The historic township of Whitton, 24kms west of Leeton, was established in 1881 on the South Western Railway from Junee to Hay to connect the valuable western Riverina wool trade to Sydney.
Opened as ‘Hulong’, after the Pastoral Run to the west, the Railway Station was renamed in 1883 by the SRA. They predicted that the future town to grow around the station would become an important regional centre and the new name would be a good way to remember John Whitton, the Chief Engineer of Railways NSW since 1857.
During the 1880s-1900s period, the Whitton Railway Station received wool and wheat from Pastoral Stations north towards the Lachlan River mainly around Cargelligo and Euabalong. Copper ingots were also carried to Whitton Station by horse or bullock teams from Mt. Hope until 1910. Whitton was the main town for Selectors on Nth Kooba, Nth Benerembah and Nth Bringagee Pastoral Stations from 1885 until c1918. ‘Whitton District’ extended from Mt. Ida (Tabbita), Jondaryon (Griffith), Rankin’s Springs and Binya until railways reached those areas.
People from this wide area were drawn to Whitton for the Railway Station (wheat, wool, copper ingots, livestock, passengers, mail and shop supplies), A.J.S Bank (1889-1910), Postal and Telegraphic services, a variety of shops, hotels and a Rabbit Meat Canning Factory (1897-1906). Whitton also hosted community groups such as the Farmers and Settlers Association and the Riverine Carriers' Union during its colonial era.
A series of fires from 1892 to 1927 destroyed many of the original Colonial style wooden buildings. Art Deco style buildings replaced these, some of which remain today.