Broughton is a rural district in north-west Victoria, 33 km north-west of Nhill. It was named after the Broughton family, the holder or owner of several grazing properties, beginning with John Broughton’s ‘Ballarook’ (1870).
Within ten years several properties were sub-divided for farms, and settlers moved into the district. It was known as Shingle Hut Dam until 1888. A Presbyterian church was opened in 1887, a school in 1889 and a Methodist church in about 1891.
Broughton was a wool and cereal-growing area, but it remained beyond the reach of the rail network until the period 1910-20. There was agitation for a railway service from Jeparit to Broughton, but the line ended at Yanac (1916) about seven kilometres from Broughton. Beyond Broughton the country was increasingly desert-like, left mostly unaltered until the Telopea Downs project after World War II.
In 1957, while good seasons and prices were still in the air, a new public hall was built. The school, however, was closed and pupils bussed to Kaniva consolidated school. In 1999 the Methodist (Uniting) church held its last service.
Broughton’s census populations have been:
Back-to-Broughton, Broughton Hall Committee, 1957
Les Blake, The land of Lowan: 100 years in Nhill and West Wimmera, Nhill, 1976