Some statistics of those early days
1851 Population of the town was 65 consisting of 41 males and 24 women and children.
1854 There were 10 to 12 buildings.
1857 Population 72.
1861 Population was 128. By 1871 - 366 on both sides of the river.
1880’s Population declined - 308 by 1881
1891 Population of South Riding (Werribee South) was 427
1901 Population of South Riding (Werribee South) was 1047. Population of the whole shire was 2757
Student Activity 2: Statistical Anaysis
- Compare the years provided and explain how Werribee's population increased. Was it slow? Quick? Consistent over the period?
- What do you think assisted the development and why?
- Given the size of the population can you explain why a railway station and inn might have been needed?
- Does the fact that a Chirnside was influential in the building of the railway help explain why a railway was needed? Does the fact that people travelled by horse/foot/wagon help explain why inns were built?
- Can you explain why Wyndham's population declined in the 1880's? In thinking about this consider the Port Phillip Associations' reasons for establishing settlements in Port Phillip and land usage?
- Why did Werribee South's population grow so much between 1891 and 1901?
Interesting First Facts:
The first bridge - Shaws Bridge.
The first inn — Halfway House - later called Golden Fleece. Built in 1836, the inn was not in Werribee but beside the river at the end of Heaths Road and Waterfront Boulevard — the reason, it was the easiest route for travellers between Melbourne and Geelong being the narrow point of the river for crossing.
The first railway line ran between Geelong and Newport, and did not go all the way to Melbourne.