OUR HISTORY

WILLIAMSTOWN BEACH RAILWAY STATION WAS BUILT IN 1889 AS WILLIAMSTOWN WAS PROMOTED AS A SEA SIDE RETREAT FOR MELBOURNE CITY DWELLERS.(1)

Indigenous Australians occupied the area long before maritime activities shaped the modern historical development of Williamstown. The Yalukit-willam clan of the Kulin nation were the first people to call Hobsons Bay home. (2) They inhabited the thin coastal strip from Werribee to Williamstown/Hobsons Bay. The Yalukit-willam referred to the Williamstown area as "koort-boork-boork", a term meaning "clump of she-oaks", literally "She-oak, She-oak, many." (3)

Originally Williamstown was Melbourne's first sea port and much of the original buildings were built by convicts around 1830 including a 30-metre stone jetty in 1838 where Gem Pier now stands. (4)

Williamstown was declared a municipal borough in 1856 and a municipal town in 1886. Williamstown Beach, with its own railway station, was a popular metropolitan destination, and a life saving club was formed in 1922. (5)

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Williamstown was being promoted as a health resort. The Williamstown Baths were built in 1888, at the current site of the kiosk, and hot sea baths were added in 1902 (later destroyed by a storm in 1934). In the early 1900s, the promenade and bluestone wall were built along the foreshore. The dressing pavilion (now Sebastian Beach Grill & Bar), and life saving clubrooms were added in the 1930s. (6)