Preston is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, nine kilometres north from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Darebin. At the 2011 Census, Preston had a population of 29,925.
The area where Preston now resides was first surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1837 for sub-division. Parcels of land between 300 acres (in the southern area) and over 1000 acres (in the north) were all sold during the Melbourne 'land boom' sales of the late 1830s.
The first permanent white resident was Samuel Jeffrey in 1841 and from him the area's early name was Irishtown.
In 1850, Edward Wood, a settler from Sussex, England, opened a store at the corner of High Street and Wood Street which was also the district's first post office. Meeting at Wood's store, members of the Ebenezer Church, Particular Baptist from Brighton, England met to change the name. They wanted to name the town after their former home in Sussex, but Brighton was already taken. Instead they named it after Preston, a small village nearby, where the church members had happy annual outings.
Preston Post Office opened on 1 March 1856.
The first church was accompanied by a growing number of hotels and other stores, which had emerged some 2 kilometres south of Wood's store at the junction of Plenty Road and High Street, the latter of which served as a route to Sydney. Throughout the 1880s the area between Wood's Store and the junction would be known as "Gowerville".
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