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Prior to the foundation of Melbourne by Europeans in 1835, the area surrounding Port Phillip was originally populated by Indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years.
An important meeting place for the Bunurong tribe clans of the greater Mornington Peninsula region was the present site of the Frankston Mechanics' Institute, at 1 Plowman Place in the Frankston Central Business District (CBD), which was used for corroborees and as a trading place.
The correspondence with the Department of Lands and Survey states that, at the time of surveying the area for the land sales of 1854, the name "Frankston" was probably suggested to honour the Wedge's deceased former neighbour.
In 1929 the author Don Charlwood, a student of Frankston High School at the time, compiled a history of Frankston using both local records and oral sources supporting the theory (published in The Frankston & Somerville Standard newspaper on 8 February 1930). Stone" in the early-1850s who, after the birth of his son, "Frank", renamed it "Frank Stone's Hotel" and around which the village developed and also had its name adapted from for its formal land sales in 1854.
Charles Franks arrived in Melbourne aboard the Champion from Van Diemen's Land in 1836 and made a squatter's claim to land on the western side of Port Phillip near Mount Cottrel (northeast of what is now the Melbourne outer-western suburb of Wyndham Vale).
Franks' land neighboured that of the early Melbourne explorer and surveyor John Helder Wedge, which was managed by his nephew Charles Wedge—prior to him gaining a pre-emptive right to land license of his own for the Frankston area.
The independent suburb of Frankston South also shares the same postcode as Frankston.
At the 2016 Census the suburb of Frankston recorded a population of 36,097.
Due to its geographic location, it is often referred to as "the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula".
As there appear to be no licensing records for the Cannanuke Inn, it is difficult to determine if this is in fact true.
However, Charlwood does mention that Stone had purchased the Cannanuke Inn from "a man named Standring".
The fisherman James Oliver built his house on northern Olivers Hill around this time, so he could keep watch for schools of fish in the waters below, and after whom the locality is now known by its current name.
The plan for the new village of Frankston was drawn by James Philp from the Office of the Surveyor General of Victoria on —with the Cannanuke Inn as a central point and located on Lot 1 of a block bordered to the west by Bay Street, to the north by Davey Street, to the east by Wedge Street (now Young Street) and to the south by a public reserve (now Plowman Place and Frankston Park).
The theory is strengthened by the fact that a number of places near Frankston also have names that are derived or adapted from those of British army generals and statesmen (such as Cranbourne, Hastings, Lyndhurst, Mornington and Pakenham).