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Port Broughton is 175km. north from Adelaide by road via Port Wakefield. It has a population of around 1000.
A popular coastal resort offering fishing and other water sports, it is on the eastern shore of Spencer Gulf between Port Wakefield and Port Pirie. A prawning fleet operates from the harbour and a boat ramp provides access to the waters for the general public. A long timber jetty provides excellent opportunities for the recreational fisherman and the local hotel will arrange fishing trips if required.
It was surveyed in 1871 and auctioned to the public in 1872. and is the centre of a large grain growing area with wheat and barley being the staples.
State Library of South Australia - B 39193 The Baker Shop & Cash Store at Port Broughton 1891
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/13/289
The main street of Port Broughton showing railway lines in the centre. 1914
State Library of South Australia - B 15362 - Port Broughton Tramway yard 1900
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/16/77
Two small craft at the Port Broughton jetty bringing seaweed in for the Marine Fibre Works 1913
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/16/81
Three vessels, described by Searcy as a 'working plant' at sea retrieving seaweed for the Marine Fibre Works at Port Broughton 1913
State Library of South Australia - PRG 280/1/44/488
The marine fibre works at Port Broughton with the steamer 'Ethel' at sea close by. 1912
State Library of South Australia - B 15350 - Port Broughton 1910
State Library of South Australia - B 15363
Fancy dress football carnival to raise funds for new pavilion at Port Broughton, 21 August 1911. An almost exact image was published in the Adelaide Chronicle on 2 September 1911 (page 30). An article reported: 'Port Broughton, August 24. - The second annual fancy dress football carnival was held on Wednesday. Visitors came from all parts of the district. It proved a great success and the committee will net over £50. It was held in aid of the new pavilion fund. [The article mentions the names of prizewinners.] In the evening a fancy dress ball was held. The Institute was packed....The Port Broughton Brass Band gave their services gratuitously.' 1911
State Library of South Australia - B 15359 - Port Broughton's School 1910
State Library of South Australia - B 15874 - Darling's Flour Mill at Port Broughton 1915
State Library of South Australia - B 53499 - 1910 PORT BROUGHTON: The Institute
State Library of South Australia - B 56360
PORT BROUGHTON: A general view of a farmyard thought to be at Port Broughton 1880
From "OLD RESIDENT'':— I thank Mr. A. T. Saunders for his note on Port Broughton. I wish, as far as my memory permits, to give a portion of the history of what has been termed the 'Brighton of the north' and some of the incidents that marked its settlement, and reminiscences of some of the individuals who composed the little band of those present at the opening of this place, as well as those who settled on the Broughton area. Among the first settlers the following names recur:— John and James Waddel, J. Johnston &, Sons, Robert Paterson and Sons, Joseph Collins & Sons, the brothers Hayes, Murt and Pat. David Gray and family. Charles MacDonald and three sons,, David Lethgow, and Robert Dunn, Wheaton & Son, Adey and family, Joyce, Jones, Mead, Parsons, Chalmers, James, John, and Tom Torr, Button and family, David Steel, Stephens & Son, Botham, Davey, Ladyman, Pengillys, March, Hopkins, Perryban, Pett Marshall, Shearer Reed & Sons, Cavenett, Willis, MacMahon, Klengenberg, Siviour & Sons, Cummins and Sons, Lines. Flowers, Dolling. Touchell, Maloney, Ingerson & Sons, Bryant Neilsen, Matthews, Butcher, Flavel, Thompson, Young, Hancock, Woodhouse and Sons, Cavanagh & Sons, Donnellys, Miller, Nicholls, Bon_, Horne, Bairstow and Sons, McGiltons, Gale and family, Munroe, Pat and John Kelly, Fairbanks, Ritchie, Jamieson, Barrow, Cowled, Crouches, Dennes, Binney, Rankine Brothers, Venning, Oldfields, Button and Son, Hancock, Simmonds Brothers, Larcombe, Bryant, Tonkin, Kelly, Kinnear, Treloar and family. These are some of the names of those who came to the area in the 'seventies, and if I have omitted any names I hope they will, or their descendants, not feel hurt.
OPENING OF PORT BROUGHTON.
For some 12 months past the newly settled farmers on the Broughton agricultural area have found it both expensive and inconvenient to procure stores and supplies of building and fencing materials—such as sawn timber,galvanized iron, fencing wire, and many other things required by them. Hitherto they have been obliged to draw their supplies either from Port Wakefield or Clare at—it need hardly be added—an enhanced cost. Besides this the settlers clearly saw that they would experience a similar difficulty in disposing of their produce, and accordingly, as the seaboard was close at hand, they felt it would be highly advantageous to turn it to good account. For these reasons Mr. Paterson. late of Smithfield, made it his business to confer with Captain Dale, of Port Adelaide—the well-known pioneer of that part of the coast—who instantly promised to send a vessel round with goods to the coast known as the Madoora Creek or Inlet.
Monday last, the 12th June, was fixed as the day when the settlers should meet Captain Dale at Modoora and receive their goods, and it was arranged to celebrate the event by holding a monster picnic. Through some misunderstanding, however, this was not generally known, and several persons who were informed that Tuesday was the day selected were not there on Monday. However, in those parts one day is not sufficient for a picnic, so that the celebrations were continued on Tuesday.
The schooner Triumph, with Captain Dale on board, hove in sight on Saturday, and was beating her way up the circuitous course when she got stuck on a sand-bank. This, however, only caused a slight detention, as the schooner was soon afloat again. Captain Dale then launched a boat, and buoyed off the deep channel in a primitive manner by fixing poles. However it was still deemed prudent to discharge cargo in a boat, as the waterway was rather uncertain.
On Monday not fewer than 100 persons, including a sprinkling of the fair sex (who mustered strongly under the circumstances) assembled. The first boat load of goods which came up anchored in about 3 feet of water, and Mr. Paterson drove in the old indespensable team of bullocks, with dray attached. The boat was emptied of between 2 and 3 tons weight of goods, and the dray was drawn up on to the dry ground amidst the enthusiastic shouts of all present. A bottle of ale was then smashed against the dray wheel by Captain Dale, who, in the name of all present, declared that place to be thenceforward known as Port Broughton—one of the many outports of the province of South Australia. Amongst the visitors there were several well-known faces from Clare, Blyth's Plains, Wallaroo, and even Gawler Town (to wit, Mr. James Martin), who had probably had an eye to business for agricultural implements. Mr. J. G. Ramsay, ALP., agricultural implement maker, of Mount Barker and Clare, was also represented in the person of his manager, Mr. Pike. Monday was a busy day, all the consignees being engaged in landing their goods. Consequently, the picnic was held, contrary to usage, in the evening. One farmer present was dubious as to the actual advantage to be gained by the opening of the port, and thereupon Captain Dale offered him within 4d. per bushel of Port Adelaide price for all the wheat which either he or all the persons present could possibly bring to him the next harvest. Mr. Marshall, miller, of Wallaroo, determined not to be outdone, offered them within 3d. a bushel delivered at the water's edge—these offers proving at once the great advantages gained by opening the port.
On Tuesday, the speechifying was commenced. No Chairman was appointed, but the meeting was orderly, and was ably addressed.
Mr. Paterson first of all spoke. He said ever since he first took land in the Broughton area he had seen the necessity of utitising the seaboard, and of opening a port of their own— distance only 20 miles from the centre of the area. Already 35,000 acres of land were alienated from the Crown in that neighborhood, and up-wards of 90 families were located on the land and were working with a will. He had no hesitation in saying, either, that at least 100,000 bushels of wheat would be exported from Port Broughton during the next season. He then urged all present to do what lay in their power to advance the interests of the port.
Capt. Dale said all he wanted was that the farmers would grow lots of wheat, and he would find means for taking it away. That being his first tip he had had sundry drawbacks to contend against, but he wished to impress on their minds the necessity of applying to the Government for a small outlay, say £100 for buoying the deep channel, and another £100 for building a small jetty. He could then safely bring up a craft of 100 tons burthen and discharge her quickly. The harbor was well sheltered and the anchorage splendid. He was so pleased with the unanimity existing amongst the farmers interested, and the visitors from all parts, that he was determined to do all in his power to establish a trade between Port Adelaide and Port Broughton.
Mr. James Waddell said their position and the importance of all the surroundings of that place demanded that necessary improvements should be made—not only in buoying the channel and building a jetty, but also in constructing a road and approaches to the jetty. A road should be formed for at least four miles back, because in event of two teams meeting now it would be next to impossible in many places for them to pass each other. Moreover two wells ought to be sunk —one at the port and another at the Hummocks.
Mr. Paterson proposed, and Mr. Waddell seconded, a vote of thanks to the visitors for their attendance.
Mr. James Martin, from Gawler, replied in a neat speech. He expressed himself completely surprised with the quality of the land which be had passed over to reach that place. Formerly he, with many others, thought the North would not suit for wheat growing, and that the South was the only place where they could actually depend on a good crop ; but he was now convinced that such was not the case. It was not many years since that he was aston-ished to hear a gentleman say that South Australia was north of Adelaide, but from what he had seen, he now adopted that sentiment, and thoroughly believed in it. Having had a little parliamentary experience, and having seen how the Government managed their affairs, he had no doubt that if the matter was properly put before the Government, they would have their wants attended to, and every necessary im-provement made.
Mr. Ford returned thanks on behalf of the visitors from Clare, and spoke at length on the advantages to be derived from easy access to the sea. He said Clare would also participate in the advantage, as it would be within easy reach of fresh fish.
Mr. Bristow proposed " The Press" — a motion which was seconded by Capt. DALE.
Mr. Isaac Roach responded on behalf of the Advertiser and Chronicle, and Mr. L Femore for the Guardian. The latter gentleman apologised for the absence of Mr. Ward, ALP., who had to attend a meeting at Gumeracha.
Edibles and drinkables were supplied in abundance, and every one was free and wel-come. One rather refractory individual, after indulging too freely, became very obnoxious, being anxious to fight every one he met. After making himself a nuisance for about an hour, he was tied up to a dray-wheel, which soon had a very subduing effect upon him. As the visitors were returning to Clare, Mr. Ward. M.P., met them about four miles from the port, and, the celebrations having concluded, he returned with them.
MINISTERIAL TRIP TO THE BROUGHTON.
On Monday last the Hon. W. Cavenagh (Commissioner of Public Works), accompanied by Mr. Bonney (Inspector of Areas) and Mr. Cottrell, M.P., left Adelaide on an official tour through the Northern District to Ports Broughton and Pirie, to ascertain by personal inspection of the two places which was the most desirable port to connect with the newly-opened areas. The Ministerial party proceeded by train to Farrell's Flat, from whence they drove by road to Clare the same afternoon. The weather was most unpropitious for travelling, being both cold and rainy, with the dreary prospect of muddy roads, wet clothes, and rheumatism. The road from Clare to the Broughton is a shocking example of bush roads in general for a few miles, but improves afterwards, so that the cautious traveller with ordinary luck may possibly reach his journey's end with a portion of the vehicle in which he started. The principal objects of interest on the road for the first six miles are the numerous holes honeycombing the track, to avoid sinking into which occupies all the time and attention of the most skilful charioteers. Beyond these pitfalls and chasms, very little else engages the attention of the observant traveller until the Bungaree Head Station is reached. This magnificent property is owned by the Hon. George Hawker, late Speaker of the House of Assembly, who has built a small model township on the station, which must afford employment to a large number of persons. An extremely pretty church with a tall spire has been erected by Mr. Hawker on the hill overlooking the houses, among which may also be noticed a moderate-sized schoolroom, built, as are the remainder of the buildings, entirely of stone. From Bungaree to the town of Rochester the road runs through a good grazing country, here and there dotted over with farms. The township of Rochester consists of a store and two or three other houses occupied by bush artisans. Beyond this 'city of the desert' is Magpie Creek, on farms adjacent to which the wheat seems to promise a more abundant harvest this year than last, when the crops were scant and poor. A few miles beyond this a thin belt of scrub marks the boundary of the Broughton Areas, and for many miles the track lies along a timberless plain, bounded on the west by the Broughton Ranges. After driving through a barren tract of country — from its salty soil fit only for grazing— the traveller passes between a long chain of lakes, of salt and fresh water alternately; and on the rising ground beyond these the first evidence of the producing power of the land in the area shows itself. From the lakes upwards for miles the eye rests upon little else but fields of extraordinarily rich wheat, far more luxuriant and of a more wholesome colour than any to be seen along the line of railway from Adelaide to the Burra. Considering how short a time this land has been taken up, it seems astonishing that so much should already be under cultivation. From Mr. Paterson's selection at the southern extremity of the area to the township of Redhill, almost at the northern end, there extend enormous paddocks of wheat, sufficient to awake the admiration of the most uninterested non-agriculturist. On Mr. Collins's farm is a paddock consisting of 800 acres of wheat, allowed by the Broughton settlers to be the 'prize crop' in the district. The farmers appear to be delighted with their selections, which is all the more wonderful and satisfactory when it is remembered how prone to grumble these tillers of the soil are generally supposed to be. All anticipate an overflowing harvest this season should no unforeseen accident occur, and for this reason much auxiety is felt at the continued difficulty present in the way of conveying produce to the seaboard. Port Broughton is distant from the Broughton Areas at about 16 to 21 miles, and from the Broughton Extension nine miles; but as, unfortunately, fresh water has not yet been discovered in the vicinity of the port the settlers cannot make use of the road unless a tramway is constructed. The settlers on the areas to the northward, however, object to the proposed Port Broughton tramway, asserting that Port Pirie is the nearest and most convenient for them. To inspect the advantages connected with these two ports brought the Minister for Works to the district, and on Wednesday that gentleman, having visited the various cultivations on the Broughton, was driven over to the port. After crossing the ranges one of the most picturesque and valuable pieces of country is entered upon. The Broughton Extension (which has only been opened within the last two months) has been greedily taken up, and already, as we passed through the sections, we saw the new settlers busily engaged in turning over the new soil. The Commissioner expressed himself much pleased with the appearance of the country and the quality of the soil; and there is reason to suppose that the block of land beyond the ' Extension' may shortly be offered for sale. This land is even superior to the other, and will doubtless realize considerable sums. The country is slightly undulating, and consists of several well-grassed plains intersected with mallee and pine bush. Game appears to be remarkably plentiful in these regions, and the kangaroos, with a politeness worthy of more consideration, placed themselves within easy rifle-shot of those among the party provided with firearms. Turkeys appear upon the plains in large numbers, and I am told that the lagoons in the district abound with waterfowl of divers descriptions. The first view of Port Broughton elicited an involuntary exclamation of admiration from each stranger in the party. It is a harbour running up into the land for a few miles, bounded on one side by sandy beach, with a slight eminence behind; on the opposite shore by a low mangrove swamp. At the mouth of the harbour are two or three small islands covered with scrub, between which is the channel. This has been marked out with beacons from the entrance to a point beyond the township, where it measures about 50 yards across, with a depth of from 15 to 20 feet. The remnants of a jetty constructed by the Government is still standing, but is useless for the purpose for which it was originally intended. The Broughton settlers, I hear, sent only 8,000 bushels of wheat to the port last year, but this season they estimate their united crops will produce over 200,000 bushels, which it will be impossible for them to convey to the port unless either a better road is made and a good water supply is secured, or a tramway is laid down from the port to the ranges. Water seems to be the great desideratum by all, and the second topic of conversation among the farmers seems to be always this subject The first theme for converse is the weather; but although this is a serious topic, the water question is the favourite. The farmer, before he seeks your opinion upon his crops, invites you to inspect his waterholes, his dams, or his tanks; and the usual interrogatory after rainfall is concerning the amount of water collected in these receptacles. At Port Broughton a large store, 100 feet long by 35 broad, has been lately erected by Mr. Dale, who has also just completed the construction of two enormous tanks, each capable of contouring 16,000 gallons of water. Besides the store, there is also a house belonging to the same gentleman, who is now about commencing a tramway to the beach for the conveyance of wheat to vessels loading in the harbour. The Commissioner of Public Works expressed his approbation of Broughton as a port, and promised that the clearance of the newly-surveyed road from the interior should be commenced almost immediately. The return journey to the Broughton Areas was proceeded upon in the evening, the party arriving at the house of Mr. Paterson, J.P., shortly after 9 p.m. The following day (Thursday) the visitors drove to Crystal Brook with the intention of continuing their journey to Port Pirie, but not having sufficient time to prosecute their travels that distance they determined to return to town, and left Crystal Brook for that purpose on Friday. The Commissioner of Crown. Lands has signified his intention of visiting the Broughton on Tuesday next. Payment of Members.
Within the last four or five years, Port Broughton has attained considerable prominence, and has succeeded in stamping its individuality on the public mind. Prior to this it was thought that the only justification for devoting the slightest attention to it, was because public revenue had been expended in the construction of a tramway, and it did not yield sufficient returns to pay for "axle grease." The sage legislators, who knew nothing whatever about the geography of the place, or its resources, felt it incumbent every year, when the estimates were under discussion, to make sarcastic references to it and label it as a monument of absurdity. That day is past, and Port Broughton is now the centre of a thriving and prosperous district. Every year is influnce is more widely felt ; and it not only has now, to be considered by aspiring candidates seeking the suffrages of the electors of Stanley, but during the recent election, of a member to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr E. W. Hawker, Port Brougcon, presented a candidate in the person of Mr W. J. George. Several years had elapsed since I visited Port Broughton prior to my late sojourn there and my information respecting it was unquestionably limited. Telegrams had appeared in the dailies, from time to time, as the various important events chronicled transpired. I was also acquainted with the fact that the Hundreds of Wokurna, Tickera, and Wiltunga, had been opened for selection, and many had gone to reside there. Still I had no idea that such a transformation could be effected in such a comparatively short time. Port Broughton about six years ago was made up of a store, a small public house, one or two respectable dwellings, and a few ramshackle places — telling a tale of departed glory. The little town makes no pretensions yet to city life. It does not boast of a corporation with the dignified offices of mayor and councillors. This is a matter for regret, and will in a short time be remedied. The advantages of municipal rule are not always apparent at its inception, but the tree planting, and the drainage works that have been carried out in many of the northern townships have considerably increased tho pleasures of living in these centres aud enhanced their attractiveness. One weak feature of the recently passed District Councils Bill is the arrangement of the districts. This is particularly noticeable with regard to the district surrounding Port Broughton. The interests of the people on the western side of the Hummocks range are not identical with those of the eastern yet Kooluuga is attached to it, as well as the districts embracing Snowtown," Redhill, and Collinsfield. The roads at the present time are in a deplorable condition and unmistakably show that a change ought to be effected in the methods at present existing. In travelling through District Council territory it is noticeable that in certain places heavy expenditure has been involved where a considerable saving might have been effected. In the Port Broughton district very few improvements have been made. While impatienoe is not justifiable, the residents will have cause for complaint if the removal of some of the scrub, growing on the roads and the cutting of the sand hills so as to make the tracks good, and available for the large traffic, which during the coming wheat season, may reasonably be expected, and thus ensure a certain amount of ease and expedition. The situation of Port Broughton is picturesque, and an admirer of the romantic in nature finds many soots to gratify his tastes. In course of time it will no doubt become a resort for those seeking a change from the excitements of city life. It affords the advantage of a seaside residence combined with that of living in the country. In comparison with some harbours, Port Broughton has had scarcely any public money spend upon it. The residents speak enthusiastically of the natural advantages of their port ; and there is not the slightest doubt that before very long, something will have to be done to provide a deeper waterway for the large export wheat trade that will inevitably be done. Last year, and especially the year before, great inconvenience was experienced through the lack of shipping facilities. The jetty has only one line of rails, and the cross section at the end is altogether too short to accommodate the vessels calling for cargo. The complaints were loud and just. Work had to be continued day and night ; and even then some exporters and traders, labored under great disadvantages.
The attention of the Railway Commissioners has been called to this matter, and they have promised an early visit of inspection.
The consruction of the telegraph line was a boon to the residents, and resulted in considerable profit to the department. The amount of agitation that had to be carried on, before this work was accomplished is known too well to those who undertook it, and carried it to a successful issue. It is not often that the actual receipts prove to be more than the estimates set down by those agitating for a particular work ; but in this case it proved to be such, and I shall be justified in saying, that both the residents and the telegraph department were pleasingly disappointed.
The mail arrangements are attracting the attention of the people, and should receive generous consideration tiy the postal authorities. The mail at the present time is dispatched at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays, arriving the same days at 10 p.m. This is extremely awkward and inadequate and is exasperating, when an alternate route might he adopted with very little expense. The mail is at present conveyed via Red Hill, Collinsfield, Keilli, and Mundoora. It is necessary that these places should be served, but if a line were established between one of the stations on the Kadina and Snowtown railway, on alternate days. Port Broughton would be served by a daily mail. The tance is short, and in a busy wheat season, the advantages would be very great. In addition to this the settlers on the intervening hundreds, would be served ; and thus be saved from the great inconvenience they are now in to. Representations of this character have already been made to the Postmaster General, and if he will permit his good judgment to guide him, the wishes of the people will he granted and the commercial necessities of the place recognised and met.
For many years the residents of this neighbourhood, laboured under the greatest hardships through the want of an adequate water supply. This has now been overcome for the time, by the Beetaloo scheme. Before a fair idea can be formed of the extensive operations that are being carried on in connection with this work, it is necessary to travel over the line. Pipes are being laid in various directions and if the department can only supply the demands we shall be able to look upon the Beetaloo scheme — as an expensive, yet highly beneficial one. Ideas seem to float through onus mind that this district, and also the more thickly populated parts of Yorkes Peninsula might have been supplied by a less elaborate system. Experience it is to be feared, will prove, that the supply wiil be wholly inadequate to the requirements. A service pipe will be of little value without the water ; and when futile attempts are made to satisfy the demands of a large population, a noise will be heard. The construction of surface reservoirs, will never pay, if the water is to be used for irrigation purposes. The proper course now to be pursued, is to bore for water ; and if possible tap some of the underground streams, and utilise such waters for keeping up the supply. To be Continued.
Cultivation has gone on in the hundreds of Wokurua, Tickara, Wiltunga, and Mundoora with astonishing rapidity. Since the introduction of the mullenising system, thousands of acres have in these districts been brought under wheat culture. It would surprise many who have been accustomed to move along in a slow and methodical manner to see the process adopted. An immense roller is drawn through the dense scrub, which brings down, and breaks off the stunted mallee, which grows there in such a prolific mariner. The wood is then gathered together and burnt. The land is speedily, turned over and sown and in a very short time the crop is visible. It has been found, that burning wood on the land, greatly enhances its productive power. The theory is, that the heat of the fire destroys the sourness of the land, and acts directly as a purifier of the soil. This opinion was expressed by two or three, who assured me, they had proved it. The cost of sowing the land in such a season as the present is very small. I was informed that hundreds of acres this year have just had the seed scattered upon the surface and a flock of sheep driven over after. Whatever the future may prove at the present time the crops look all that could be desired. It fills one almost with astonishment to notice the growth. Some wheat was seen which had reached the height of four feet and with ears four inches long. There is no doubt with a favorable season the harvest will be early and the produce immense and for the next few years the neighbourhood of Port Broughton may be looked upon as a large wheat producing district. It was quite refreshing to travel through and converse with some of the leading men and hear that there was no effort made to secure the Barrier traffic. Nature has fixed Port Broughton in such a position as to protect the residents from any anxiety such as that which at the present time is agitating the people residing at the ports of Adelaide, Pirie, and Augusta. For this they ought to be thankful. It must not be supposed that approval is found there of the centralizing efforts made by the Adelaide people. I heard some hard words said by men who could not be called mercurial. In fact throughout the north there is a quiet rising— which will develop soon into a vigorous protest against the patent attempts made to secure all the prizes to Adelaide. One of the chief causes why the north has been so conspicuously ignored is because there has not been concentrated action. In little townships there has often been divisions one town has been jealous of another and as a result no unanimous voice has been heard. The progress of the township of Port Broughton which I shall have occasion to refer to later on is due in a large measure to the working of an active vigilance committee who meet regularly to talk over affairs in the district. It would be a great advantage if the example were followed in other places. Such committees represent the convictions of the people and assist materially in forming public opinion enabling those who represent the district to know the requirements of the electors.
The electoral districts will have very shortly to be reviewed and alterations made. In many instances the proposals of the late Government to create one-member districts would be hailed with satisfaction and the opinion is freely expressed, with good reason, that a fairer representation would take place. Port Broughton is an instance. It is a part of the district of Stanley, Clare being the chief polling place; The interests of Clare are not identical with those of Port Broughton and cannot be for many years to come. They have no commercial relations so that the classification is arbitrary and not natural. Were the one-member districts adopted the classification might be made in the most natural way with great advantage. The attention of all electors should be directed to the question of representation. After all the skill and thought have been applied in making a selection it must be borne in mind that the majority of members represent southern districts and this being so, the south can rule the country. This can hardly be avoided at the present juncture if equality of representation for every elector, is preserved but at the same time anxious consideration of the whole question will prepare the way for future operatioris.
The township has been improved both in appearance and extent. Several cottages have recently been built and others are in course of erection. The hotel kept by Mr Grey, has been considerably enlarged and many facilities made for travellers. The Anglicans and Primitive Methodists have churches. The Institute is a very neat little building and aptly suited to the requirements of the place. The library is small but the selection of books shows considerable intelligence and care. The building cost over £400 and there is only a small debt on it. This is surprising and shows the liberality of the people when it is remembered that they received no assistance from the Government ii the way of subsidy. The public house stable which was once used as a police cell has been discarded for a more commodious and better suited structure built, by the Government. A public school is now in course of erection which will be a great boon. The Post and Telegraph office is ill suited and inconveniently situated. Considering the revenue derived from the place the people certainly deserve a more fitting place. There are three stores with good stocks and no complaints are heard by the storekeepers. The mill which was built by the late Mr Malcolm is now the property of Messrs J. Darling & Son. It is at present idle. No one can estimate the prosperity of such a place as Port Broughton or the immense resources of the country around it providing a good supply of water could be obtained. Water in abundance has been struck but it was not fit for general use. If a bore could be put down and the supplies along the Beetaloo track increased then prosperity would be rapid and continuous. Although the pleasure of this visit was somewhat marred by the bad roads yet this was more than compensated for the demonstrative evidence of industry, thrift, and cheerfulness, which seemed generally to prevail. I shall do no more than express the hope that the future prosperity of the neighbourhood will be equal to what they deserve, and that is not a little.
The Victor Harbour of the North Outlet for Important Agricultural District. with photos
Tue 24 Aug 1926, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Trove
Mr. J. J. Vanstone, President of the Port Broughton Institute, and one of the most prominent business men in the town. He holds numerous public positions, included among which are secretary of the school committee, organist of the Methodist Church, and Vice-President of the Progress Association. photo..
Port Broughton, situated on the eastern shore of Spencer's Gulf, 110 miles from Adelaide, is the outlet of an important agricultural and pastoral district, which has for many years been blessed with good seasons. It benefits not only from general, rains, but also from coastal showers which are prevalent during the year. On account of the undulating nature of the country and the sandy condition of the rising land, tractors have not been introduced to any extent, and farmers mostly work their land with horses. Motor lorries are taking the place of horse drays and trollies, and horse-drawn, vehicles are fast becoming obsolete, as farmers, with few exceptions, use motor cars as their means of conveyance. The estimated average annual shipment of wheat at Port Broughton is 150,000 bags, and approximately 1,250 tons of superphos-phate are received over the jetty annually. Land values have increased tremendously during the past few years, and a few farms have changed hands recently at prices ranging up to £11 per acre. Many of the homes in the district are up-to-date residences, and quite a number of farmers have installed power plants for lighting and power purposes. The telephone service has been so extended during the past few years that practically every farmer is now a subscriber. The prospects for the coming wheat harvest at the present time have not been better for many years at a corresponding time of the year. Among leading farmers in the Port Broughton district are Messrs. J. H. and A. J. Fletcher, Koutley Brothers, O. E. Hewett, E. Hore, S. C. Daniel, Evans Brothers, P. Pattingale, Aitchison Brothers, A. W. Hornby, and E. W. Bennier.
Popular Holiday Rendezvous.
Nature has been generous in her gift of interesting scenery along the shores of Spencer's Gulf. There are few spots as beautiful, however, from a holidaymaker's viewpoint, as the approach and surroundings of Port Broughton. The locality has much to recommend it from a pleasure-seeker's point of view, and aspirants after health, recreation, and sport would be well advised to visit this seaside town and enjoy its charms. It has good bathing facilities, a fine beach, and, being situated in an almost land-locked bay, is sheltered from rough seas, thus being ideal for boating and fishing throughout the whole year. The invigorating ozone-laden sea air proves a most exhilarating natural tonic, particularly to those from the inland districts, seldom fanned by the soft zephyrs of Old Neptune.
Motor launches are available for excursions down the channel, and motor lorries run regularly to Bute and Kadina. Fishermen's Bay is a popular rendezvous for pleasure-seekers, and offers picturesque attractions, to devotees of camp life.
Port Broughton can aptly be described as the health-sanatorium of the north.
Ample accommodation is available for holidaymakers at the Hotel Broughton, splendidly situated on the esplanade adjacent to the jetty. A great feature of the hotel is the residential portion of the building, which is totally separate from the bar section. It has spacious balconies, and a tennis court is provided for the use of guests. The hotel has 25 bedrooms, two dining rooms, comfortable parlours and alcoves, and a large billiard room with two tables. All modern conveniences are provided, including hot and cold baths, septic tank, electric light, a wireless receiving set, in addition to garage accommodation for seven motor cars. The Port Broughton Coffee Palace, situated in Bay street, also provides good accommodation for holidaymakers and travellers, with its 22 bedrooms, these being always full in summer seasons. The Palace caters for football and other sporting bodies and for picnic parties at shortest notice.
District Council Notes.
The district was proclaimed in 1892, and was named Mundoora, which was changed to the District Council of Port Broughton in 1917. The council today controls a total area of 200 square miles, subdivided into the two wards known as the Hundreds of Wokurna and Mundoora. The area reaches to the Hundreds of Waltunga and Wandearah on its northern and southern boundaries respectively, and to Snowtown and Redhill on the east. Its western side is bounded by Spencer's Gulf. The total length of main roads in the district is 43 miles, and the district roads measure 185 miles. The township has a population of 300 persons, and the town and district a total of 1,200 residents. The council is at present negotiating with air electric light company to supply the town with electric light and power. At present the streets are lit with petrol lamps. Three years ago the council purchased a grader and scarifier to facilitate roadmaking, and these have been of great service. The present members of the council are Mr. C. E. Dulling (Chairman), Councillors I. Clothier, J. Harris, J. H. Fletcher, G. H. Routley, J. M. Aitchison, and Mr. K. E. Mildren (clerk). Close to the jetty in the main street is a fine soldiers' memorial in the form of an Australian soldier sculptured from beautiful Angaston marble. There is an active progress association at Port Broughton, and many improvements have recently been made along the foreshore, including the erection of swings, seesaws, and shelter sheds. The President is Mr. W. K. Whittaker, and Mr. R. D. Goodridge is secretary. Prominent public buildings at Port Broughton include .three churches, hotel, and coffee palace, institute, Masonic Temple, up-to-date post office, hospital, public school, police station and Courtroom, and Bank of Adelaide building.
One of the oldest residents of Port Broughton (Mr. W. H. Gray) arrived in the locality on June 20, 1871, the day on which the port was declared open for shipping. He can tell of many interesting reminiscences of the early days. The locality had been surveyed several years before his arrival, and the land had been taken up in certain inland parts of the Broughton area. At that time Capt. H. D. Dale arrived at the inner bar in the ketch called The Tasman, of which Capt. R. Arnold was skipper. The cargo was landed by means of a small I boat of five tons capacity at the site where the present ladies' bathing house stands. Capt. Dale had bought allotments prior to his arrival, and a wheat store and residence were shortly afterwards erected for him by Mr. Gray's father. The principal centre at that time was Clare, from which practically all supplies were drawn.
The tramway line to Mundoora, reaching for a distance of 10 miles to the east of Port Broughton, was opened in the year 1875. Efforts have been made by local residents for many years without success to connect this with the main railway system. For some 40 years a single horse-drawn vehicle, commonly known as the 'Pie cart,' ran daily from Port Broughton to Mundoora, and received passengers and mails which arrived per coach from Brinkworth. Some two years ago this tramcar was dispensed with, and soon after the completion of the broadgauge line to Redhill, the Railway Department installed a daily motor bus service direct from Port Broughton to Collinsfield, and now an up-to-date motor coach, completely fitted with all modern appointments to ensure the comfort of passengers, leaves Port Broughton at 9.50 a.m. and arrives back at 1 p.m., connecting with the daily passenger train from Adelaide. Formerly the bulk of Port Broughton's goods were landed by fortnightly steamer which ran daily on the, Port Broughton-Mundoora line for over 40 years, conveying passengers and mail. It was substituted by an up-to-date railway motor bush a year ago from Port Adelaide. This branch of the trade is now catered for by the Railway Department, which runs a daily cargo service from Port Broughton to Collinsfield. Years ago horses were used to bring the trucks of wheat and produce from Mundoora to the seaboard. A Fordson tractor, recently substituted for. this purpose, is capable of running three trips, per day. in the wheat season, and is much more economical and expeditious than the old method of conveyance. The volume of railway trade both in passengers and goods has greatly increased under the present system. Over 300 tons of superphosphate were delivered by the Railway Department direct to farms in the locality last season, and at the present time the department is collecting wool from farmers to cart to the railway line, and has arranged with the farmers to cart next season's cornsacks to their farms.
Port Broughton was once the centre of a milling industry. For many years Messrs John Darling & Son owned a mill in the main street, where their office now stands. This closed down permanently in 1912 owing to the decentralization of milling operations in country areas, and was dismantled a few years later. Valuable fields of marine fibre, from which cloth fabrics can be manufactured, were discovered some years ago close to Port Broughton. Several attempts were made to carry on the dredging and handling of this fibre successfully, the most important of which was that of the Posi donia Fibre Company, which spent thousands of pounds in an attempt to establish the industry. A large store and cleaning works, with plant for handles the fibre, were built, and also a jetty for shipping and receiving the product. When in full swing 70 men were employed, which gave the town a great impetus. Unfortunately, through the drastic effects of the war, labour conditions, and high freights, the company was compelled to close down. The old dredge which was then used still remains on the sands close to the jetty. Fishing is an important industry at Port Broughton. A fleet of boats is in commission throughout the year, and a number of families are engaged in the trade. Visiting boats from adjacent ports frequently operate in Port Broughton waters. Approximately 30 tons of fish are trucked away annually to Melbourne from the port by rail and road.
Port Broughton is a great sport centre, with its golf links, recreation grounds, and boating and swimming facilities. Sporting bodies comprise golf, cricket, football, tennis, and croquet clubs. The Port Broughton Golf Club, the town's most active sporting body at the the present time, has proved itself during the last five years to be almost invincible. Records show that it has won all association matches during that term against teams from the neighbouring towns. It has won all surrounding country championship matches with one exception also. It has a membership of 65 active players. The cricket club has also met with success, and was last year premiers of the Western Areas Association, comprising teams from Port Broughton, Mundoora, Bute, Clement's Gap, Wokurua, and Bews.
Residents of Port Broughton are now supplied with a weekly picture show in the local institute, due to the enterprise of Mr. G. Tothill, who recently purchased an up-to-date plant for this purpose. There are a number of progressive stores and businesses in the town. One of the leading stores is that owned by Messrs. Fraser & Gillies in Bay street. It was purchased by the firm five years ago, and since then has made good progress. A kerbside pump has been installed recently in front of the store. Mr. G. B. Fairhead has for the past five years been the proprietor of another up-to-date store in the main street, at which drapery, groceries, and general merchandise can be obtained. The leading hardware and general merchandise store in Port Broughton is owned by Mr. R. D. Goodridge, who has large stocks of oil, petrol, and tyres, in addition to the usual supplies of hardware. He is the local agent for the International Harvester Company Limited, and reports good business in farm implements and machinery. Mundoroa is a solid township 10 miles inland from Port Broughton, at the terminus of the railway line. It has its hotel, stores, a fine institute, and other public buildings. One of the features of the town is its well kept war memorial. Its streets and homes are lit with electric light. The leading storekeeper in Mundoora is Mr. O. R. Arbon. His store, centrally situated, in of modern design, and carries large and assorted stocks to cater for the surrounding locality. The Mundoora Post and Telephone Office is under his control. Clement's Gap, another outlying township nine miles from Port Broughton, is situated in a good agricultural area.
KNEW PIRIE 65 YEARS AGO
Mr. W. U. Wall Reviews Progress "Grand Old Man" of Port Broughton
YOU Pirieans of today, with your motor traction, picture theatres, big emporiums, and great overseas freighters-- look back 65 years to the days when all was scrub, mud, and water, and when a solitary house stood guard over the future second town in the State..
Mr. William Uriah Wall, the "Grand Old Man" of Port Broughton, used to come here then with his father. He was a boy of eight years, but he took in all there was to see and hear, and he recalls with glee the many wallabies and kangaroos that fell to his parent's gun.
Mr. Wall at 75 years looks (and says he feels) as young as he was 25 years ago. He was in Pirie yesterday, and mingled business with the pleasure of visiting his two daughters, Mrs. Oswald, of Lower Broughton, and Mrs. M. M. B. Middleton, of Risdon Park.
Chatting with a representative of "The Recorder," Mr. Wall said he could tell many stories of Wallaroo, Port Broughton, or Pirie. As a young man he came up here, and with a man named Kearsley secured the contract for filling in behind some of the wharfs.
BUILDING PIRIE WHARFS
The breastworks of the wharfs were driven into position and tied firmly. Then the silt and mud was thrown over from the river side, deepening one side and filling the other. Barges of mud were unloaded, and gradually the swamp lands were reclaimed.
"I remember coming up the gulf with the first harbormaster of Pirie -Capt. Williams. We had a boat drawing 2 ft. of water, and had to wait outside a bar below where the Smelters now stand for the tide to come up," said Mr. Wall.
This veteran was one of the small assembly at the turning of the firstsod of the railway from Pirie, and later "had a jubilee," as he terms it, when the first sod of the East-West line was turned. The Pirie ceremony was in 1874.
Mr. Wall was the first white boy born in Wallaroo, which in 1861 was all bush, wild dogs, and blacks. There were few comforts for any settlers in the Colony in those days, and William and his sister Cecilia, as small children, were left alone for long periods while their parents fought the land for a living. The blacks, said Mr. Wall, were never unfriendly, and made much of the little guardians of the home.
He saw three jetties and the original landing built at the Peninsula port', and came to know every inch of land between there and Port Broughton. He bared his arms and cleared bush from three farms, the largest being the 3,000 acres of Kanyaka (Tickera).
When Capt. Dale smashed a bottle of wine on a waggon pole and remarked: "I christen this town Port Broughton," William Uriah Wall was an interested spectator. "In later years this same youth did much to develop that district.
FIRST BIG DEAL
Although Mr. Wall would have little to say on the matter, he would not deny that he made a start by buying 3,000 sheep. He knew his business, and when he had shorn them and resold them at the same price he cleared £800 on the wool. That gave him a great start on a career of successful dealing, in which he always has been noted for his honesty and shrewd business calculation.
With practically no schooling, Mr. Wall cannot be cornered with any ordinary problem of arithmetic. One thing he cannot calculate, however, is the sum paid for distilled water by his mother and later by his wife at 1/ a bucket before the Beetaloo service reached Wallaroo.
He built the Port Broughton Hotel, one of the finest country houses in the State, watching every stone and brick laid. That was in 1910.
When he had made a success of his farming near Port Broughton, Mr. Wall turned his attention to racing. At various times he had in training and raced Oculist, Nemi, Min Bess, Connie Gray, Penelopise, and Uriah (the lastnamed finally running for Mr. Arthur Milnes, of Pirie). Mr. Wall won a double at one Port Broughton meeting-Cup with Uriah and Hurdles with Penelopise. His colors many times caught the eye of the judge at country meetings. He now has no active interest in the sport, but still likes to hear the thud of the hoofs and flash of the silk.
HARDY AT 75
And at 75 we find Mr. Wall as healthy and hearty as ever. He takes the tractor, out on his farm still at times, "for the sport of the thing," and keeps himself young by keeping on the move. Few clearing sales in the western areas are complete without his presence, for he still loves a keen deal. He wilt keep going, he says, for a man is only as old as he feels.
Looking down busy Ellen street yesterday, his mind went right back 65 years, and he saw himself, a wiry youngster of 10, as near to "Nature unadorned" as ever an Australian was.
Nothing gives the veteran, more pleasure than to dash in and see members of his family. They are Messrs. H. B. and R. I. Wall (Wallaroo) and E. C. Wall (Port Broughton), and Mesdames D. Slatter (Adelaide), Todd (Port Broughton), Middleton (Pirie), and Oswald (Lower Broughton). He does not stay long, for there is always something to be done.