In the early 1860s the surveyors Adams and Twynam laid out a township on the Pimpampa Reserve. The name ‘Pimpaympa’ was submitted, but it was not approved by the Executive Council; instead they chose the name of ‘Maude’.
In April 1861 it was reported that "the Government have recently laid out a new township named Maude, at Pimpampa, on the Lower Murrumbidgee". However the writer expressed doubts about the viability of the new settlement: "It is… very improbable that many buildings will ever be erected on the spot, as during a flood, or even when the river is very high, the spot can hardly be approached on account of the deep creeks which encircle it on both sides of the river". During the past year the locality had been isolated by high waters for about six months, "and no one approached it unless obliged to do so by urgent necessity".
In late October 1861 the steamer Albury towed "a large punt" to the new township. The punt was being re-located from Deniliquin and belonged to Frank Johns and his partner William Platt. Johns and his family had moved to Maude and began to operate the punt at the locality soon after its arrival.
Frank Johns was a carpenter by trade and began to erect a hotel at Maude in conjunction with his working punt. The hotel was completed in November 1862. Johns applied to the Bench of Magistrates at Hay for a publican's licence, but the application was opposed by the local squatter and magistrate, Thomas D’Archy, because "there were no police at Maude". After the delay of a month, however, the licence for the Maude Punt Hotel was granted on the promise of police protection being provided within three months (although by the end of 1863 there was still no permanent police presence at Maude).
A post-office was established at Maude on 1 May 1863. The first post-master was probably Henry Prendergast, who, in conjunction with his son John had established a store at the township. In October 1863 Maude was designated as a place for the holding of Courts of Petty Sessions. By the end of the year the New South Wales Government had still not organised a land-sale at the township, despite frequent requests to this end by residents. The correspondent to the Sydney Morning Herald commented that "the whole place exists on sufferance, the owners of the buildings being in unauthorised occupation of Crown land".
Land at Maude was eventually offered for sale on 27 December 1865 (over four years after the township was first laid out and "after many of the original applicants [to buy land] had left the district").