Europeans discovered the Muswellbrook area in 1819. Prior to this, the Hunter and Goulburn Rivers was the meeting place for the ancestors of our Indigenous Community and today we continue to recognise these elders, past and present, as the traditional owners of this area. In 1833 Surveyor R Dixon drew the original plan of Muswellbrook, then known as Musclebrook. The first residential blocks were sold in 1834 in the area around the existing Bridge Street CBD.
The great northern railway came to Muswellbrook in 1869. The rail was a popular form of transport for people, goods and livestock. Today coal trains have become a very familiar sight.
Agriculture and dairying were a feature of early life in the district. Muswellbrook boasted a flourmill, brewery, cattle saleyards, milk and butter factory in its early years. Viticulture and wine making have become more prominent industries in recent years.
Coal mining and power generation have became increasingly important since the Muswellbrook Coal mine was established in 1907. Muswellbrook Coal was an early generator of electricity supplying adjoining areas outside the shire. The 1970s and 80s saw the construction of Liddell and Bayswater power stations. Residential and Industrial land development boomed after the 1950s. Private development has accelerated in the past 15 years.
The Muswellbrook Shire Local and Family History Society Inc have many books on Muswellbrook history and are located at Muswellbrook Library.