Freshwater Creek

Freshwater Creek is a rural locality 9 km north-west of Torquay and 80 km south-west of Melbourne. It is situated west of the junction of two creeks, one salty and the other fresh. It appears that when land sales for farms occurred in 1854 the fresh water creek inspired the place name.

There were two early groups of settlers. Anglo-Celtic settlers built a Wesleyan school in 1856 in Dickins Road near where it crosses the fresh Duneed Creek and German settlers built a Lutheran church in Blackgate Road in 1859. Their church, named Waldkirch, was replaced with a sturdy bluestone building in 1868. Later named St David's, the church and its cemetery are heritage listed.

A government primary school opened in 1883, and there was also a hotel (1859) and an Anglican church. In 1903 Freshwater Creek was described in the Australian handbook:

A mechanics' institute was built in 1920 and replaced with a modern hall in 1985.

A severe fire inland from Torquay in 1940 led to the formation of the Freshwater Creek bushfire brigade in 1942. There is a fire lookout on Mt Duneed about 4 km north-east of the fire station.

Freshwater Creek's residents are farmers and rural/residential people who also find work in Torquay and Geelong. The State school closed in 1993 but families in the district started a P-7 Steiner school c2006. The rural fire brigade and the public hall are important community centres.

Freshwater Creek's census populations have been:

census date population
1911 126
1933 101
1954 119
1961 114
2006 557
2011 455

Further Reading

Dirleen Bufton, Going to blazes: the story of the Freshwater Creek rural fire brigade, Marshalltown, 2004