... Ardrossan Home Page ...
Cunningham Hundred Map Website
Books about Ardrossan
Zanoni 1865-1867 Read Online
Ardrossan Museum Read Online
Ardrossan Information Read Online
Parara Beach Whale Memorial Read Online
Ardrossan - SA. A Briliant Blend
An easy 90 minute drive from Adelaide on the east coast of Yorke Peninsula, Ardrossan sits on top of imposing red cliffs providing excellent views of Gulf St Vincent. Wander down the jetty at sunrise to see the cliffs' amazing display of colour in the morning light.
If Blue Swimmer Crabs are your favourite, then this is the place to be; drop a net from the jetty or rake in the shallows and you won't be disappointed. Fishing from the jetty or boat will often return you a catch of Tommy Ruffs, Mullet, Garfish, squid or the prized King George Whiting. A sought after holiday destination, Ardrossan offers you a wonderful place to enjoy spectacular coastline and all of the activities it has to offer.
A main agricultural centre for surrounding districts, Ardrossan is a well serviced town offering good shopping and facilities. Drop in to the golf club or Ardrossan Motel Hotel. Ardrossan Museum is located in the former factory of CH Smith, developer of the Stump Jump Plough. This plough has legendary status in South Australia's history and is at the heart of the Ardrossan Museum's displays.
Ardrossan has a temperate climate with regular sea breezes. The maximum temperature is usually a few degrees cooler than Adelaide.
The town was proclaimed in 1873 and named by Governor Fergusson after Ardrossan in Ayrshire, Scotland. The jetty was built in 1876 and proclaimed a port in 1878. Early European settlers new the area as 'Clay Gully' or 'Parara'. A busy grain port, produce was carried along the jetty by horse-drawn trolleys to the ships and hand loaded by skilful deckhands to ensure the load was secure in rough seas. Steamers also provided a passenger service to Port Adelaide on Tuesdays and Fridays, which took four hours to make the crossing in good weather. South Australia's first silo was erected at the site in 1952 and today the silos can handle in excess of 250,000 tonnes of grain.
Premises thought to be stables and other buildings at Ardrossan, described by Searcy as being 'the place for changing teams' 1910. - State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/11/609
The main street at Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia 1912
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/7/383
Part of the town of Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia 1912
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/7/384
Ardrossan Jetty 1907 - State Library of South Australia - B 11077
Ardrossan showing approach over a bridge 1907. - State Library of South Australia - B 11048
[General description] A few pedestrians and a horse and cart meander along the unsealed road winding uphill into the township of Ardrossan. The Royal Oak Hotel can be seen on top of the hill. Other buildings seen on the left display large advertisements for Fry's Cocoa, Lion Flour, Burford's candles and soap and Robur Tea. [On back of photograph] 'Ardrossan / Jan 1928 / Reproduced in the "Chronicle" for Jan. 28, 1928.'
State Library of South Australia - B 4608
Distant view of a fleet of grain ships at Ardrossan jetty, South Australia 1919
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/17/573
Ardrossan Flour Mill in derelict condition 1912. - State Library of South Australia - B 37131
A group of ten men, local residents attending the races at Ardrossan 1912
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/3/189
Agricultural implement factory owned by Clarence H. Smith, manufacturer of the first stump-jump plough 1900. State Library of South Australia - B 30815
Ardrossan in the newspapers:-
The town of Ardrossan is situated close to the sea, in the Hundred of Cunningham, County of Fergusson, distant from Adelaide 45 miles by sea and 96 by road via the Hummocks. Substantial additions have been made by the district council controlling the town to the wharfage and shed accommodation at the jetty, which has proved of great convenience to those who have occasion to make use of it. Some thing like £700 has been expended on this work, but the council derive a splendid revenue from the wharfage dues, which enables efficient maintenance to be observed. There is a daily mail to this seaport alternately by sea and train. The nearest railway station is South Hummocks, on the Moonta line. The estimated exports for the present season, 1903-4, will be 45,000 bags of wheat and 3,000 tons of mallee roots. The imports of general merchandise are extensive, including 1,500 tons of fertilizers,
—A Fine Industry.—
Industrially credit must be given to the local firm of C. H. Smith, agricultural implement makers, now under the management of Mr. C. G. Smith which is the largest establishment of this kind on the Pensnsula. A staff of 50 men are constantly employed at high pressure in executing local and interstate orders for the specialities of the firm. The late Mr. C. H. Smith, who is credited with the invention of the slumpjump plough, began operations here about 26 years ago on a small scale. The works are the mainstay of the town of Ardrossan, Limeburning has been started by Messrs. Cornish & Hogarth, and shortly this firm intend to extend their output in this commodity. These gentlemen are shipping and general commission agents, and are collectors of jetty dues for the district council. The postmistress is Miss L. Wood. The schoolmaster is Mr. N, Opie, and the institute librarian Miss Winter.
Trade is represented as follows:—Messrs. A. T, West, A. Freeman, and E, J. Barton, storekeepers; Polkinghorne and Baker, fruiterers; C. Cane, butcher; C. H. Smith and J. West, blacksmiths; and Mrs. C. Huckvale (Ardrossan) hotel and Mrs. Turner (Royal) hotel. Phosphate is reported to be plentiful about two miles south of the town. The claims are in the hands of an Adelaide syndicate. Copper mining operations were formerly conducted near Ardrossan. The properties were known as the Parrara and Tiddywiddy respectively. The only prospecting carried on at present is with a view to strike a patch of country which can be developed as a wheat growing claim. Recognising the growing importance of this town, the Commercial Bank of Australia has opened a branch, under the supervision of Mr. Stobie, late of the Balaklava office.
VIEWS OF ARDROSSAN, YORKE'S PENINSULA.
Ardrossan, erstwhile the despised "Nazareth" of the Peninsula, is rapidly forcing itself into prominence, both as a busy port and a desirable watering place. It is the chief outlet for the cereal products of the Hundreds of Muloowurtie, Maitland, and Cunningham, which districts were some years ago, by the advent of superphosphates and improved farming appliances, saved from utter ruin when on the verge of insolvency, and are now to be ranked among the most prosperous agricultural regions in the State. Scores of square miles of mallee scrub, formerly considered quite useless for farming operations, have disappeared, and are now replaced by well tilled cornfields, rendering an annual return to the husbandman of anything between seven bushels and seven bags of grain per acre. The appearance of the country has been absolutely transformed desolation has given place to luxuriance; huts and ill-constructed farm homesteads are now practically non-existent, having been replaced by large and well-furnished modern houses, with every appearance of comfort and prosperity; stone and iron stables, machinery sheds, and barns, all substantially built, have superseded the old-time thatched makeshifts; and among those inimitable workers who, with the aid of a little scientific knowledge, have worked these wonders, there is hardly to be found a man who is not comparatively well to do. Trade with the capital city has consequently increased by leaps and bounds. The Adelaide business to and from Pine Point, Sandilands, Urania, Maitland, Arthurton, Petersville, and Dowlingville --all centres of population within the hundreds mentioned for the most part passes through this port, taxing to the utmost the capabilities of a large staff of wharfingers and the carrying capacity of the jetty. Steamers engaged in direct trade between Port Adelaide and Ardrossan call three times a week, with large inward and outward cargoes; whilst quite a flotilla of ketches is regularly employed in coping with the transit requirements of the district. Six firms operating in wheat are represented at this depot. There are at present about 52,000 bags of grain stacked here, 12,000 have already been shipped away, and it is estimated that another 12,000 are yet to come in before the season closes, giving a total return of 70,000 bags for the harvest -- 16,000 more than last year. Although the result per acre was not so good this year as last, the increased yield, as above indicated, is accounted for by the far greater area under cultivation. The result of the heavy traffic necessitated in carrying all this wheat to Ardrossan has been to put the main roads of the district in a bad state of disrepair. The local district council complains that the Government main roads grant is quite insufficient, and that in spite of the fact that the council out of its own revenue subsidizes the grant to the extent of nearly pound for pound, the amount then available proves totally inadequate for the keeping of the roads in even a moderately good condition. The annual volume of business in other commodities than cereal's passing outwards over the jetty is indicated by the following figures, courteously supplied by the collector of tolls (Mr. James Cornish) :- Mallee stumps, over 2,000 tons; wool, 600 bales; lambs, 5,000; lime, 6,000 bags. In 1900 the jetty tolls collected amounted to £350, and have been since then annually increasing under the same schedule of rates, until last year they totalled £730. The widening of the jetty and the putting down of a second line of railway thereon is rapidly becoming a matter of absolute necessity. The attention of the responsible body should also be called to the unsatisfactory condition of the dredged channel for steamers and vessels of fair tonnage. Delays of a very annoying character are constantly being experienced owing to vessels becoming stranded on a sandbar a short distance out from the jetty, and having to await high tide before refloating.
Within the town of Ardrossan quite 20 houses have been erected during the past two years, and still further dwelling accommodation is urgently required. Land values have risen enormously, and intending residents experience great difficulty in consequence of the very limited number of available building sites. The through traffic is not by any means entirely responsible for the latter evidence of prosperity. A large plough manufacturing industry, conducted by Mr. Clarence H. Smith, has perhaps had more to do with the direct welfare of the township than any other factor. The thriving of Ardrossan has for so long been dependent upon the success of this business that the idea of the township existing at all without its factory would be hard for any old resident to conceive. Mr. Smith, when in the employ of his brother at Arthurton some 30 years ago, accomplished the enviable achievement of having manufactured the very first stumpjumping plough, and ever since that time he has been to the fore in placing in the hands of the farmers the most approved and reliable appliances for tilling scrub lands. The name of "Smith of Ardrossan" is invariably connected with the manufacture of the stumpjump plough, and no one has done more than be to improve and perfect implements for working rough and stumpy country. Established in 1880, this industry has steadily grown in volume, and the premises have been from time to time enlarged, until last year such extensive alterations and additions were effected to the buildings and plant that the factory is now one of the largest and best equipped of its kind in the Commonwealth. Further improvements to the plant are to be effected next month. Steam power is to be displaced by a gas suction engine of the very latest type, pneumatic hammers will take the place of steam hammers, and the whole work of the factory will be conducted on the most up-to-date principles. So well and favourably known are the "Smith" brand of tilling appliances that from 60 to 70 mechanics are kept in constant employment, turning out from 12 to 14 implements per week to meet the constant demand of agriculturists in all the States. Beyond the limits of this State Victoria and Western Australia are the largest customers.
Residents are just beginning to realize the splendid facilities provided by Nature for the conversion of the town into a popular watering place for those requiring a pleasant and healthful resort during the summer months. Situated on the top of cliffs, some 60 to 80 ft. above the tea, yet within a stone's throw of the water, Ardrossan is even in the very height of summer almost invariably favoured with a cool southerly breeze by about 4 o'clock each afternoon, and the evenings are delightfully mild. The cliffs afford cool shelter from the broiling sun soon after midday, and it is no uncommon occurrence, when the tide happens to be high, for bathers to be swimming in the shade early in the afternoon. A beautiful sandy beach is an additional attraction, and good fishing is at times obtainable from the jetty. The idea of appointing an active treeplanting committee is now taking tangible form, and the result of its efforts should be to greatly enhance the value of the place as a holiday resort. The erection of another large boarding house should prove a good investment, as accommodation for visitors is exceedingly limited. The requirements of the travelling public are, however, better catered to now than ever before, the largest hotel having lately been considerably altered and thoroughly renovated, an acetylene-gas plant installed, and such provision made that the comfort of patrons is assured.
The problem of obtaining an efficient water supply has not yet been solved, but it is receiving the earnest attention of residents, and the difficulties which have to be faced will no doubt be speedily over come.
Copper mining in this locality is a proposition which is engaging the enthusiastic interest of many outsiders, as well as the majority of the residents. Operation at the old Parara Mine, about a couple of miles from Ardrossan, have been recommenced, and abundant evidence of a rich deposit of copper, with no percentage of gold, has been brought to light. The Pine Point Prospecting Syndicate have two promising shows, situated nine or ten miles south of here, assays of specimens revealing the presence of gold, silver, and copper in payable quantities. Should the results of this industry prove as great as the prospects now indicate, an enormous impetus will be given to the important and even now flourishing trade of Ardrossan.
ACTIVITIES AT ARDROSSAN. 1926
FLOURISHING YORKE'S PENINSULA DISTRICT. HOME OF THE "STUMP-JUMP" PLOUGH
By a Special Representative of The Register
ARDROSSAN, 40 miles across the Gulf of St. Vincent from Port Adelaide, is healthily situated in an elevated position above a lengthy stretch of cliff, which reaches for a mile or more on either side of the jetty, beyond which are sandy beaches backed by sandhills. As a holiday resort Ardrossan has its advantages; two hotels, a sandy beach, and a wide promenade above the cliffs. Surrounding the town are fully 40 acres of park lands, which are yearly being improved and beautified by the Vigilance Committee and the Recreation Trust.
Rich Mineral deposits.
The Ardrossan locality is full of interest geologically on account of its many important fossils, some of which are semiopalized.
Several miles to the south of the town, pear Muloowurtie, there is a rich outcrop of copper at the foot of the sea cliff, which deposit can be traced away for a distance to the northward. Within 1.5 miles of Ardrossan, running parallel with the coastline, there is a reef of sandstone, suitable for building purposes. All the important buildings in the town have been built from this stone. Close to Clinton Centre there is a deposit of brown coal of similar quality to the Moorlands deposit.
Super was first discovered on Yorke's Peninsula near Port Clinton about 20 miles north of Ardrossan, and has since been traced along the eastern coastline in various localities. Some years ago a company was formed to work the phosphate deposits found to the south of Ardrossan on Mr. W. Barton's property. Owing to the large amount of overburden the deposits could not be profitably developed. On the same property there are thousands of tons of rich flux, large quantities of which were shipped to Port Pirie in the early days of Broken Hill, for use in the smelters. Valuable sand pits, ranging from the finest quality to the coarsest sand, are found close to the flux deposits.
On the outskirts of Ardrossan township are two lime kilns owned by the Federal Lime Company. Limited. Large quantities of the best lime obtainable are shipped away to Adelaide each week from these kilns. The firm also has kilns at Stansbury, Coobowie, Ardrossan, Prospect, Gawler, and Hallett's Cove.
Tractors Gaining Popularity.
Power farming methods are becoming popular in the district, and the demand for tractors has lately been showing a marked increase. A number of the farmers close to Ardrossan have entirely given up keeping heavy horses, and are doing all farm work with tractors. Other experienced farmers consider that horses cannot entirely be dispensed with although they realize that a tractor is a valuable auxiliary on a large farm, and are contemplating the installation of one. Fully 20 tractors are already operating within, a 10-mile radius of the town. Ardrossan has three local garages to attend to motor and tractor repair work, owned by Messrs. Freeman & Dunnet, J. O. Baird, and K. G. Wilson respectively. A quick-service station with two petrol pumps has recently been installed on the corner of the main street adjoining the garage of Messrs. Freeman & Dunnet. The Ardrossan electric light and power plant, costing over £4,009, was installed four years ago by Mr. S. W. G. Freeman, and has now been taken over by the company. At the present time 79 consumers are connected to the service, which also supplies current to local industries, 11 street lights, local motion picture shows, the jetty, and the lighthouse. Messrs. Freeman & Dunnet are proprietors of a modern garage, situated in the main street, at which all motor repair work is expertly handled. The firm's new car, truck, and tractor sales during the past 12 months number 100 in all. Mr. J. O. Baird is the proprietor of another up-to-date garage in the main street. He reports 24 sales of Dodge Brothers cars during the past 12 months. He recently took over the local agency for the E. B. tractor, six of which he has been successful in selling during a period of six months. Mr. K. G. Wilson is another of Ardrossan's motor engineers who attends to every class of motor repair work from all parts of Yorke's Peninsula. He also operates the biograph machine at the local picture shows at a nominal charge, with the idea of assisting the institute.
Ardrossan's Industrial Mainstay.
The well-known firm of Messrs. Clarence H. Smith, Limited, has an extensive agricultural implement factory at Ardrossan which covers an area of two acres. Founded in 1880 in a small way, the firm has gradually increased its size and output, until at the present time it is one of the largest agricultural machinery firms in the State. Modern farming implements of all descriptions are manufactured to meet the demand of the primary producer all over the Commonwealth, and the firm is constantly improving its implements. The industry has been the chief industrial mainstay of Ardrossan, as some 70 hands are employed in the factory, the majority of whom are married men. Modern electrical machinery is used for construction purposes, driven by suction gas engines. The Smith stump-jump plough was invented by the late Clarence H Smith, of Ardrossan (father of the present manager). A memorial in the old institute commemorates his services to the State in this regard. Two years ago the company accepted the sole South Australian agency for the "Twin City" tractor, and have already sold hundreds of this make in various parts of South Australia. Yorke's Peninsula farmers are particularly fortunate to have the expert tractor service of Messrs. Clarence H. Smith, Limited, within such a short distance.
Busy Shipping Port.
Ardrossan is a busy shipping port: The jetty, measuring 1,420 ft. in length, is the third longest jetty on Yorke's Peninsula. There are at the present time 500 pieces of decking at the foot of the jetty which are shortly to be used to renew some of the old planks in the structure. Some time ago the members of the S.A. Harbors Board paid a visit to Ardrossan, on which occasion they were met by a deputation comprised of the local vigilance committee and the wheat agents. A new five-ton crane was promised for the port. An inspection was made of sites for the handling of grain cargoes. By using the cliffs on either side of the landing it is considered that better results could be obtained, together with quicker handling. It would also minimise the costs, as cartage would to a certain extent be done away with. Considerable quantities of general cargo has been landed and shipped from Ardrossan of late. Imports over a period of 12 months include 1,200 tons of superphosphate, 480 tons of cornsacks, agricultural machinery, and tractors, and large cargoes of petrol and kerosine. Exports for the same period are 180 horses, 400 sheep, 370 pigs, 1,100 tons of general cargo, and large quantities of lime, wheat, barley, wool, and skins. During the year 330 vessels (including craft) visited the port. The port is regularly visited twice weekly by the Coast Steamship Company's vessels Karatta and Kopoola, on which passengers may travel to and from Ardrossan at a cost of 6/ single and 10/ return. A motor car meets these vessels by arrangement and carries passengers to Maitland at a cost of 4/ each way.
The Broughton, an auxiliary ketch of about 50 tons, leaves Port Adelaide every Saturday loaded with general cargo for the town. The port is rather exposed to south-easterly winds, although this seldom interferes in any way with the shipping.
During the past season over 200,000 bags of grain were shipped, including large parcels of wheat, bailey, and oats. Yorke's Peninsula barley is said to be the best quality article in the world. Situated as the district is, between two gulfs, moist conditions prevail during the maturing season, thus producing an ideal barley for maltsters.
Barley is to a certain extent superseding wheat in this district. Previous to the advent of superphosphate many of the farms could not be worked at a profit, and a six-bushel crop was an excellent average. With the use of super and a drill a sixbag crop was reaped the first year of its introduction. To-day a nine-bag crop is common. The rise of superphosphate has had the additional effect of increasing the growth of grass fully threefold after a wheat crop, thus providing excellent fodder for stock. Results from topdressing of pasture lands have been very satisfactory. Included among some of the largest landholders and most prominent farmers in the Ardrossan district are Messrs. N. K. Rowntree & Sons, C. Cave and Sons, J. G. Whittaker & Sons, Edwards Brothers, Patterson & Sons, H. J. and C. Dinham, A. &. H. G. Smith, F. T. Vandepeer, R. Wilson, and the Bowman family.
The Ardrossan Vigilance Committee was formed some 16 years ago, its main object being to promote the general progress of the town and district. Through its instrumentality the following improvements have been effected:—The Beetuloo water scheme was extended to the town and district, Ardrossan was connected by direct telephonic communication with Adelaide, the post office building has been enlarged, and a continuous telephone service installed, a large institute has been built, a hospital was established, the service of a dredge was secured to deepen the water at the jetty's end. 2,000 trees were planted in the park lands, and are now flourishing, the recreation ground and pavilion were considerably improved, the school was enlarged and improved and a children's playground was provided. These achievements are due in a great extent to the enthusiasm of the President and secretary of the vigilance committee, Messsrs. C. Cane and B. M. Hillier reepectively. Land values at Ardrossan are on the increase, and properties of 1,000 acres or more have been sold recently in the vicinity of the town at prices ranging up to £18 per acre. Water from the Beeetaloo Reservoir was laid on to the town 17 years ago, and efforts are now being made to extend the main southward, to Muloowurtie. The water is not good for drinking purposes, Ardrossan being at the end of the water main, but it answers excellently for stock and household purposes, enabling farmers to carry at least doubt the number of sheep to that carried formerly. Residents are now awaking the connection of the Warren scheme to the Beetaloo service, which is shortly to be effected near Kulpara. This will considerably improve the quality of the water. Two miles north of Ardrossan is an old landmark known as Tiddy Widdy Wells, of which old residents have very vivid memories. Prior to the introduction of the Beetaloo reticulation Scheme, fresh water was carted from these wells in large quantities. The wells are gradually being filled in, as they are situated right upon the beach within 15 yards of high water mark. The foundation stone of the Ardrossan Soldiers' Memorial Hall was laid by Sir William Sowden on May 12, 1925. The building, a modern structure with a seating capacity of over 600, was erected and furnished at a cost of approximately £5,000, of which amount £3,000 has already been paid. It is completely fitted up with a library of 2,000 books, biograph room, dressing rooms, and supper room. Constructional work was carried out by Messrs. A. J. Jarrett & Sons, the architect being Mr. H. E. Fuller, of Adelaide. The institute committee some time ago purchased a modern cinema plant of its own at a cost of £240. This is now bringing in good revenue to the institute from the motion pictures shown every Saturday night. Local musicians voluntarily supply music at the pictures free of cost.. Ardrossan private hospital is beautifully situated on the seafront overlooking the cliffs, to the south of the town. Matron R. Rowntree is in charge of the institution, while the medical officer is Dr. N. R. Matthews.
The post office building, centrally situated in the main street, has lately been renovated, and 61 private boxes have been provided for the use of residents. The town has a continuous telephone service, to which 69 subscribers are connected. A new telephone line is shortly to be erected for six miles in the direction Winulta. Ardrossan is connected with a daily mail via Melton, which arrives at 3.10 p.m., and closes at 6.30 a.m. for Adelaide. From Ardrossan mails are dispatched twice weekly to Sandilands and Muloowurtie. There are also two daily motor bus services between Ardrossan and Adelaide. Many kinds of businesses are represented in Ardrossan, chief among which is the general store of Messrs. J. O. Tiddy & Co., Limited, one of the largest buildings of its kind on Yorke's Peninsula. The main building measures 100 ft. by 60 ft., while there are in addition bulk stores, restaurant, and sweet shop.
Ardrossan public school started with an unpretentious single room and porch 50 years ago. At the present time there are four rooms, two porches, and shelter shed, and upwards of 150 scholars on the roll. Woodwork, domestic arts, and elementary agriculture classes are specialized in. A particular study is also made of dairy grasses and fodders suitable for the locality, which will in the future be of some practical value to the children. The staff consists of four teachers, with Mr. F. Duke as head teacher. Last year in the elementary agricultural class one young boy of 11 years earned 10/ from the products of one garden plot 4 ft. by 5 ft.
Ardrossan is well represented on the sporting field, football, cricket, tennis, golf, bowls, croquet, shooting and coursing all being popular pastimes. The recreation ground has been considerably improved of late and ladies' croquet courts, three tennis courts, bowling green, and football, and cricket facilities have been provided. The ground has partly been fenced with galvanized iron, and the oval itself has been planted with grass in a number of places. The Ardrossan Cricket Club can boast of some success as a team in past years, having frequently been premiers in the association. Early this year the team met and more than held its own with a team of cricketers from Adelaide, which included Messrs. Arthur Richardson C. V. Grimmett, V. Richardson, R. B. Townsend, and other prominent players. The sporting committee was complimented by the visiting players on the up-to-date grounds and on its fine wicket. The local football club has up to the present time been successful in leading the premiership list of the Northern Yorke's Peninsula Association.
During the summer months Ardrossan is a popular tourist resort. photo
Mr. M. T. Tiddy, manager of the Ardrossan branch of the well-known firm of Messrs. J. 0. Tiddy & Co., Limited. He is President of the Ardrossan Institute, and is one of the town's leading business men. photo
Portion of the cars at Ardrossan on New Year's Day. photo
Ardrossan is a busy shipping port during the wheat season. photo
Cliffs at Ardrossan. photo
PROSPEROUS PENINSULA TOWN AND DISTRICT
By a Contributor.
In calm weather a trip across the Gulf In the well-found steamer of the Gulf Steamship Company is a delightful jaunt. An ample and excellent dinner is provided. The journey takes about four hours, and the long, curving line of the Mount Lofty range is hardly lost sight of before the red cliffs of Yorke's Peninsula indented with many sheltered bays looms into view. These cliffs are impressive for their height and contour, and are geologically interesting, being particularly rich in marine fossils of tertiary age. The limestone country rises gently from the cliffs, and from many parts of Ardrossan a fine view of the gleaming blue water may be obtained. The atmosphere, too, is clean and bracing, and the discomfort of hot nights is practically unknown. The Royal Hotel, under tho capable management of Host P. T. Scott, has an ideal situation within easy reach of the beach and the cliffs, and a capital table is provided. The waters of the gulf teem with fish, and sportsmen can obtain a good bag in the cliffs and the neighbouring country, hares and rabbits appearing in large numbers.
Ardrossan is well served in its means of communication. The Coast Steamship Company's vessels Karatta and Kapoola visit the port on Tuesdays and Fridays respectively. The single fare is 6/ and return 10/. Large cargoes of superphosphates, cornsacks, agricultural machinery, and tractors, and considerable quantities of petrol and kerosine are landed at Ardrossan. The vessels return with live stock, wheat, barley, wool, skins, and tons of lime. Occasionally the oil steamer Koraka is employed in this trade, and it was in this vessel that the writer crossed the gulf. Passengers can also reach the town overland by motor service car, which takes a route around Port Wakefield, thence through Port Pirie and Clinton. Ardrossan, within easy reach of the city, should prove a perfect health resort for citizens who desire to recuperate, but have only a limited time to spare, or for tourists who wish to enjoy a short but pleasant sea voyage and a few days fishing or shooting.
A Pleasing Town.
The town is well laid out with broad, well-kept streets lined with handsome shops and graceful public buildings, of which the Institute and Soldiers' Memorial Hall and the post office are the most striking. There are two hotels, the Royal and the Ardrossan, besides refreshment shops. Two general stores, conducted respectively by Messrs. J. O. Tiddy and Co. and Mr.W. Barton, supply necessaries to the settlers for a radius of several miles. The establishment of Clarence Smith, Limited, is one of the features of the town. An important motoring business is carried on by Messrs. Freeman & Dunnett. The branch of the Commercial Bank is under the management of Mr. Whipp, and does a very extensive business with residents and farmers. A prosperous butchering trade, now managed by Mr. H. A. Montgomery. was until recently carried on by Mr. C. G. R. Cane, one of the most enterprising and successful of Ardrossan pioneers. A fruiterer's business is conducted by Mr C. A. Morgan, and a blacksmith's by Mr. Wentworth Morgan. An Anglican Church and a Methodist Church minister to the spiritual needs of the population.
Ardrossan is well placed for the gulf trade, being about midway between Port Vincent and the head of the gulf and with a very prolific hinterland. It it about 44 miles by sea from Port Adelaide.
Immense quantities of grain are shipped from Ardrossan either by steamer or on ketches. Barley and oats are to a large extent displacing wheat. The employment of superphosphates and the drill saved the agricultural industry from collapse. Broadcasting had failed, since a large percentage of the manure was either wasted or served to foster a luxuriant growth of weeds. The drill, in which the grain and fertilizer are mixed, keeps this valuable stimulant for the grain. Another unlooked for benefit resulting from this practice is a striking improvement in the pastures.
The day of stanch Dobbin is drawing to a close, and activities on the farm present a striking contrast to the operations of only a few years ago. Perhaps in no district in the State has the employment of petrol-driven machinery developed to such an amazing extent. Nearly all the farms now boast of one or more tractors in addition to a motor lorry and a car. Many of the tilling and harvesting operations are carried out by the employment of mechanical power, and a number of farmers in this part of the peninsula are learning to dispense with draught horses; others of considerable experience are of opinion that horses are still needed, though the tractor reducing the demand for unskilled labour may prove more economical in the long run.
Several miles south of the town near Muloowurtie a rich outcrop of copper at the foot of the cliff can be traced for some distance. Building material, both sandstone and limestone, is abundant and many of the structures of Ardrossan are of local stone. Near Clinton Centre a deposit of brown coal of quality equal to that of Moorlands has been discovered. Twenty miles north of Ardrossan superphosphate hag been found, and another deposit in Mr. Barton's land south of the town was found, but could not be worked profitably owing to the depth of the overburden.
Mr. A. J. Jarrett was one of the earliest pioneers of Yorke's Peninsula. The family took up land at Maitland in 1872 when the greater part of the country was a dense tangled mass of virgin scrub, consisting of mallee and teatree. A track had been surveyed from Parara sheep run, of which Ardrossan formed part, through to Yorke Valley, which includes the present townships of Sandilands, Maitland, and Minlaton. But Mr. Jarrett, desiring a more direct route, took the winding bullock track through the scrub. Ruts and stumps made the road dangerous and difficult, and it was only with great labour of men and horses that the toiling wayfarers could make any headway. Great numbers of kangaroos — as many as 200 in a mob— and flocks of birds, wild turkeys, galahs, and parrots were met with and relieved to some extent the weariness of the journey. The pioneers endured the usual hardships and privations that beset settlers in a new and unexplored country, but they doggedly held on and laid the foundations of future prosperity. In the first year 40 acres were cleared and ploughed with a single furrow plough. The crop was reaped with the old fashioned Ridley machine and yielded 15 bushels to the acre — a liberal return for new, unmanured, and roughly tilled land. In the following year a harvest of 20 bushels rewarded their labours. After this the yield began slowly to dwindle until 10 bushels was deemed a phenomenal crop, and a man might reap half a day for a single boxfull. These were days of strenuous effort and bitter struggle. The price too receded to 2/ a bushel.
In the land surrounding the present site of the present town of Ardrossan, known as the Parara Run, similar conditions prevailed, and most of the original settlers in the hundred of Cunningham sold out and bid farewell to their scenes of heartbreaking disappointment and futile endeavour. The introduction and extensive application of superphosphates, however, soon wrought a marvellous transformation producing wonderful effects. Where three bushels had formerly been reaped the land ploughed with the many furrowed stumpjumper and with grain drilled in with the new fertilizer yielded 10 times the former return.
In no other part of the State has so complete a change resulted from the new methods of cultivation. The abundance of limestone in the soil has proved an eminently suitable base for the chemical action of the superphosphates. Even in the driest years the peninsula seldom experiences a complete failure, as the light showers and dews of the late spring supply to some extent the defects of the rainfall. In the early days the grain from the northern part of the peninsula was carted to Ardrossan and shipped in flat-bottomed barges. Two well-known vessels engaged in his trade were the Four Brothers and the Henry. The return cargo from Port Adelaide, consisting of bags of flour and sugar, was tipped on the beach and left to the mercy of the elements until the consignees could find time to remove it. In a few years a well-found ketch. The Osprey (Capt. Lisk) began to trade between Ardrossan and the Port. Owing to the increasing traffic from Yorke Valley, in the central part of Yorke's Peninsula, the Government of the day made a road to the seaport, and Messrs. Jarrett were the first to make a two-wheeled track upon this primitive bush highway. Ardrossan has made considerable advance since those early spacious days. 'The land for miles around known as the Parara Run had been owned by Mr. Parker Bowman. It was cut up into suitable blocks and sold by auction to farmers. The first building in the town was a tin wheat shed erected by Mr. S. Rogers, of Maitland. Industries.
One of the most flourishing undertakings in the peninsula is carried on at the establishment of Mr. A. J. Jarrett & Son, at Ardrossan. They are engaged in business as carpenters, builders, contractors, and cabinetmakers and have been singularly successful in their enterprises. . Eighteen years ago hardly 18 ft. of matchboard could be purchased in the town. Today they have a stock of timber valued at £5,000. Oregon is purchased at the rate of 50,000 feet at a time, and jarrah from Western Australia used as joists for floors, &c, 30,000 superficial feet. This cargo Is brought over by steamer or in ketches owned by Messrs. Fricker, Crouch, and Co., of Port Adelaide, the vessels, returning with grain. The writer, in a conversation with Mr. H. Barrington. who is in charge of the furniture department, gleaned interesting facts about the business. He sets a high value on Australian hardwoods and claims that he was responsible for the introduction of this class of timber into the furniture-making industry in Victoria during the war when foreign timber was practically excluded. Tasmanian oak, known also as mountain ash, admits of a high polish and is a very durable timber. Australian blackwood is eminently suitable for furniture, especially for cabinets and tables, having a very handsome and rich appearance. The best varieties come from Tasmania and from Gippsland and Colac in Victoria. Another fine timber, the Australian red cedar, has been almost entirely cut out. This was considered the finest timber for all cabinetmaking purposes, but is now almost unprocurable. It is deplorable that these fine trees have been so wastefully cut down. New Zealand white pine and Baltic pine are now the principal medium for cabinetmaking. At Messrs. Jarrett's establishment all classes of furniture can be made equal in finish, and workmanship to any produced in the city. The writer was shown a well-finished roll-top desk ingeniously contrived so that by pressing down the cover all the drawers are locked. Many other articles of furniture exhibit excellent workmanship and perfect finish.
Mr. S. W. G. Freeman, has been intimately associated with the progress of Ardrossan and the remarkable expansion of the motor industry in Yorke's Peninsula during recent years. It was mainly through the activities of Mr. Freeman and the late Capt. Harry Butler that the company of Butler, Nicholson, Limited, was formed, of which he is now managing director, and has been a member of the executive of the Chamber of Motor industries. Besides a constantly increasing motor business with ramifications all over the peninsula, has installed an electric light and power plant which supplies current to private consumers, for street lighting, also to the jetty, the lighthouse, and local cinema shows. The business is rapidly growing. Mr. Freeman has for 14 years been chairman of the Ardrossan Hospital, Limited.
Clarence H. Smith.
The firm of Clarence H. Smith, Limited, is one of the best known manufacturers of agricultural machinery. The name of the firm is a guarantee of utility and durability. They were the designers of the first stumpjump plough and the first parallel frame with top jump as used today, and winners of gold medals and certificates, won at royal and field exhibitions since 1880, in which year the industry was founded. The factory covers two acres, and modern farming implements of all descriptions of the best quality plough steel are regularly turned out.
Ardrossan is distinguished by the fine public spirit of its townsmen. Whenever any work is projected a 'working bee' is organized, which invariably meets with a hearty response. Some creditable public buildings and a thoroughly equipped recreation park owe their successful accomplishment to the readiness and unanimity with which the people undertake their share of the work. A handsome and capacious Soldiers' Memorial Hall reflects the greatest credit on its promoters, contributors, and indeed on all concerned. The front is of freestone, and the rest of the outside walls are constructed in the fine durable local limestone, carted to the spot by the residents. The main hall, about 75 feet by 45 feet, can seat como 700 people. The stage has a depth of 22 feet. A rich drop curtain of silk poplin of a bright blue cuts off the stage from the auditorium. Stage scenery and accessories of a first-class description were purchased at a low cost from the Wallaroo Mines Institute (now closed). The chairs of polished pine with cane seats have been provided by private subscriptions, and are inscribed with the names of the donors. The ceiling is a special feature, consisting of fibrous plaster panelled in burnished pine. A fine room has been set apart for the use of returned soldiers. It is furnished with handsome tables and chairs, and is at the disposal of the men. A supper and dressing room with the usual requisites contributes to the success of the entertainments. A complete cinema plant has been installed with a Simplex plant, and also an Italian machine, the only one in the State. Pictures are obtained from the Australasian Film Company and from, the First National Paramount Company, and exhibited on Saturday nights. For the past four years a total profit of £1,000 was made, and for last year £333, a result highly gratifying to the enterprising promoters. Messrs. A. J. Jarrett & Son were the contractors, and the finish and thoroughness of their workmanship is worthy the highest, appreciation. The cost was about £5,000. There are 1,800 books in the library, including standard works of fiction, history, travel; and biography. Mr. M. T. Tiddy is president and Mr. Whipp the energetic and popular secretary.
The hospital was originally run by a private company, designated the Ardrossan Hospital, Limited, on a small capital, and was opened in 1913; but it was eventually found that the capital was insufficient. To prevent the institution from being prematurely closed, a public meeting was called, at which a motion was carried, to tender for the purchase of the hospital and its assets. The board of directors to all intents and purposes offered the whole of the assets to the district to make a district hospital. A committee was elected, and several persons were appointed to canvass the town and district for contributions. Great enthusiasm was aroused, and a considerable sum was subscribed. Mr. C. J. R. Cane was chosen as chairman of the committee and Mr. Whipp as secretary. The institution is to be entrusted to trustees, namely, Messrs. C. G. K. Cane, M. T. Tiddy, R. H. Burns, L. C. Davey. and W. J. M. Vandepeer. Many needed improvements will be undertaken. The committee were fortunate in securing the services of two devoted women. Matron G. H. Burns and Sister C. Lee, late of Angorichina, to take charge of the hospital. An active and energetic committee of ladies are undertaking the supervision of the improvements. The building is what is known as a 'cottage hospital,' with lofty, airy rooms and commodious wards. The equipment includes an operating theatre, a sterilising plant, and other necessary appliances. The situation is well chosen, overlooking the blue waters of the gulf. Spacious verandahs open to the ozoneladen sea breezes provide ideal conditions for convalescents. Recreation Park. The recreation park is one of the most completely equipped to be found, in country towns. It contains several tennis courts, a bowling green, a cricket pitch, and a croquet ground. A soldiers' memorial garden is planted with various shrubs, to which are affixed the names of the men who have fallen. The grounds are kept in excellent order by Mr. Harold Bowman. The total cost was about £2,000, but the expenses had been materially diminished by the organization of several 'working bees.' The spot was originally a rubbish heap, and motor cars were accustomed to be parked on part. Much labour was needed, in levelling, and grading the ground, but this was given gratuitously and cheerfully by a number of public-spirited residents. The upkeep of the grounds is maintained by contributions from the various clubs. The town possesses also a fine golf links with a commodious dressing room. A general air of prosperity and, cheerful activity pervades the whole district.
Ardrossan is next on the list and is really the first town entered of any size this side of the Gulf. One notices many thousands of bags of wheat and barley stacked all over the town and in normal times, these must amount to some hundreds and thousands. We could not figure out why this cereal was stacked so haphazardly, as a large quantity would have to be handled so much, as same was far from the wharf. Here, as usual, the party soon started to explore the town and seaside. Firstly, the wharf and jetty attracted our attention. The rise and fall of the tide is 13 feet, and here one finds the sands are red, which is in contradiction to the usual sea sands. This is caused through the high cliffs which are of red clay, and reach down to thp water and of course making such a colour inevitable.
On the end of the jetty, the sea bed has been dredged to take oceangoing vessels to load grain and top up later at the deper ports. To stand on top of the cliffs and look out over the beautiful blue of the sea with the morning sun shining, is a sight many land-lubbers are very delighted about, and one could hear many compliments in this direction. The cliffs are about 80 to 90 feet high and this brought some very unsavoury remarks from one member of the party who had a mother-in-law complex. One look over the edge, and he said "A bonzer place to bring your sleepwalking mother-in-law," certainly hard on the old "battle axe", but he was inclined to think this reference mild, as he preferred to call her the old "battle cruiser", as she opened out on all sides when annoyed. The writer, being blessed with an extremely docile, well mannered and helpful mother-in-law, does not care to include his own views on this vexatious subject!
Ardrossan is well laid out with wide, well-drained streets, and certainly is inviting on first appearances and possesses good service stations and iepair facilities for any who need or choose to use same. A large amount of the districts goods are carried to and fro by boat and this morning the wharf was very busy and of course, interesting to those who have spent much of their time inland.
All export goods, including cereals are carted down the cliff to the wharf by motor lorry, then reloaded on to small rail trucks and taken down the jetty to be unloaded at the ship's side, before transhipment, and one wonders when the process will end. During the summer months fishing is very popular, and at low tide, one jmay see almost any type of small craft lying high and dry on the beach. One enterprising fisherman had made a boat from galvanized iron and, owing to her hollow bulkheads, guaranteed her to float in any position. This craft appealled strongly to the poorer sailors in the party.
We said goodbye to Ardrossan in brilliant sunshine.
Ardrossan Area School, formerly Ardrossan Public School.
Date Range: 1878 - ct Inventory of Series Description
In 1878 the Ardrossan School opened with Otto Tepper as teacher and pupils made up from five families. They were Lily and Clara Naughton, Herbert and Edmund Bowman, Albert Gordon, Philip Pavy and Esther and Arthur Webb. The school was registered as a Provisional School in 1881 and as a Public School in 1887.
The school became Ardrossan Higher Primary School in 1930, which provided for the education of older children in the district. In 1961 the school was officially classified as an Area School. At this time the students from Petersville school were also consolidated to Ardrossan Area School.
The school serves the community that includes the coastal strip from Port Clinton to Pine Point and a narrow hinterland to the west in the direction of Maitland. Agriculture, mining and the port form the basis of local economic activity. As at 2005, the Ardrossan township had a population of 1100 and a district population of 2600.
The enrolment figure in 2005 was 261 students.
Contents Date Range Series Date Range Number of Units Public Access Series Id Series Title
1912 - 1995 1912 - ct 2 Part Open GRS/11241 Admission registers - Ardrossan Area School