The area was first settled by Europeans in 1846, when George Shaw and Horatio Ellerman applied for 130,000 acres for sheep grazing. Ellerman named the area after his birthplace, the Belgian city of Antwerp. In 1858 two Moravian missionaires, Reverend Hagenauer and Reverend Spieseke, arrived in the area. By 1859 they had built a church, and in 1860 they baptised their first Aborigine.
During the 1880s, the Eucalyptus Mallee Oil Company began operations in the township, distilling eucalyptus oil, which was sold under the brand name EMU.
Today, the ruins of the Ebenezer Mission to Aborigines still stand, but little else remains of the town besides a few houses, a grain silo, and a general store.