Edward Curr is reputed to be the first white man through the area, taking up 250,000 acres (100,000 hectares) in 1840. The squatters reign lasted around 30 years with many divisions and much trading of the land. James Cowper (Cooper) was the first resident, taking up the Burramboot Station in 1841 and where the name for Lake Cooper originated.

The 1850s saw the first vineyards in the area, however most farming was sheep or cattle at this time. As with most small towns in Victoria, Corop was a stop-over between larger towns in the days when horses were the main means of transport.

A post office was established in 1868 and a school soon followed. Corop rapidly expanded into a bustling community so much so that it is said that serious consideration was given to the railway coming to Corop rather than through Elmore (then Runnymede) and then on to Rochester when the lines were established in 1874.

In 1869 the Grant Act allowed the Selectors to move into the area, many from the Victorian Goldfields. Pioneering families such as Furphy, Stevens, Dutton, Speers and Kerlin still have descendants residing in the area.

Late in the 1800s Corop had seven hotels, post office, butchers, bakers, harness makers, stores, hardware merchants, flour mills, police station, bank, two saleyards, hall, library, racecourse and several churches. Of course other businesses such as stables and feed stores for the many horse drawn vehicles abounded. Most of the original town buildings have been destroyed or removed.

Corop West also had its own settlement around a school, post office and the grand two-storey Marktree Hotel.