Peterborough, (or Petersburg as it was known until 1918) was settled to service the agricultural and pastoral endeavours of the 1870s. A Mr William Heithersay was the first person to start a business venture up, when in 1878 he built a blacksmith shop. Several other ventures by other people soon followed. There are two theories as to how the town got its name. One is that it was named after Mr Peter Doecke, the original owner of the land on which the town was built. The other, that it was named after 'Peters Store', the first General Store in town.