Marshall, previously called Marshalltown, is an industrial and residential suburb 5 km south of Geelong. Its neighbouring area is Breakwater, and was included in that area before gaining a separate name.
The Breakwater area was used for tanneries, fellmongeries and animal by-product industries. Many of them were located there to take advantage of the saltwater Barwon River, south of the artificial breakwater that was built in 1837. By the mid-1850s Thomas Marshall, a Geelong wool merchant, established a wool scouring works near the breakwater, and the place was named after him.
In the 1850s Marshall and areas to its south were covered with wattle, a source of wattle bark for tanneries. The Australia Tannery (1852-1925) was near the sewerage aqueduct over the Barwon River (north of Sparrowvale Road). In 1877 the railway line from Colac to Geelong was opened, and in 1879 there was a line to Geelong racecourse until 1906 when racing moved to north of the river at Breakwater.
By the early 1900s Marshall had a small industrial township with a school, hotel, post office and an Anglican church. Most residents were employed in industries located on the Barwon River, although the racecourse was developed as a model dairy farm. Marshalltown was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:
Marshall remained beyond the edge of urban growth in the Geelong area. To its west Grovedale expanded, to some extent occupying former Marshall territory. The urban centre of Marshall is near the intersection of Marshalltown and Barwon Heads Roads, with a reserve, tennis court and retirement village. In 2012 residential development in Marshall was signalled by the Armstrong Creek development plan.
The primary school closed in 1948 because of declining attendances and the Anglican church closed during the 1980s. The railway station, closed in 1964, re-opened in 2005.
Marshall’s census populations have been:
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