The Aboriginal meaning of Yornaning is 'land of many waters'.

As the central area of the Shire, Yornaning was originally one of the most important railway sidings along the Great Southern Railway, as a major water taking stop for the steam engines. On average, 30 passenger and freight trains once passed through Yornaning per week and stations were built to cater for this. Maintenance crew were encouraged to take up land in the township and surveyors named streets in the town after those who did. Sadly due to faster and more efficient means of transport the decline of the railway was imminent. Many buildings were removed and all that remains now is the Wheat Silo.

However, Yornaning is frequently visited by locals and tourists now that the Yornaning Dam has been developed and is a popular recreation area.