The first pioneers arrived between 1867 and 1869. It was around this time that the old Snowtown Pub (1868) was built. It wasn't until 1869 that the government took much interest in the area. At this time they planned to establish towns throughout the district and to divide the land into much smaller holdings.
Snowtown is a small township which was formally proclaimed by Governor Jervois in 1878. Jervois named the town after one of the members of the Snow family - probably Thomas who was Jervois's aide de camp, although Sebastian Snow as the Governor's Private Secretary.
It is located on a fertile plain between the Mt Lofty Ranges and the Barunga Range.
The town's main street is Fourth Street which is notable for the large number of attractive public buildings - notably the Snowtown Memorial Hall (1919) which is attached to the Old Institute (1889). Over the road from the Institute is the town's tribute to the pioneers which tells the traveller that the town's population is 520. Elevation is 103 metres and it gets 389 mm of rainfall per annum.
The town achieved notoriety in 1999 when it became the site of the largest serial killing in Australia - a number of bodies were found in the town's disused bank building. When added to bodies found in a yard in suburban Adelaide the total came to eleven.