Pimpinio is a rural village in the Wimmera region, on the Western Highway, 17 km north of Horsham. The name is thought to have been derived from an Aboriginal word describing a man squatting on his heels, or children.

A hotel and blacksmith’s forge was established in the Pimpinio area in about 1870, and the Pimpinio school was opened in 1874 in a Union Church hall. When the railway was extended from Horsham to Dimboola, via Pimpinio, a hotel and a store were opened. The store was a branch of Langlands at Horsham.

Pimpinio was mainly a dry farming area, but several farms ran small dairy herds and formed a cooperative butter factory. It continued until a prolonged drought occurred in the late 1890s. Pimpinio was described at about that time in the Australian handbook (1903) and in a local author’s novel The Cocky Farmer (c1907). The author, Nathan Spielvogel, taught at the nearby Dimboola Village Settlement school. The Australian handbook’s description was:

Spielvogel described Pimpinio as standing in the great Wimmera plain, and consisting of:

an hotel, known as the ‘pub’, a general store where everything is to be bought, and a blacksmith’s shop. On the one side is the little weather-beaten railway station and postoffice combined, with its pretty rows of trees and plots of flowers. On the other side is a gently sloping hill. At the foot is the wooden church that does duty for all denominations. Not far from this is the tiny hall where rural concerts and dances are held. Here, too gather weekly the village politicians to discuss the affairs of their country. Scattered about here and there are the comfortable cottages of railway employees and wheat buyers; while spreading to the sky-line in all directions are the farm lands. On the top of the hill, at some distance from the village, yet in full view, is the little school-house.

Since Spielvogel, Pimpinio has added silos, a recreation reserve, golf course, tennis courts and other sports facilities, and a motor garage replaced the blacksmith. There is also a town water supply. The school closed in about 1993-94, when a small history was published to mark its 120th anniversary. It was purchased by the Horsham Council for use by the community. In 1941 the present hall replaced the mechanics’ institute.

Pimpinio’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Pimpinio 1891 72
  1911 314
  1933 205
  1954 311
  1961 246
Pimpinio and environs 2006 338
  2011 342

Further Reading

L.J. Blake and K.H. Lovett, Wimmera Shire centenary, the shire, 1962

The history of the Pimpinio primary school 1874-1994, Pimpinio, c1994