In the mid 1850s the land around the Waurn Ponds Creek was sold in small lots of varying sizes. William Murray established the Waurn Ponds Inn in 1856 on the south-west corner of Marendaz and Colac Roads. The population in the area had increased rapidly with quarries, orchards and vineyards providing plenty of work.
By 1859 Charles Simmons, who migrated from Norfolk, England to join his parents, took over the hotel. He retired from the hotel in 1876 and farmed land at Waurn Ponds until his death on 22 January 1894 at the age of eighty years. He was buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.