The Williamstown Rifle Range was established in 1877 and later named after Major C.E. Merrett, a member of the Australian shooting team and a Councillor of the Victorian Rifle Association.
Originally training ground for soldiers, it was later used by the police and civilian rifle clubs and school cadets. The range was the rifle shooting venue for the 1956 Olympic Games. It was finally closed in 1990 and the land sold as the Rifle Range housing estate.
The coastal area had remained largely untouched by European settlement due to 'protection' by the active rifle range. A reserve was created that today connects with the Rifle Range housing estate via its paths, playgrounds and open grassland areas.
Parks Victoria website http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources/05_0466.pdf