Chelsea Heights is a residential suburb 30 km south-east of central Melbourne, inland from and adjoining the bayside suburb of Chelsea. The name Chelsea was proposed by a local resident for the new railway station when it was opened on the Caulfield to Frankston line in 1882.
Chelsea Heights is situated on an ancient coastal sand dune, which was formerly surrounded by the Carrum Swamp. Parts of the area were leased for grazing, particularly during the summer in the 1850s, and one settler gave his address as the Islands of Wannark Laddin, a name which persisted at least until 1866 when it was printed on a hydrographic map of Port Phillip Bay. The so-called islands were the dunes raised above the lower swamp lands.
In 1890 a primary school was opened in the area, then called Carrum North, because children had otherwise to wade through swamp to reach Mordialloc. In 1912 the area was subdivided and named Chelsea Heights. Its census population the year before was 230. Even with the improved draining of the Carrum Swamp, Chelsea Heights was somewhat separated from Chelsea, and a drain from Mordialloc Creek to Patterson River, that is, running parallel to the coast, separates the two areas.
In 1964 the school’s name was changed from Carrum North to Chelsea Heights (359 pupils, 2014), which roughly corresponds with the time when the subdivisions were attracting residential development. A kindergarten, infant welfare centre and shops were opened.
Chelsea Heights includes the Chelsea Heights hotel and business parks on its eastern side and extensive wetlands reserves on its western side. There are also neighbourhood reserves.
Chelsea Heights’ census populations have been:
G.M. Hibbins, The history of the City of Springvale: constellation of communities, Port Melbourne, 1984