Green Ponds in 1841: small, but a major stopping-place on the Main Road (ALMFA, SLT)
Kempton was originally home to the Big River tribe of Aboriginal people, who retreated from their land when European settlers arrived in the 1820s. The area was called Green Ponds, and the first land grant went to Anthony Fenn Kemp, after whom the town was eventually named.
Situated on the main north-south route, the town provided services to travellers and local farmers, with inns and shops, churches, fine private houses, and a flourmill, brewery and rabbit skin business. As travel became faster the town declined in importance, though it was the centre of the Green Ponds Municipality (1862). The main railway bypassed the town, though a link was built in 1888. The town was also bypassed by the main road in 1977, and Kempton with its fine colonial buildings developed a tourist industry. In 1993 Green Ponds was subsumed in the new Southern Midlands municipality.
Further reading: Let's talk about Kempton, 1996, TL.