The area was first explored by George Fletcher Moore who named the Moore River in 1836. The settlement of the area occurred in the 1840s but there was no need for a township. As late as 1873, when the telegraph passed through the area, the operator was a member of the family at Berkshire Valley. The town eventually grew up on the banks of the river and was officially gazetted on 12 April 1895. It was named after some sort of corruption of 'Maura' which was said to be the name local Aborigines gave to a well to the west of the town.
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