn was one of the most successful millers in the district and took advantage of the good years in the late 1870s when the wheat crops were substantial. Unfortunately a couple of years after it was built the district experienced a period of sustained drought which drove many of the wheat farmers off the land.

Quorn – the town

Historic railway town in the Flinders Ranges

Located 334 km north of Adelaide, 40 km from Port Augusta and 293 metres above sea level, Quorn is a small service centre at the southern end of the main Flinders Ranges.

Prior to European settlement it is thought the Nugunu Aborigines lived in the area. The first European settlers arrived in the 1850s. The town came into existence in 1875 and was named after Quorndon in Leicestershire. The name was given by Governor Jervois whose private secretary came from the near Quorndon. In 1878 the government sold plots of land in the area and by 1879 it had become an important stopping point on the Great Northern Railway line when the narrow gauge railway reached Quorn from Port Augusta. However its greatest period of importance as a railway centre was between 1917 and 1937 when it was the junction for both the east to west and north to south railway services.

This importance continued through World War II when over 400 people in the town were working for the railways. During this time thousands of troops passed through the town and it has been estimated that the local branch of the Country Womens Association provided over 1 million meals to the servicemen.

The standardisation of gauges, and the establishment of the standard gauge railway to Marree in 1956, saw the town’s importance decline.

Because of its location at the edge of the Flinders Ranges and its old style charm Quorn has been the setting for many scenes in many movies. The landscape and the town have been used in films as diverse as ‘Gallipoli’, ‘The Shiralee’, ‘The Sundowners’, ‘Sunday Too Far Away’ and ‘Robbery Under Arms’