Fri 26 Sep 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove


The "Pioneer" has made arrangements with an old Adelaide journalist to furnish a series of articles dealing with the history of the discovery and earliest occupation of Yorke Peninsula. His research has been almost wholly confined to the period when most people were throwing stones at the peninsula and calling it names. Subsequent development has proved that no part of South Australia was more grossly misrepresented and so little understood. No. 1.

Yorke Peninsula's coming-out year was 1802. That was when, from the mists of the unknown, this important "suburb of the mainland" revealed itself to Captain Matthew Flinders, who, his discovery ship Investigator, nosed about its bays and headlands, sounding- its waters and christening the most prominent geographical features. Flinders described the peninsula as 'singular in form, having some resemblance to a very ill-shaped leg or foot," and he named it in honor of the Right Hon. Charles Philip Yorke, afterwards Lord Hardwicke, who, as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1810, authorized the publication of the great navigator's journal.


Yorke was born in 1764, and was a member of the Imperial House of Commons for Cambridgeshire, and afterwards of Liskeard. He was Secretary of State for War in Addington's Ministry in 1801. In 1810 Yorke made himself exceedingly unpopular by bringing about of the exclusion of strangers, including press reporters, from the House of Commons, under the standing order which led to the imprisonment of Sir Francis Burdett in the Tower, and to riots in London. In the same year he joined Spencer Perceval's Government as First Lord of the Admiralty. He retired from public life in 1818, and died in 1834, at the age of 70 years.


The shabby treatment Flinders, and later his widow, received at the hands of the British Government is a matter of history. The navigator's biographer (Ernest Scott) wrote that it was derpressing to reflect upon the stinginess of a rich nation in this ease. Yorke, however, was not to blame. Upon the return of Flinders to London in 1810, after his long imprisonment in Mauritius, Yorke recognised that the special circumstances of the case demanded special treatment, and promoted him to the rank of Post-Captain. The First Lord also wanted to ante-date the commission to 1804, but the Admiralty was unsympathetic.


From 1802 until the official colonization of South Australia in 1836, Yorke Peninsula practically faded out of the picture, in common with the rest of the province, being known only to a few mariners from the east who traded to Kangaroo Island and vicinity for seal and kangaroo skins and salt. George Sutherland, commander of the' brig Governor Macquarrie, of Sydney, has recorded that, so far back as 1819, he "landed on the main in the bight between Point Riley and Corny Point.


The first definite proposal for the colonization of South Australia, according to Mr. A. Grenfell Price, was made by Major Anthony Bacon to the Colonial Office, London, in February, 1831, and his suggestion was that the capital of the new province should be fixed on Yorke Peninsula. When the time came for definite action, however, the first Surveyor-General (Col. W. Light) turned down Bacon's idea with a heavy hand. "Good harbors are not, I believe, to be found in narrow peninsulas," he wrote. He was fortified in his objection by the ludicrous declaration of, sealers that Yorke Peninsula was "a barren and sandy waste."'


In December, 1838, what appears to have been the first real attempt to examine even parts of the peninsula was made by Robert Cock, pioneer Government Auctioneer, and Surgeon R. G. Jameson, in order to "dispel some portion of the complete ignorance which exists respecting Yorke Peninsula." They sailed from the mainland in a 10-ton decked cutter, and upon landing walked for 25 miles. They found the region very low and "destitute of all features of fine and bold country." No eminence over 200 ft. high was visible for a range of the coast 40 miles in extent. Birds and kangaroos in excellent condition were in abundance, and the blacks were friendly, but the explorers were disappointed by not finding a running stream. Tracks and encampments of natives were spotted, and the fires of aborigines were visible in many parts. The report continued:—"The soil is not of a very fertile description, but, so far from being a barren and sandy waste, if we could have found a fresh water river we would have pronounced It good country for the maintenance of flocks and herds." Cock and Jamieson named Deception Bay because they found its soundings very shallow.


In June, 1839, the Adelaide Survey Association took up two special surveys of 15,000 acres each on the peninsula, and named them Victoria Harbor (later changed to Port Victoria) and Port Saint Vincent. The former was declared to comprise the "greatest extent of fertile country, especially for agricultural purposes, yet discovered in South Australia." This represented the first recorded attempt to settle the peninsula, but it proved to be only a short-lived land boom that was many years ahead of its time. The following extract from the "Southern Australian" of June 19, 1839, indicates the kind of boosting with which Pt. Victoria was launched:— The Adelaide Survey Association lately took a survey at a place called by Capt. Flinders Point Pearce in Spencer's Gulf. It turns out, however, that Finders was mistaken, for that which he laid down as a point proves to be an island, behind which there had been found one of the finest harbors in this part cit the world—a splendid bay completely sheltered from every wind, with a safe and easy entrance and an excellent anchorage. This splendid harbor the association have named Pt. Victoria, and from its situation, being about half-way up the eastern side of the gulf, and as we understand that it is backed by about 600 square miles of the finest land for agricultural purposes yet discovered in the province, we have little doubt it will become one of the finest ports in this hemisphere


It was anounced that the Adelaide Survey Association was going to ask the Colonization Commissioners in London to send out labour direct from England to Yorke Peninsula. Prices of the shares in the two surveys rose rapidly, and those for Pt. Victoria were quoted on the basis of £4 to £5, per acre, and those for Pt. Vincent at £2 10/- to £3 per acre. The Treasurer of the Association was Henry Qles, and when he appealed for a call of £30 a share some sellers came into the market where previously they had been sitting tight. Mr. Bigwood, of "Adelaide Bazaar, on acre 81 Rundle Street, advertised his willingness to quit his shares at £5 an acre, and Light, Kinnis and Co. offered 40 acres at Pt. Victoria for £150 cash. I In January, 1840, the following announcement appeared in the Adelaide press:—


Mr. Hughes informs the shareholder-; 1 of the above survey that he has discovered a reservoir of excellent fresh water only 7 ft. below the surface, one and a half miles from the head of the inner bay. The supply is sufficient for a large town and the cartage to Victoria is extremely easy. Melbourne St., North Adelaide.


Upon the return to Adelaide of Mr. James H. Hughes after the discovery of his reservoir, the press intimated that "their fellow townsman" had been shamefully treated by the blacks, who robbed him of tent, rations, surveying instruments and other goods worth all together £150. It was not until a long time after the boom subsided that Port Victoria and Vincent again came into prominence. About 20 acres of the original township of Port Vincent was sold for £2, 600, and land advertisements declared that it was destined to become the Sorrento of South Australia. In the next article, entitled "Scrubby days of the Peninsula ," readers will be told how efforts were made to tame York '" PeninsuIa. One land seeker stating that there was "not one acre fit for cultivation."


Fri 3 Oct 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

The "Pioneer" has made arrangements with an old Adelaide journalist to furnish a series of articles dealing with the history of die discovery and earliest occupation of Yorke Peninsula. His research has been almost wholly confined to the period when most people were throwing stones at the peninsula and calling it names. Subsequent development has proved that no part of South Australia was more grossly misrepresented and so little understood.

Scrubby Days of the Peninsula.

William Robinson, who, before the days of C. B. Fisher and J. H. An gas, was the owner of the famous Hill River station, near Clare, did his best to damn Yorke Peninsula in October, 1843. Two years earlier he was concerned in a terrible encounter with the blacks on the banks of the River Murray. The natives scattered 6,000 ewes and 500 head of cattle which he and a party were over-landing from the Murrumbidgee to Adelaide, and 30 of the natives lost their lives in the skirmish which followed. Robinson's report is interesting as descriptive of the peninsula in its primitive state, and it makes amusing reading in the light of present-day developments.

lt is as follows :— I returned to Adelaide on October 12 (1843) from a short trip to explore Yorke Peninsula, which, I am sorry to say, was unsatisfactory. I proceeded, in company with Mr. Lines, in the "Resource" cutter, taking with us a couple of men and two horses. At sunrise we dropped anchor in Oyster Bay (now Stansbury). Owing to the loss of the cutter's boat, which was not recovered until the evening, we had to abandon our intention of proceeding at once to explore the country. On the day following we were detained by a like misfortune, the boat being washed off the beach during the night, and as this time we were not fortunate enough to regain her, we had to await a favorable time of tide for bringing the cutter close in shore. On Tuesday morning Mr. Lines and myself started at daybreak with two horses, leaving the men we had taken to explore the immediate vicinity of our landing place, and to try by digging if fresh water could be procured on the sand of the seabeach, but in which we afterwards found they were unsuccessful. We directed our course towards the opposite shore in a zigzag direction, averaging about N.N.W. For the first 15 miles we traveled through nothing but scrub, excepting about midway we passed over land little elevated, and covered with a sort of sharp, wiry grass. We then reached a low, range running nearly north and south, which was covered with the same description of grass, and wooded with sheoak trees. From this place we could plainly distinguish Point Pearce, and Mount Lofty was also in sight. During this part of our joumpy the only fresh water we found was in one native well, and in a small hole filled apparently by recent rain. We had seen, however, two saltwater lakes. We then turned our horses heads to the southward, and rode along this range so as to command a view of the shore of Spencer's Gulf and the intervening country, and proceeded to the termination of the range, from which we descended bearing a little to the westward. The whole of this range, as well as the country to the westward, is covered with the same sort of prickly grass and sheoak trees, except patches of scrub here and there on the flat. During this part of the journey we found no water. We again returned to the range, on which we slept. Troubridge Hill bore south a little easterly. On the following morning we were again on horseback before sunrise. We had intended to penetrate to the south east, but the country appearing one dense mass of scrub, and very low land, altered our course again to the notthward, returning nearly parallel to our former course till we came abreast of where we had landed, and again made Oyster Bay. During this day's journey we found the country similar to what I have described previously, without a single drop of water excepting at the small hole we had seen the day before, and which we went out of our way to reach for the sake of the horses. The general feature of the country is very flat, with no indication of permanent water anywhere to be seen. We saw a few natives, a great number of kangaroos, but very few birds, and not one acre of land fit for cultivation.


"Not one acre of land fit for cultivation " The editor of "The Register" would not believe it, and appended the following footnote to Mr. Robinson's report:—"No amount of disappointment on account of the first failure should deter from further attempts, inasmuch as the general belief is that good land, and that too in great quantities, must sooner or later be discovered in this large and hitherto unexplored district."


William Robinson, who so sadly misjudged what the scrub was hiding, afterwards settled in New Zealand, where he founded and made a fortune out of the celebrated Cheviot Hills estate in the Canterbury district, and was appointed a life member of the Legislative Council. He became known in New Zealand as "Ready Money Robinson," from his rare habit of paying cash for everything he purchased. Two of his daughters married titled men (Lady Dillon Bell and the late Lady Campbell).


The Adelaide "Observer" of April 26, 1845. refers to another adventure of the same kind on the part of three white men and two semi-civilized blacks. They clambered up some cliffs into impenetrable scrub, apparently dense and compact enough to admit of being walked on. They came to a dark and gloomy gully overhung with dwarf gum trees and a kind of wild vine, making the top impervious to the sun's rays." Where could that have been? The report of this party mentions no locality by name. The sounding of an alarm brought them back to their boat, and suddenly 60 or more adult blacks appeared on the beach. One of them "a fine, portly figure, waded up to his shoulders to the boat, a perfect mixture of terror, doubt and good humour." He was pacified with a gift of bread. A little later a second large band of fine looking savage natives came on the scene, and the party of whites, discouraged from further exploration, lifted the anchor and cleared out. It is interesting to note that at this period (1845) the salt industry had already been started in South Australia. G. R. Thompson was advertising his salt works situated in King Willim Street, Adelaide, "opposite to Bentham Neale's stockyards." His selling price was £5 a ton, or 6/- a cwt.


In I848 Yorke Peninsula was still regarded by some people as "a desert shore," although a good place for a marine picnic. This is indicated by an account in the "Southern Australian" of March 28. 1848, of an unpleasant experience which befell His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor (Colonel Robe). The paper says:— Last week the Lieutenant Governor and a party of friends comprehending His Honor the Judge, the Surievor-General and the Collector of Customs, with ladies and families, proceeded in the Government cutter on their annual excursion to picnic on Yorke Peninsuia The cutter not being able to approach the shore on account of shoal water, the party were landed in a small boat. We fancy that in the joyous exuberance of such an occasion the small boat must have been neglected. Let this be as it may, the small boat disappeared. Our readers can imagine better than we can describe the lamentable condition of the isolated magnates, having a considerable portion of a great gulf between them and their ocean home for the nonce, a vast scrub in the rear, only three loaves remaining from the picnic, and very little grog. At last Quin, in the cutter, was made to understand that the boat was lost. Having no other, be was obliged to return to the Lightship (at the Semaphore), and by the time he landed to relieve the distinguished party they had been detained for 24 hours in durance vile on that desert shore. Ilv that time, of course, the whole party were grievously enhugered. However, the party, without any other casualty, were landed at Port Adelaide.

No. 3, entitled "Yorke Peninsula as Criminal Sanctuary," will tell the story of several Tasmanian convicts who worked in the Stansbury and Weavers districts until rearrested.


Fri 10 Oct 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

The "Pioneer" has made arrangements with an old Adelaide journalist to furnish a series of articles dealing with the history of the discovery and earliest occupation of Yorke Peninsula. His research has been almost wholly confined to the period when most people were throwing stones at the peninsula and calling it names. Subsequent development has proved that no part of South Australia was more grossly misrepresented and so little understood.


What was telling principally against the development of Yorke Peninsula I was its scrubby nature, the almost complete absence of permanent surface waters, its isolation, the menace of the blacks, and the poor transport facilities available. Not one of the great explorers like Sturt, Stuart and Eyre seems to have bothered his head about the long, lanky stretch of territory that was destined to play such an important part in the primary and mining industries in the general prosperity of South Australia. Not only were the blacks hostile, but Yorke Peninsula had become a sanctuary for old lags who had escaped from Van Diemens Land (now Tasmania) on the boats of whalers and sealers.


Inspector Alexander Timer's book of reminiscences contains a vivid account of the capture in 1848 of four of these desperate convicts in the Stansbury district. Their names were Rodders, Reilly, Lynch and Reynolds, bushrangers and murderers, who had been the terror of Tasmania for three years. They got away from Tasmania with an American whaler bound for Kangaroo Island, and in Investigator's Strait stole a boat from the whaler and landed on Yorke Peninsula. Information of their presence there was given to Tolmer in Adelaide by Thomas Giles and Alfred Weaver, two of the peninsula's earliest identities. The lags' story was that they had been fast to a whale, which dragged them out of sight of the ship and the island, and that, after cutting the line and landing on Yorke Peninsula, they walked along the coast until they met John Bowden, another of the pioneer pastoralists. Bowden pave them work, not knowing really who they were, and only too glad to get the labour.


Tolmer immediately dispatched to the peninsula a policeman dressed in dirty moleskins, a ranged blue shirt, and an old cabbage tree hat and carrying a swag and billy. This disguise was to enable him to wander about the Stansbury district as an ordinary bushman, and quietly ascertain whether the four castaways answered the description of the four criminals wanted in Tasmania, whence the description had been forwarded to the South Australian Government. Before the bush policeman could return, however, Tolmer received further information that satisfied him about their identity, and he set sail on the "Lapwing" with four mounted officers. There is a long, drawn-out account in the inspector's reminiscence's of what followed To the inspector's astonishment John Bowden demanded at assisting the police and made several paltry excuses, whereupon Tolmer intimated that unless he willingly afforded the help required he would be compelled to impress him in the Queen's name, whereupon the sheep farmer consented. There is no question about the personal integrity of Bowden, and his attitude only goes to show how hard pressed for labour the pastoral pathfinders of the peninsula were.


Tolmer's ruses and strategy were equal to bloodless capture of the four criminals, who added new chapters to the Policemen's knowledge of foul language. Desperate efforts to escape when being taken to the mainland were frustrated, and eventually the convicts were returned to Tasmania wearing heavy shackles made fast to the chain cable. All were duly executed, and the island Government forwarded to Adelaide the £l00 reward which had been offered for the capture of each. Inspector Tolmer received only £25 of the £100 and his handful of men £15 each. Much disgusted, the first-named declared that it was adding insult to injury.


Writing about these malefactors reminds one that for many years the official maps of Yorke Peninsula have shown a "Rogues Gully" and "Rogues Point" on the north-eastern corner of the hundred of Muloowurtie. Everybody who made a hobby of the geographical nomenclature of South Australia has satisfied that these curious names must be a memorial of the escaped convict days of the peninsula, and an appeal through the widely circulated medium of the "Pioneer" in 1921 failed to upset the theory. Last year, however, the writer was spending an evening with Mr. C. Prevtag, at American River, Kangaroo Island, when the host produced an old map of South Australia, lithographed in London in 1855, which he had picked up in a second-hand shop in Adelaide. This map was inscribed to Arthur Henry Freeling. Survejor-General of the day, and had been prepared by H. Higginson and John W Painter. By the latter's name endures at Mount Painter, where the radio --- exists? Upon examining this map in detail, the writer discovered that where "Rogues Gull" and "Rogue's Point'" are shown on most maps of the peninsula, the names appeared is "Rogers Gully" and "Rouge's Point" are now quite clear that a misnomer has crept into the nomenclature of peninsula. The names really perpetuate those of the worthy Roger family, pioneer pastoralists, who held the ---- ---- as a sleepwalk. The present Auditor-General (Mr. W. E Rogers) is a descendant of the clan. Mr. Frevtag presented the old map to the Survey department, and a promise was given that the error would be rectified in future issues.

No 4 will deal with the "Pioneer Pastoral Pathfinders," and tells Alfred Weaver, the first pastoralist, in 1846.


Fri 17 Oct 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove


Like many other parts of South Australia, Yorke Peninsula owes its earliest development to the emirate and enterprise of sheep farmers. To Alfred Weaver, whose daughter the writer met in Parkside several years and belongs the credit of being probably the first pastoralist to tackle the "barren and sandy waste" as a stockraising proposition. Considerable and patient research has revealed no earlier claimant to that distinction. The lot of the pioneers in this industry was a very unhappy one. The menace of the blacks, the difficulties of isolation and transport, low prices, the scarcity of labour and of surface waters, and the prevalence of coast and scab diseases made the venture heroic; but a distinguished band of stock-breeders faced the problems, and overcame them successfully. Most of them were eventually driven off the peninsula by the resumption of their holdings to make room for the plough. In the early days stock, coming and going, had to be driven right around the head of the gulf, and one flock of almost 2,000 sheep was almost entirely wiped out through drinking salt water along the coast line. The late Hon. John Lewis, in his book, "Fought and Won." also tells the following story:—

The late Wattie Thompson, of O'Halloran Hill, had a piece of country on the peninsula where he wintered his sheep, and he had 1,800 young wethers coming up from the peninsula. The man in charge got within a few miles of Clinton and left his sheep on a sand ridge while he came up to Clinton to get a drink. On returning to where he left the sheep he found that they had run on to the sea beach. The tide came in, they were trapped between the sea and the cliff, and every one was drowned.


The story of the first sheep-farmers is well told in various chapters of "Pastoral Pioneers of South Australia," published in two volumes in 1925-27. Alfred Weaver was a Bristol man. and in 1846 took up 52? square miles of country at 10/- a mile, at Oyster Bay. Its grazing capacity was 7,000 sheep. The country had been spied out for him by Charles Parrington, who was with Colonel Light in the brig "Rapid." Mr. Weaver, who died at the age of 89 years, rests in St. Mary's churchyard, south of Adelaide. His name endures in Weaver's Lagoon. He came out to South Australia in 1839 on the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" and was fellow passenger of Sir Charles Cooper, who was the Judge mentioned in an earlier article as having been marooned on Yorke Peninsula with Governor Robe's picnic party in 1848. Weaver drove a mob of horses of his own breeding around the head of the gulf from Oyster Bay, and sold them for £60 and £70 a head at Salisbury. He disposed of his property to Messrs. Rogers, Lander and Stephen, who also had Lake Sunday and Corny Point stations. They ran 23,300 sheep, besides many cattle and horses.


A little later than Weaver came John Bowden, a Cornishman, who at one time was manager of the South Australian Company's dairy on the River Torrens, and estabiished Kersbrook. He grazed sheep in and around what are now Yorketown, Edithburgh and Coobowie. In 18-- we find him figuring as a defendant in an action by Mr. Maurice, another pastoral magnate, for breach of agreement in regard to the sale of 2400 ewes at 5/- a head and 1000 lambs at 3/- a head. We mention this only as a guide to the prices that Yorke Peninsula pastoralists had to put up with in the pioneering days. What a jury it was! Sir Charles Cooper was on the bench, and in the jury box were John Bailey (first Colonial Botanist and grand-father of the present Director of the Adelaide Botanic Garden). William (afterwards Sir William) Milne. Eustace R. Mitford, who make his mark on the inkv way as "Pasquin," W. C. Buik (afterwards Mayor of Adelaide), Henry (later Sir Henry) Avers. J. W. Dislier (of Disher and Milne), and Samuel Kearne. who had the Oaklands estate (mainland) before the Htm. John Crozier. John Bowden had a brother Jacob, who conducted a business as herbalist in Gilles Street, Adelaide, when the stumps of trees were still prominent in the main street of the capital. The writer had a letter from John Bowden's grandson at Quorn two or three years ago.


James Coutts and John Sharpies had a big scope of peninsula country in the heroic days, but both passed out without anyone having set down in print an adequate account of their worthy achievements. The story their pioneering efforts would justify the telling, and one would like to get in touch, through the medium of the "Pioneer." with anyone who could assist in that direction.


Messrs. G, A. Anstey and Thomas Giles squatted on country around Minlaton and Curramulka. Their holdings included the famous Penton Yale and Gum Fat or Mount Rat estates, and they parted with their country for a comparative song before the advent of fertilisers helped to make it one of the most productive parts in agricultural South Australia. George A. Anstey accepted a nominee seat in the old Legislative Council in 1851. He sat in Parliament for only three days, resigning in petulance and pique because of the "shameful preference of his fellow members for matters personal themselves as to their pockets and prejudices, but most mischievous to the country." Anstey son (Lieutenant Edgar Oliphant Anstey) was the first South Australian born military officer to fall in battle, being killed in action at Isandula, Zululaml on January 22 1879. Thomas Giles was a son of William Giles, second manager of the South Australian Company. The present senior member for Yorke Peninsula represents another generation of a really worthy family. The original parents brought out eleven children with them in 1837.


Among the Rogers family. Samuel had part of Yorke Valley, including the site of Maitland township, eight of the street names of which are associated with this clan. William Fowler, who finished his days at Yararoo, was another who had a linger in the pastoral pioneer pie—he who ordered the following lines by Walt Whitman to be inscribed upon his tombstone:— Joy, shipmate, joy! "Pleased to my soul," at death I cry. Our life is closed; our life begins, the long, long anchorage we leave. The ship is clear, at last she leaps, She swiftly courses from the shore Joy, shipmate, joy! This sketch is not intended to be an exhaustive account of the pastoral development of Yorke Peninsula; it only points to the finger-posts of the earliest endeavour. The "Pioneer" would welcome any supplementary notes that its oldest readers may be in a position to furnish in a reminiscent vein. No. 5 deals with "The Awakening," and gives some interesting statistics of the Agricultural Babyhood of Y.P.


Fri 24 Oct 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove


One would have thought that the discovery of the great copper mines in 1859 would have served to focus vigorous attention upon the possibilities of agricultural and in mixed farming occupation lower down the peninsula, but the district continued to be a sheepwalk but years after the mining boom had helped to once again set the commercial joybells ringing for South Australia. We are concerned now with the trunk more than the head of the peninsula, but in passing it may be mentioned that the Moonta copper mine, although opened later than the rich gold reefs of Victoria, was owned by the first mining company in Australia to pay more than £l,000,000 dividend, that record having been achieved even before amalgamation with the Wallaroo company in 1889.


In proof of the agricultural development of Yorke Peninsula one turns to the South Australian Gazette " for 1867, which shows that in the previous year only 17 acres under wheat on the penisula, the total yield having been 174 bushels. Ninety? acres sown for hay produced ------ the total area under fallow was 12 acres, and there were 5 acres of garden and 1 acre of vines. At this time the peninsula was carrying 135,554 sheep, 942 horses, 1578 head of cattle, 2 goats, 23 pigs, and 481 head of poultry. The editor of the gazette drew pointed amotion to the great part private enterprise had played in the provision of public utilities from one end of the peninsula to the other. It had done almost everything he said, --- in the district pro-perou?, and had saved the government a very considerable outlay. ???


In this connection it is interesting to recall a return which the late Mr Robert Caldwell asked for in 1888 when he represented the district in The House of Assembly. The information he sought was the total amount the Treasury had derived from the sale and lease of all land in the electoral district of Yorke Peninsula until June 30 , and the total amount expended on all public works.

The return showed:— Revenue from land £---,---


Survey Departrment £--,---

Jetties— £-,---

Lighthouses £--,---

Repairs to Roads outside district Council £-,---

Construction of Roads by Peninsula Road Board £130,272

Water Conservation £7,447

Public Buildings £--,---

Corporation and District Council £--,---

Total £297,258

The comparison would have been still more favorable to Yorke Peninsula had the revenue from sources other than land be included. The 1888 return has never been brought up to date.


The real growing pains of the peninsula came along with the introduction of superphosphates, since when it has continued to be one of the most reliable grain areas in Australia. Indeed, the primary industries have been able to absorb the terrible shock caused by the cessation of mining and smelting operations. The Hundred of Strangways Act in the early seventies. Of course the salt and gypsum de-Meville was the first surveyed and settled under the regulations of the po-its helped materially in the uplift, and Messrs. Henry Berry & co are credited with having been the pioneers in the opening up of the salt industry which attained such importance that at one time it was proposed that Yorketown should be renamed Salt Lake City? In 1867 William Fowler was the only justice of peace in the southern peninsula the growth of which was so slow that for a long period it was attached to the electoral district of Port Adelaide. Separation followed complaints from the chief seaport that the peninsula mining towns were dominating the complexion of political representation.


Things were evidently looking up in 1878 because at the half-yearly meeting of the Coast Steamship Company it was announced that the steamer cercs was running regular trips to Yorke Peninsula and a dividend of 15/? a share for the half-year, equal to 17? per cent, per annum, was declared. Was that the lure which, in September, 1878, produced a prospectus of the Southern Yorke Peninsula Steamship Company, Ltd , seeking a capital of £8,ooo" The promoters wetre Messers J. Gottschalck and George Barr. of Edithburgh; Thomas Carlott, James Caldwell. junr., and G. A. Heinrieh. of diamond Lake; J. N. Lindner L.G. Jaensch, C. A. Haby. W. H. Tucker, sen., and John Allan, of Yorketown; V. Hitchcox and O. Klem, of Warooka. Being a local company it was exptected that the new venture would command the bulk of the trade between Edithburgh and Port Adelaide, and the proposal was to purchase a suitable steamer in Sydney. What happened the writer's notes do not say. In any case the boundary line of the "early history" of the peninsula may now be regarded as having been reached. As a parting shot, it may be stated that Sir R, R. Torrens, author of the Real Property Act, took up 80 acres on Yorke Peninsula with the last outstanding preliminary land order, with which he had previously tried unsuccessfully to acquire Port Augusta, Mitcham, and Granite Island. Victor Harbor. He, too, was among the Governor's marooned party of 1848.

This is the concluding article under the above heading. We hope to follow very shortly with a series of articles dealing with the Naming of Peninsula Places and Towns. Ed