The Store in Deans Marsh.

Town by town snapshot: Deans Marsh

August 15, 2019 BY


The size of Deans Marsh is approximately 57.1 square kilometres with the population of Deans Marsh in 2011 recorded at 372 people and by the 2016 Census the population was 256 showing a population decline of 31.2% in the area during that time.

Deans Marsh is a rural village 4 kilometres north of the Otway State Forest and 27 km east of Colac.

It is at the junction of the roads from Colac and Winchelsea where they converge southwards to Lorne, on the coastal side of the Otways.

Deans Marsh was thought to be named after Charles Dean, who held a grazing licence in the area from about 1846.

Surveyed farms were taken up during the early 1860s, and a school was opened in 1865.

A store was built in 1868 and in the late 1870’s Lorne became a popular resort, Erskine House and Lorne Hotel were opened in 1878 and the Deans Marsh hotel was a coach stop on the journey.

During the next 40 years Deans Marsh experienced a mixture of closures and new institutions.

The butter factory and the hotel were closed by 1924, but a sports pavilion, Methodist church and motor garage were opened with the railway line closing in 1957.

There is a commemorative plaque at the cottage where the operatic singer Marjorie Lawrence (1907-79) was born, Deans Marsh is mentioned in Lawrence’s autobiography.

CoreLogic data indicates that the predominant age group in Deans Marsh is 40-49 years with households in Deans Marsh being primarily childless couples and are likely to be repaying $1,800 – $2,399 per month on mortgage repayments, and in general, people in Deans Marsh work in a manager’s occupation.

In 2011, 82.3% of the homes in Deans Marsh were owner-occupied compared with 76.3% in 2016.