Eton, a rural town of 300 people, is 25 km south-west of Mackay.
Eton had its first sale of township lots in 1865, three years after the European settlement of Mackay, and shortly after the land sale the Great Northern Hotel was opened. Situated in the heart of fertile cane growing country, Eton was readily settled. In 1885 a railway connection from a mile north of Eton to Mackay was opened, and in 1886 it was extended across Sandy Creek into Eton. The railway extension coincided with the opening of the North Eton central sugar mill. Eton, with a small town population, had a considerable catchment of farming families for its local businesses. It was described in the Australian Handbook in 1903:
The North Eton mill was refinanced by the Queensland Government and changed over to a co-operative in 1928. It is 4 km from Eton and has a small settlement with a primary school (1895). In 1959 the railway line between Eton and North Eton was closed.
Cost pressures on the Mackay sugar industry brought about the amalgamation of five mills, including North Eton, under the aegis of Mackay Sugar (1988). The prospect of rationalising the number of mills and investing in the remaining ones was proposed, and North Eton was closed at the end of the 1988 crushing season. The remainder of the branch line to North Eton had been closed in 1971, leaving Eton as a local centre in a cane growing district. It has a hotel, a primary school (1883), a bowling club and a recreation reserve.
Eton's census populations have been: