The Story Behind Captain Baxter
Melbourne Hospitality People’s very own premier beachside bar and restaurant, Captain Baxter, is a must-see spot for decadent seafood dishes and cocktails. With an amazing beachside deck overlooking St Kilda Beach, retractable roof, unmatched beachside décor, live music, great service and style, there is more to this iconic beachfront Melbourne Restaurant than meets the eye.
What’s the story behind the name? Captain Benjamin Baxter was born in Fermoy, a small village near Cork in Ireland on the 28th of October 1805. He was a military man, following the footsteps of his father before him.
In 1836 he was requested to escort a group of convicts aboard the Royal George to Botany Bay, he landed in Sydney, May 1837. Captain Baxter was then requested to shoot off to India after a few months but by this time Baxter had fallen in love with Australia and didn’t want to part (happens to many at one of Australia’s best tourist locations).
It was around this time that our sleepy little settlement of Port Phillip was established. Baxter decided to set his sights on St Kilda during the latter part of 1838. After being granted a large tract of county for sheep and cattle runs, Captain Baxter set up shop around Brighton, taking along Oakleigh and Dandenong areas as well. His cattle used to graze where St Kilda is now! He was also Melbourne’s very first postmaster with his wife being the first to receive mail from Hobson’s Bay. Along with this were a string of other responsibilities such as a goldfields commissioner, justice of the peace, shire councilor and shire president.
Our Captain Baxter was a man of the people, right up to his death in 1905 at the age of 87. Today his memory stands as one of our countries very first pioneers, a fitting figure head to stand watch over St Kilda’s waterfront and beyond.
Written by Chiara Mibus,
Event Coordinator for Captain Baxter.