Yet another lockdown (number 5) and we were back in Sorrento again, having arrived there the day before it was announced.

The one thing we are continually discovering about this seaside town, is its history.

In 1801 the first British settlers, led by Lieutenant John Murray arrived on what is now the Mornington Peninsula and claimed the area for King George III of Great Britain.

Before that the land was inhabited by the Boon Wurrung people for tens of thousands of years. They were what has been called ‘Saltwater’ people, who’s land occupied some 3,000 square kilometres around not only the Mornington Peninsula but Western Port Bay as well.

The British returned in 1803 and set up the Collins Settlement at Sullivans Bay. This was the first British settlement on mainland Australia outside of the Sydney area.

They hadn’t really done their homework regarding the peninsula, as there was no readily available fresh water, and it was abandoned after a few months.

The infamous convict, William Buckley, escaped from the settlement and lived with the aboriginals for over 30 years.

In 1869 the Collins Settlement was zoned for housing development and then became Sorrento. It saw many firsts, such as a magistrate’s court, public hospital, postal service and government printing service.

Sorrento also witnessed the state’s first wedding, christening and funeral and in the subsequent years, grand homes, hotels and public buildings were built in the area. Many of these were constructed from the local limestone and today have historical importance.

There was even a horse and steam powered tram, that was built in 1890 and ran from the front beach to the back beach.

And Sorrento Park, established in 1870, boasts an Allepo Pine that was grown from a seed of the Lone Pine of Gallipoli.

So in many respects this sign is correct, as nothing did happen on this site in 1782. All the recorded history happened after that.

However the Boon Wurrung people might disagree.

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