Braybrook

The stony creek that gives Braybrook a portion of its name is something of a freak occurrence. While the nearby Maribyrnong, into which it drains, was once known as Saltwater river, the majority of its tributaries on the western bank are fresh water streams, usually due to steep and rocky courses that prevented the tidal flows of salt water from reaching too far upstream. But the brook of bray is not: it is a saltwater course from start to finish.

Some decades back, inspired by this fact, a local wag named Al Stimson assembled a few friends and some venture capital, and dug up a large portion of the area, searching for what Stimson claimed must be an enormous subterranean salt deposit. The planned mine slowly dwindled away – from the large open cut that it began with, smaller mines branched away, and their tailings slowly filled in the open cut, creating a large flat area (the site of modern Skinner Oval in Braybrook).

Aside from the failure to discover what other local wags were quick to dub Stimson’s Reef, the other major factor in the failure of the mine was the inability of the miners to water their donkeys. The animals quite rightly objected to the briny taste of Stony Creek and its catchments, and the sound of their protests so characterised the area for a time that it is still commemorated today in the suburb’s name.

Suburbs near Braybrook: