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District Council of Yorke Peninsula - Port Turton

Point Turton was named by Captain John Hutchinson, a marine surveyor, to celebrate the occasion of the marriage of Governor Daly's youngest daughter to Mr H H Turton,* Manager of the Savings Bank of South Australia. It was a double wedding. The Governor's eldest daughter, on the same occasion, married Mr John Souttar, Manager of the Bank of Adelaide**.
*Place Names of South Australia **Colonial Architecture in South Australia. Page 247.

The jetty, erected in 1877, was built to enable grain from the area to be shipped to Port Adelaide or directly overseas in sailing ships. Evidence of the glacial period, between 234 million years and 200 million years ago can be seen at the base of the cliffs some 400 metres west of the actual point and also east of the jetty. Known as Till, it is composed of greyish boulders and stones about 1.2 metres (4 feet) thick*. *The Geology of Yorke Peninsula. Page 29.

Between 1906 and 1919 about 120,000 tonnes of recrystallised limestone was quarried here* and sent toPort Pirie where it was used as a flux in the smelting of metals**. *The Geology of Yorke Peninsula. Page 73. **Four Make One. Page 44. The quarry is now used as a caravan park.


State Library of South Australia - B 32278 - School Students at Point Turton School 1900


State Library of South Australia - B 32277

The first tractor on Southern York Peninsula, Point Turton. (Owned by Murdoch Bros. 14 hp. Buffalo Pitt. weighed 9 tons when fully loaded ready for work) 1930


State Library of South Australia - B 32100

Ship wreck of the 'Yulta' at Point Turton, which ran a ground in 1926 when coming into Point Turton. Originally this ship was known as the 'James Comrie' (in the 1880’s), a mail steamer which serviced both sides of Yorke Peninsula. It was later converted to a tug and renamed the 'Yulta'.

State Library of South Australia - PRG 1642/15/157

S.S. 'Quorna' loading barley at Point Turton. Large grainstacks and heaps of flux from the quarry are near the jetty. To see a selection of photographs in this collection, search on Archival number PRG 1642/15. 1934


Friday 7 December 1877, Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) Trove

Owing to a score or two of pounds having been judiciously spent by Government in clearing the bush roads in this neighborhood we were able, by the aid of a pair of stout horses, to travel up Mount Gore with greater ease than we otherwise could have done; but had to make a detour through some fine grazing land of Mr. Mannay's until we reached the cleared track. The clearing, I understand, is done for £10 per mile; and certainly a few score pounds expended in this way greatly facilitates travelling, and goes a long way towards opening up the new districts. Another change in the aspect of the country about Para Wurlie is caused by a great abundance of black grass, which the settler burns off and then ploughs up ere he puts in his grain, and by so doing manures his land. There is a marked difference.in the crops sown upon land treated in this way, and where the grass and scrub have not been burned. In one paddock just a little out of Warooka we was patches where the waving grain grew so thick and stalwart that its yield could not be less than 25 or 30 bushels to the acre, while close alongside were patches that would not yield 10 bushels, the increase being solely due to the fact that dead timber, glass, and undergrowth had been burnt on the ground where the grain grew thickest. Travelling up Mount Gore (which name, by the way, has fallen into desuetude, the hundred being called by the native name of Para Wurlie—hill of the camp or sleeping-place)—we suddenly lost sight of the rough crush fence that marked the boundaries of squatter and selector, and came upon a new six-wire fence on our right. This was the beginning of Mr. Ebenezer Ward's selection of 640 acres, contiguous to which are the selections of Mr. H. R. Fuller, Miss Fuller, Mr. W. Johnson, and Miss Johnson—making in all about 3,500 acres upon which improvements are rapidly being carried out. These selections form the Para Wurlie estate, over which Mr. Ward exercises close supervision and takes the part of manager. For a distance of nearly seven miles he has already erected the sheep-proof sixwire fence which will shortly enclose and subdivide the whole estate. This fence costs £46 per mile, the posts being of teatree. Camps have been placed on three of the sections, and contracts are let for the erection of camps on the other two sections. Wells have been sunk, a great deal of clearing has been done, and at the fag end of last season a hundred acres were sown with wheat. This operation has not proved a success— the ground was not properly ploughed and prepared, and the seed having been put in a month too late it is not at all surprising that the crop is hardly worth the cutting. However, Mr. Ward is not the only one on the Peninsula who fell into the error of sowing too late, and I found that in every instance where this was done the crop was thin and unremunerative. It appears as though wheat cannot be put in too early in the south part of the Peninsula; as one gentlemen remarked to me, it should be put into the, "dust" two months before the rains set in. It is certain that all the early-sown crops are yielding double or treble the quantity of the late-sown ones.

A great deal of black-grass abounds on ; Para Wurlie, but there is feed, for sheep at the foot of and between the tussocks, and Mr, Ward has one thousand sheep running with another thousand on their way to the farm. He has a number of dairy, cattle, horses, pigs, poultry, and kangaroo. The latter, are more numerous than desirable, and more free than welcome. They make frequent raids upon the wheat crop; and stand in mobs impudently staring at the men, who attempt to scare them away, but will heat a very quick and speedy retreat when the dogs are set upon them. Many of them are potted with the gun, and when boiled down furnish a dainty dish for the pigs, who are connoisseurs in the matter of kangaroo-tail soup. From the top of Para Wurlie, which is the highest point on the Peninsula—325 feet above sea level—a magnificent view is obtained not only of the surrounding country but of Spencer's and St. Vincent's Gulfs and the waters of Investigator's Straits. On clear days the coast line on the opposite side of the Gulf is seen, and the intervening forest of sheaoak and teatree form a dark foreground, against which the silver sheen of the ocean beyond and the varying tints of the sky above ore brilliant objects of beauty. On a gentle slope, just beneath the crown of the hill, a spot has been chosen by Mr. Ward for the erection of a substantial dwelling-house, and men are engaged in carting stone for the masons to commence the building. This stone is procured from a quarry on one of the sections, and can be cut into good square blocks for building purposes. The soil of Para Wurlie is deeper and darker than that of the level ground below, and apparently of similar quality to the Peesey Ranges; but its capabilities of cultivation have yet to be proved. One thing is certain, that a large sum is being expended upon Para Wurlie in improvements, and taking into consideration its delightful position, with the magnificent climate of that portion of the Peninsula, every pound expended upon it should meet with a substantial return when the land has been fenced, cleared, and cropped, or sown with the best grasses for sheep. To the north and on the east of Para Wurlie settlers have taken up blocks and are making improvements, but westerly and southerly the country remains in its primitive condition, and wild cattle and horses run in mobs in the mallee on the southern coast. There is some talk of a grand battue being made shortly amongst the wild cattle, and that Government will issue licences for the purpose. Some offenders against the law have been fined for shooting these cattle without a licence. Having camped at Para Wurlie on Sunday night we drove on Monday morning to Point Turton.


Here the steamer Glenelg lay alongside the new jetty with, her bunting flying, and as I described in my report in Thursday's Advertiser, there was a " spread" on board, and some 200 of the inhabitants of the neighborhood were entertained fly Captain Bartlett. This jetty is 200 feet in length, with a width of' 9 feet for 150 feet, and of 12 feet for the other 50 feet in length. At the end there are 12 feet of water at low tide, and the steamer lay alongside very comfortably, 'the Point is well sheltered from evey wind by a northerly or northwesterly one, and is in this respect the best harbor on the west coast. About 1 o'clock We started for the next port, nine miles distant, and in an hour reached Minlacowie.


[From a Special Correspondent.] Tue 29 Nov 1883

About 10 miles west of Warooka, in the hundred of Para Wurlie, lies the estate of Mr. H. R. Fuller, the present Mayor of Adelaide. There is very little cultivated ground on the way thither, but the country is well grasped everywhere. Most of the timber is sheaoak and ti tree, but mostly stunted ; in fact, fine timber is not to be met with on any part of Southern Yorke's Peninsula, Mr. Fuller has spent thousands of pounds on his property, and the homestead, stables, woolshed, and other buildings are all of the most substantial character. Close by is what is spoken of as Ward's Folly, where Mr. Ebenezer Ward spent money very liberally, and reaped for himself and those who assisted him little in return. Not much wheat has been sown here, but what there is is expected to turn out favourably. Proceeding still further westward the country becomes very inferior, and is mostly lime-stone with a thin coating of sandy soil. Small odd patches of cultivated ground are met with, but settlement on an extentive scale is not to be met with. From here to Daly Head, the extreme point on the western coast, no settlement of any kind has taken place, but across the Parawurlie swamp, and through Levens on to Corney Point a few farmers have taken up ground along the northern coast, and some of it looks extremely well. One poor settler, tired of the constant failure of his crops, which had become monotonous and wearisome, has put up a signboard on the roadside to the following effect:—" Notis. —This land is For SAiL." As this block is close to Coutts' lake, a ti-tree swamp covering an area of about fifty acres, all that is wanted to make it "sailable" is some one to come along to raise the wind, and the thing is done. At Orrie Cowie is Mr. Hannay's head station. Here there is any quantity of fresh water, but the ground is more suitable for sheep grazing than for agricultural purposes. At Levens the cultivated sections run down to the beach, whence the wheat is shipped in boats and small ketches and sent round to Port Adelaide. Farming here appears to be carried on under great difficulties. The country is "coasty," and sheep and cattle have to be sent away to the Peasey ranges during a portion of the year, as otherwise they would die off. One of the neatest homesteads in this district is that of Mr. H. Glover. Every thing here is in "apple-pie" order, and the little garden in front of the house was quite gay with flowers when I passed through. Mr. Glover has named his farm " Elim," in allusion to Numbers xxxiii. 9, "The children of Israel pitched their camp at Elim, because there were there three-score and ten palm trees and twelve wells of water." This modern Elim has no palm trees about it, but the wells of good clear fresh water are there. Firmly braided with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer Stood on the side of the hill commanding the sea; and a shady Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it. Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow. Futher down, on the slope of the hill, was the well, with its moss-grown Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses. Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the farmyard: There stood the broad-wheeled wains, and the antique ploughs and the barrows; Here were the folds for the sheep; and there in his feathered seraglio, Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the self same Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter. Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village: in each one Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase. Under the sheltering eaves led up to the odorous corn loft. There, too, the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant breezes Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.