Footscray is an inner-western suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 5 km from Melbourne's Central Business District.
- Area:5.05 km2
- Elevation:26 m
- Local Government Area:Maribyrnong City Council
Footscray is an inner-western suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 5 km from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Maribyrnong. At the 2016 census, Footscray had a population of 16,345.Footscray is characterised by a very diverse, multicultural central shopping area, which reflects the successive waves of immigration experienced by Melbourne, and by Footscray in particular. Once a centre for Greek, Italian and former Yugoslavian migrants, it later became a hub for Vietnamese and East African immigrants in Melbourne. It has recently begun to undergo rapid development and gentrification, and Timeout Magazine placed Footscray at 13th in its '50 Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World' for 2019, reflecting its evolving reputation; citing in particular its diverse array of international cuisine, bars and nightlife, as well as its arts scene.Footscray is named after Foots Cray, on the River Cray in London, England.
Footscray is part of the City of Maribyrnong and was built largely on the traditional lands of the Kulin nation.For thousands of years, Footscray was the meeting place of the lands of the Yalukit-willan, the Marin-balluk and the Wurundjeri. Koories stalked game, collected food and fished along the river junction, estuaries, swamps and lagoons. Within Melbourne's western region, the Marin-balug and Kurung-jand-balug clans of the Woiwurrung cultural group, and the Yalukit willam clan of the Boonwurrung cultural group shared the luscious resources around the Maribyrnong Valley.The first European to visit the area was Charles Grimes in 1803. A park, where he landed, is named after him at Napier St.In 1839 a punt (cable ferry) was built on the Maribyrnong River, it was the only connecting link between Melbourne and Geelong, Ballarat, Castlemaine and Bendigo. The Punt Hotel opened three years later and was the first building in the area.During the first decade drovers transporting cattle and sheep provided the only business at the hotel. After 1851, when gold was discovered out west, the pub did a roaring trade with diggers. Part of the old pub still stands and it has been renamed The Pioneer.(Ref: Charlie Lovett's Footscray)
The Post Office first opened on 12 October 1857.Footscray was declared a municipality in 1859 with a population of 300 and 70 buildings. Around the same year the first bridge was built across Saltwater (now Maribyrnong) River. (Ref: Charlie Lovett's Footscray)
Between 1881 and 1891 Footscray's population more than tripled from almost 6,000 to 19,000. (Ref: Charlie Lovett's Footscray)
Footscray developed into an industrial zone in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the manufacturing industry beginning to decline in the 1960s and 70s.The Footscray Magistrates' Court closed on 1 February 1985.
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