Deer Park History mural text
(please note some alterations were made, but this is fairly close to what is in the mural)
Deer Park History Mural
This place became known as Deer Park in 1889, because of the deer kept in the area for the Melbourne Hunt Club. Previously it was called Kororoit by the early European settlers. In 1875 Kororoit is described as a postal township situated on both banks of the Kororoit Creek. The district is ‘agricultural and pastoral’. Kororoit is from the Woiwurrung language, of the indigenous Wurundjeri People who have lived in this area for many thousands of years.
(Kororoit creek text to run alongside the river)
Many creatures lived for many thousands of years along the Kororoit Creek. The animals were important for the environment and also some of them were food sources for the people who lived along the creek
The original people who lived in this area were the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. They are the original custodians of this land. The Kororoit Creek and the surrounding flora and fauna were very important to the Wurundjeri People. The remains of scar trees and rock carvings and flints along the river bear evidence of this history.
The original people who lived in this area were the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge the significance of this country to them, especially the Kororoit Creek which was a source of physical and spiritual nourishment. We are proud to acknowledge the Wurundjeri People as the traditional custodians of this land. We pay our respect to the land and to the Elders of the Kulin Nation, both past and present. We also extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
Text for Indigenous History
The first inhabitants of this area were the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, who have been, and still are, the original custodians of this land going back for many tens of thousands of years.
The Kororoit Creek and the surrounding flora and fauna were very important to the Wurundjeri People as they provided them with food to eat, water to drink and were an intrinsic part of their spiritual life.
The remains of scar trees and rock carvings and flints along the river bear evidence of their long history in the area.
1824 Hume and Hovell, memorials
Hamilton Hume and William Hovell arrived in the area as part of their expedition to explore grazing land and the rivers. The cairn was erected in 1924 to mark the 100 year anniversary of the expedition.
Early European settlers
Agriculture was promoted, with several selectors taking up land under the Land Act 1869. The local soil's poor quality encouraged mixed farming, usually hay-growing and grazing.
1942 Black powder mill
1871 census – showing that only 51 People lived in Deer park in 9 dwellings
1874 – first explosives factory in Melbourne built at Kororoit Creek
1874 Opening of Deer Park Primary School
1891 St John’s Anglican church in miles street
1886 The Huntclub opened.
1886 Braybrook shire Hall (first council was located in Deer Park)
1936 A New black powder factory built in Deer Park, and enlarged during the second world war.
Following the discovery of gold in Ballarat and Bendigo, to the west, there became a great demand for explosives.
Commenced by Jones Scott and Co in about 1874 and later reformed as Australian Explosives and Chemical Co, then Nobel (Australasia), Imperial Chemical Industries of Australian and New Zealand (ICIANZ) and most recently Orica.
The site was chosen for its isolation, as it was several miles from the outskirts of Melbourne and the Kororoit Creek could be used as a water source. By 1951 ICI employed 2452 workers.
The Post Office opened in 1878 as Kororoit Creek and was renamed Deer Park in 1889.
living in deer park
For many years Deer Park remained mainly open space, around the explosive and munitions industries. Residences were built by ICI to attract workers to the area. many of the surrounding streets are named for localities in the UK, where ICI had operations.
In the 1970’s people began to take advantage of the cheap house and land packages on offer and to settle in Deer Park. Most of the homes in Deer Park were built in the last fifty years. The Albion explosives complex, built in 1940 and closed in 1980, and the Cairnlea estate developed on the site.
Census figures for Deer Park
1871( Kororoit Creek) 9 inhabited dwellings 51 people
1891 12 inhabited dwellings, 57 persons
1901 29 inhabited dwellings , 153 persons
1911 47 inhabited dwellings, 224 persons
Deer Park Club History
The Deer Park Club Inc. was formally known as the ICI Club. Founded in 1957 by the ICI company (now Orica) as a social club for its employees. The club developed into a community based venue with sports and recreation facilities.