The History of Somerville

Somerville Plaza Hero Woolworths BWS

Somerville is a suburb in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. 55 km SouthEast from Melbourne’s Central Business district. The town forms a part of the  urban enclave on Western Port comprising Somerville,Tyabb, Hastings, Bittern, and Crib Point. Statistically it is a part of Greater Melbourne, it’s local government area is the Shire Mornington Peninsula. At the 2016 Census, Somerville had a population of 11,336, that is more people than they had back in 2010, the population then sat at 10,730. Over the years the small suburb has progressively grown more and more. 

Somerville is approximately 38kms, originally an orchard town, Somerville has experienced significant population growth over the last 25 years.  

The Township was once located on Lower Somerville Road, with a few original buildings still standing today. Somerville Post office was one of the first businesses to open in Somerville on November 21 1870 and closed 1893.
The Railway came to Somerville in September of 1889, Somerville Station was originally situated just over 1 km from Lower Somerville Road and the town centre. It was then relocated to its current location during the 1890’s. Somerville Railway Station Post Office opened on the 15th of August 1890.
A Frankston historian  claimed that the town’s name had connections with Canada; two of the settlers in the area were Canadian and were responsible for the name of Canadian Bay and Jones and Hodgins Rds.

A Frankston historian said that the town was named after Sir William Meredith Somerville (who was elevated to the peerage in 1863, three years before the earliest mention of the locality name in “The Argus”.) But it wasn’t until 1907 that it was renamed to Somerville.

Sommie Hotel was built in the early 1900’s along with the Mechanics Hall. Formed as part of the station street shopping strip.North side of the station, beautiful historical buildings lined the railway until 1987 where they were burnt down in an act of vandalism. 

In the 1900’s throughout World War II, Somerville was known best for the fruit that was produced in its orchards. As Somerville was best known for their nurseries and orchards they started to have a harvest festival that was held once a year and that tradition was rich up until recently. 


The War memorial was unveiled in Somerville on November 4th 1923, the memorial sat proudly at the intersection of Frankston Flinders Road and Eramosa Road West. Due to the increasing population and the amount of traffic, the memorial had to be moved from this busy intersection to Clarinda Street in 1966. 

In November of 2014 to April 2015 the memorial was moved from Clarinda Street to the Fruit growers Reserve. The cenotaph was restored with markers surrounding it telling the residents of the history in their amazing town, Tree’s were also planted surrounding the memorial in remembrance of the lost soldiers.
An avenue of honour was originally located on Eramosa Road East where the road was lined with plane trees in 1917. Each tree that was planted is to represent the residents of Somerville who fought in World War 1. Unfortunately, in 1970 the trees were removed by the local shire and footpaths were laid in their place, But in early 2013 the new Avenue of Honour of ornamental pear trees were planted alongside station street  in hopes to restore what was. 

Somerville is rich in history, compared to some places Somerville is still a new town. There is so much to know and learn about the places we come from and we should be proud of the history our suburb holds. We continue to grow as a suburb with constant residential developments, commercial developments and small businesses opening every day. As the years roll on, we continue to create history. Somerville is an incredibly amazing town that proves time and time again to work together. To this day you can visit historic buildings and reserves.

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