The proclamation of Fryerstown in 1860 was a reflection of the emergence of towns in the Mount Alexander goldfields. Previously, the 1857 census collector had referred to the locality as ‘Fryers Forest’ after alluvial gold had been found at Fryers Creek in 1851. The area had been held as grazing land by pastoralist, Peter Fryer, after whom the creek was named.
In 1870 an extensive artificial water channelling system was completed to make surface workings in the district viable. Constructed by the Loddon & Tributaries Water Company, it supplied local mining areas such as Fryerstown with their needs.