Before white settlement the area where Carrum is now situated was part of a large swampland. The swamp had been created by waters from the east and the Dandenong Ranges flowing into the lower laying areas. It was about 15 kilometres long and covered a region that extended from Mordialloc to Frankston with its widest point stretching back as far as Bangholme. Excess waters from the swamp flowed into Port Phillip Bay through the Mordialloc and Kananook Creeks. [1
There had been previous unsuccessful attempts by the English to colonise the Port Phillip District. It wasn't until 1835 when Sydney born John Batman crossed Bass Strait from Van Dieman's land and founded a settlement on the banks of the Yarra that Port Phillip was finally settled by white men. The impact of white settlement was to have disastrous impact on the local Indigenous people. The Port Phillip district had been home to five Koorie tribes who all spoke a similar language. They called themselves 'Kulin' meaning human and had lived in Victoria for at least 40 thousand years. One of those tribes, the Bunurong lived along the coasts of Port Phillip and Westernport Bays. Their land encompassed the Carrum Carrum swamp and stretched from Werribee River and possibly as far east Wilson's Promontory 
With the advent of European settlement the Kulin Nation people were dispersed from their
lands. Conflict with the new settlers & introduced diseases killed many. Aboriginal birth rates fell dramatically. In 1840 Derrimut a leader of the Burrumbeet people said:
" You see all this mine - All along here Derrimut's once: No matter now, me soon tumble down - why me have piccaninny?
You have all this place. No good have children. No good have lubra, me tumble down and die very soon now" 
Derrimut died August 28 1864.
Group of Victoria Aborigines.
In 1866 the Carrum swamp was surveyed and the land between Mordialloc Creek and Keast Park Seaford was divided into 18 allotments and sold by auction for around three pounds per acre. In 1871 the
government opened it for selection. The swamp was an impediment to the settlers there was much discussion on how to reclaim the land, the first contracts for drainage works commenced in 1873. Attempts
to reclaim the lower swamplands were ineffective. In 1879 it was decided to cut a 10 metre wide
channel to the sea. It was known as ‘Patterson Cut’ and had been named
after a State Parliamentarian - the Hon. J.B. Patterson. He visited the area
and recommended that the Government make money available for drainage works.  The Carrum Swamp was gradually drained and was used for farming, market gardens and grazing. Patterson's Cut was to become the Patterson River.
According to some early pioneers Carrum was a paradise - William Bruton memories were:
"When I first visited Carrum, there was no ti-tree (or tea-tree) on the foreshore from Mordialloc
to Kananook Creek. There was however a small patch of ti-tree about two miles from Mordialloc,
called the scrub, which had not gown to the height , or spread as it has since done, but there were
plenty of the east side of the road.
The foreshore was a growth of honeysuckle ferns and wild currants, and when the trees were
flowering, a large number of birds were seen, Magpies and crows preferred the other side of the
The call of the Kookaburra was heard everywhere and amongst the trees wattle birds, leatherheads,
woodpecker, thrushes, kingfisher, robins and many different kinds of parrots, and as we camped near
the swamp ti-tree when - Oh! wild turkeys - they know the human beings, and are up and off quickly.
But what are those tall things over yonder? a flock of native companions. Rare as they are, they are still
birds, but they are far more conceited than any other bird.
Here the gum trees lay prone where they have lain for hundreds of years, and others in the full glory
of life send their spreading limbs and luxuriant foliage out, displaying their pride of life. Here also are
the possums in plenty disporting themselves amongst the branches.
And so it seem that the energy of the axeman, the drainer, the builder have turned this heavenly paradise
of thousands of years, into a joy somewhat like unto the dog of old, racing with the jam tin, which rascally
boys have attached to his tail." 
In 1882 the railway line from Caulfield was extended to Frankston. Between Mordialloc and Frankston there was a one passenger station located at Carrum. Its establishment was to foresee rapid development in the area. 1901 tea-tree blocks from an ½ acre to 5 acres were being sold and within a year cottages were being erected near the station for people who owned swamp land. They were to build a private road from Wells Road to the station to make it easier to get their produce and stock to markets. Railway sleepers were put down to improve it and subsequently it was named Plank Road. However unfavourable weather conditions often made the road impassable. Following a great deal of protests about the road's condition 1910 saw the council step in and reconstruct it. It was renamed McLeod Road. 
In 1902 half acre blocks
of land on the beachside of Nepean
Road were selling for fifty pounds. By the early 1900's a school was operating in the local Wesley Church and by the end of the decade a general store, bakery, two butcher shops and several other business's had been established. It was the beginnings of a thriving community.
1 McGuire F. They Built A River. City of Chelsea Historical Society.
2 Presland Gary. Aboriginal Melbourne. The Lost Land Of The Kulin People. Hariland Press. 2001
3 Victorian Royal Commission on Aborigines. 1877
4 Hindsight. 11 May 2008. Retrieved November 2009. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/hindsight/stories/2008/2239111.htm
5 Bruton W. Local History Carrum to Cheltenham. Leader Newspaper. 1930A
6 Hubbins. G.M. A History of the City of Springvale. Constellation of Communities. City of Springvale, Lothian Publishing. 1984
7 McGuire Frank. Chelsea , A Beachside Community. Argyle Press Pty. Ltd.1985
Photos courtesy of