Laen is a rural locality in the Wimmera region, 20 km south-west of Donald and 45 km south-east of Warracknabeal. It was named after a pastoral run west of Donald, taken up in 1845 by Wedge and Co, comprising four brothers who included the Tasmanian pastoralist John Helder Wedge who was a member of John Batman's Port Phillip Assocation (1835). It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word meaning good or sweet.
Closer-settlement farm selections were begun in the Laen district in 1873. Within two years more than half the selections were occupied, and a school was opened in 1875 in a Presbyterian church.
The Laen district comprised pastoral and cereal-growing land, with some dairying, extending about 15 km west of the Richardson River. Schools were opened at Laen East (1883-1948) and at Laen North (1876-1920) and the Victorian municipal directory recorded a mechanics' institute at Laen in 1910. Nothing in the way of a commercial centre developed, however. The Laen school closed in 1986.
Laen's census populations were:
|Including Laen North||1961||251|