Moolap 3221

Moolap, 5 km. east-south of Geelong, is a locality which has agricultural and industrial uses and low-density residential development. Its post code area includes Point Henry, Geelong's first place for maritime cargo movements, but later the site of the Alcoa aluminum refinery and the Cheetham salt-harvesting works.

Moolap is derived from an Aboriginal word for Point Henry, moo-laa, thought to mean men gathering to go fishing.

When first settled Moolap was readily described as part of Point Henry or Leopold, and the districts overlapped each other. Schools at Point Henry served the district, and a Moolap school was not opened until 1874. One of the earliest buildings erected at Moolap was an Anglican parsonage (1855), midway between the churches at Point Henry and Leopold.

In 1879 the railway line passed through Moolap when the line was opened between Geelong and Queenscliff. The land north of Moolap and along the west side of Pint Henry was low-lying, occasionally washed by Spring tides from Stingaree Bay (Corio Bay). The salt deposits inspired Richard Cheetham to open salt-harvesting works in 1888, with a tram line connecting them to the railway.

The salt harvesting ceased during the late 1980s, and industrial areas were created nearby, on the opposite side of the Portarlington Road. A number of sports and recreation facilities have been established as Moolap became an outer suburb of Geelong. Moolap had a post office in the nineteenth century, but its latter-day growth has not included a shopping centre. The nearest such activity is a monthly community market.

South of Moolap is the Reedy Lake game reserve with a golf course on its margins.

Moolap's census populations have been 319 (1921) and 651 (1947). After then the figures have been partly or fully included in those of the Geelong urban region.




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