Originally a settlement of the Papora people, of various Chinese names (沙轆/沙轆社/社口番地), perhaps referring to sand blown by the wind. During the Kingdom of Tungning (1662－1683), the Taiwanese Plains Aborigines were driven away or sinicized, and the area became a Han settlement. In 1731 during Qing rule, Tamsui Subprefecture (淡水廳) extended from the Tai-kah River northward up to Kelang (雞籠; Keelung).
In 1920, during Japanese rule, the written name (Chinese: 沙轆; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Soa-la̍k; literally: "sand wheel") was changed (沙鹿; Soa-lo̍k; "sand deer"); in Japanese, both names are read as Sharoku. Administratively, Sharoku Village (Japanese: 沙鹿庄) was under Taikō District (大甲郡), Taichū Prefecture. In Taiwanese Hokkien, the old name (Soa-la̍k) is still used.
In 1945 the village was changed to an township, and was upgraded to a district in 2010.
Juren Village, Luoquan Village, Shalu Village, Meiren Village, Xingren Village, Xingan Village, Doudi Village, Lufeng Village, Luliao Village, Zhulin Village, Lifen Village, Fuxing Village, Beishi Village, Jinjiang Village, Liulu Village, Nanshi Village, Puzi Village, Sanlu Village, Gongming Village, Qingquan Village, Xishi Village.
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- Shalu District Government (Chinese)