David Pettavel who came to Australia in 1842 purchased 585 acres from the crown stretching from Reservoir Road to Waurn Ponds Creek in 1848. He established the Victoria vineyard here with about 20 acres of vines and 20 acres of orchard.
In 1861 a road was opened on the western side of his land starting at Colac Road and continuing south to Louttit Bay Road. This road became known as Pettavel Road. The area in the vicinity of this road became known as Pettavel after his death in 1871.
The facilities were scattered. The first was a Presbyterian school which opened in 1856 on the north east corner of Mount Duneed and Pettavel Roads. By 1858 31 pupils attended this school originally named Duneed with William Savage as head teacher. A stone church was later built on the Mount Duneed Road site by the Presbyterians. The ruins of the church are all that remain today.
A state school was built between Mount Duneed and Dickins Roads on the west side on a one acre site bought from FB White for £20.
A station named Pettavel Road was opened in 1883. A platform on the northern side had a shelter shed opposite a loop siding and goods platform. The station closed in 1952.
A store operated by Louis Mermod on the Colac Road near the eight mile post was granted a wine licence in the 1870s. He was cautioned that he must keep the store and post office separate from the drinking part of the establishment. There had been complaints of horse racing being carried out on Sundays at his place. In 1874 he had his colonial wine licence transferred from his Pettavel store to Waurn Ponds where he held a rural store license. The post office was then operated by the Marendaz family. It closed on 1 November 1894 possibly when the postmistress was sent to prison.
Harry Kurzmann erected a lean-to against his house at the corner of Dickins and Pettavel Roads, open at one end and with a tarpaulin at the other for weather protection. Local dances and card parties were held at this venue named Joy Ark. Horse races and athletic events were held in an adjoining paddock. Residents of this district and neighbouring Freshwater Creek regularly used this venue.
All of these buildings have now disappeared. Even the stone church which was used to store hay was destroyed after a fire on 19 December 1972.
A Presbyterian school which opened in 1856 on the north east corner of Mount Duneed and Pettavel Roads had 31 pupils by 1858. It was originally named Duneed with William Savage as head teacher. A stone church was later built on the Mount Duneed Road site by the Presbyterians. — J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria
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