Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), Saturday 7 March 1874 Trove

The agricultural areas of Yorke's Peninsula, though less known than those in the North, are steadily rising into importance. They are comprised, with one exception, in the County Fergusson, a tract of over 2,000 square miles of country, much of it unfit for arable farming though capable of being usefully employed under the mixed system.....

It is about 12 years since the discovery of the Moonta Mines started the fame of Yorke's Peninsula, the name now familiar to every South Australian, and it is not to be wondered at that the designation should be, as it is at present, almost universally understood to signify the Mines and the town and country immediately surrounding them. During the last few years, however, quite a new field has been opened up, extending from Wallaroo southward as far as Troutbridge Hill (nearly opposite the lighthouse bearing the same name), and "The Peninsula" is now a household term in many a farmers home, some of the members whereof have taken, or contemplate taking," new land" on which to labour. Although much nearer than the Northern Areas, the water-passage, albeit only 50 miles at the most, has had a great influence in retarding the settlement and even the preliminary inspection of the land, for ninety out of a hundred agriculturists would rather drive hundreds of miles, involving two or three days journey, than commit themselves for a night to a voyage on the briny deep. The overland route, via Port Wakefield and Clinton, was so little known, and the sailings of vessels so irregular, that Yorke's Peninsula remained a land unvisited, except by the comparatively few who were interested in the pastoral occupation of the country, and those in their employ have never been found very communicative as to the attractions of the land in which they have lived. Hence there ,was no agitation for surveys here as in the North country, but still in the time of the Strangways administration it was deemed advisable to include in the area surveys a portion of Yorke's Peninsula, and my present duty is to report the results of that action, with my impression of the region's future


With this object I started in the steamer Lubra, which runs alternately with the Royal Shepherd every week from the Company's Wharf, Port Adelaide, to Edithburgh, WalIaroo, and other ports. It is only a few months since these steamers began calling at Edithburgh, and the passenger traffic thereby secured has more than realized expectations, although most of the cargo trade finds its way by sailing vessels. We left town accord to instructions by the 7.30 a.m. train, and in the ordinary course should be away by soon, after 8 o'clock, but on the Tuesday morning in question it was 9.30 before the clear-off was made, the dela, being attributed to some government cargo for Port Augusta which only tured up that morning, in defiance of the advertised warning that no cargo would be received on the day of. sailing. However, in course of time, all was on board, and we started with as miscellaneous a cargo as could well be imagined —sheep, , horses, buggies, timber, fruit drays, vegetables, poultry, band-boxes, and beer stowed or stacked along the decks from bow to stern. On getting outside the river our course was a direct one in about a south-westerly direction, and the wind being strong from the southward we had a nasty sea breaking over the midships continually, and occasionally splashing right across the poop, while the vessel went up and down like a cockle-shell, producing a decidedly unpleasant effect on the majority of the passengers. At 1 o'clock we met the Royal Shepherd, under full sail from Edithbugh to Port Adelaide, and wished the wind was as favourable for ourselves. A few hours more brought the Troubridge lighthouse within sight, and at half past 4 Edithburgh was reached. The landing was no easy matter, having to be done by boat, and resulted in the sousing of most of the passengers and their luggage, but was accomplished without further accident or loss. A little way to our left we had a good view of Sultana Bay, where the mail-boat of the same name and one or two other craft, were calmly riding at their anchors waiting for the weather to moderate to enable them to get alongside the jetty for cargo. A few miles out on the Troubridge Reef was the hull of the Iron King, hard and fast in the sand. She still holds well together and Mr. Luxmoore and the Insurance Companies are doing their best to get out the cargo as quickly as they can. A fine stage has been erected alongside of the vessel, and the Wilpena a day or two before s I passed taken away a full cargo, chiefly of cornsacks. Probably the most valuable part of the salvage will be the iron goods, of which there was a quantity on board, including a good many hundred dozen of plough-shares, which will bear their submersion without suffering much injury. A large number of pictures from the ill-fated vessel have found their way via Port Adelaide to the Peninsula, where in the hotels and the private houses of the farmers they are hung as memorials of the regal vessel and her unfortunate fate.


is prettily situated on the cliffs, the allotments running to within a few yards of the sea. The hotel—a neatly-built place—is visible from a considerable distance, and the lamp when burning forms a guide to coasting vessels in making for the anchohage. The anticipations formed from outward appearances were, however, disappointed when, on applying for a bed, my fate, in common with two others who applied simultaneously, was to learn that there was not even a shake down between the three of us, and we were to take such accommodation as the wheat-buyers were able to afford us. The only other building of any importance is the store of Messrs. Gottschalck & Klem, a substantial building of stone, facing the main road, which runs from the jetty through the town ship to Diamond Lake. The thick timber at the rear forms a picturesque background to the township, and the road being cleared straight through has a very pretty effect. Most of the allotments have been sold in the usual way at auction, and some of them since resold at advanced prices. There are at present two large stacks of wheat, containing five or six thousand bags, and something like a similar quantity has already been shipped. A branch has been opened of the National Bank, the business being at present conducted in a room at the hotel; but that is quite a temporary arrangement pending the putting up of a room adjoining Messrs. Gottschalek & Klem's store. A flour mill is about to be erected by Messrs. Dunn & Co., but at the time of my visit it was not quite decided whether it would be at the township or further inland, where fresh water is more likely to be found. In either case it will be a great convenience to the settlers, and save a large amount of double carriage across the Gulf. A chapel in connection with the Wesleyan body will soon be erected, tenders being already out for that purpose, and the building is to be used also for the purposes of a school, which is much needed. The inhabitants are also taking steps for urging their claims in respect to telegraphic communication. The jetty is notoriously inadequate to the requirements of the place. The work was commenced at a time when the resources of the country were unknown, and is upon a scale which warrants the local appellation by which it is designated—that of "a toy." A sum of £1,200 was, on the motion of Mr. H. K. Hughes, voted for the purpose, and duly recommended by message from the Governor.

Only £640, however, appeared on the Estimates, and it is difficult to believe that, even with the repair of the sea wall and extension of the cutting, which have since been carried out, the whole of the vote can have been spent. It should be extended another 200 feet, which, added to the present length—140 feet—would enable the steamers to land passengers and cargo. There is no lack of depth, for even at present they lie alongside in calm weather, but when the wind is blowing hard from the south or south east which is the prevalent weather during the summer months, the boats have to be used. The completion of an additional side-cutting is a great improvement on the steep straight cut which had to serve at first, and no doubt in due time the inhabitants will secure the other additions which there is so much desire and which the increasing traffic appears to warrant. On the cliff may be noticed, several large piles of shaeoak, which, when the vessels are not busy with wheat, is sent over to supply the people of Port Adelaide and its neighbourhood with firewood, and seeing it is obtainable here for 5s. a ton, should lead to an extensive trade in view of the growing scarcity and dearness of that commodity at the Port as well as Adelaide. On the beach, about a mile north of the jetty, the stranded Eclair is once more in a safe position, and the owner hopes in a few days to have her again in sea-going order.


of which Edithburgh is the " Government'' township, is one of the original six areas declared by Strangways' Act, and first declared for selection in September, 1869, at £2 10s. per acre. The first selections were made on the 29th November, the selectors being Messrs. James Brown, Thomas Carrol, and George Hoare. In December a large block was taken by Mr. James Davey, and I believe no more was applied for for some length of time, as in January, 1870, tho total quantity selected did not exceed 1,500 acres, and it was used as an argument against the place that it was inaccessible. The reseult of the cropping, however, was so favourable that the locality nevertheless began to come into repute ; and in January, 1870, there was a strong-influx of applications from shepherds and others employed on the sheep runs, followed up by still further selections of the same kind inMarch and May, but it was not till the following year that the demand really set in which has led to all but a very few sections being now occupied. The country is throughout, with few exceptions, timbered with sheaoak and teatree, the latter being a particularly dense foliage of a rich green, and symmetrical in form, so as to give the land a notably picturesque aspect. In the early autumn they are covered with white blossom, presenting very much the appearance which one might imagine to be produced by a snowstorm. The work of clearing is generally done with bullocks, a good team with two men being able to pull over a large number of trees in a day when the soil is wet. There still remains a deal of labour to get even the fallen timber off the land; and this not only adds to the expense of cultivation, but necessarily renders progress slower than in other parts of the country, where a furrow may be run at once from end to end of a section. The Troubridge Area contains something like 70,000 acres in 339 sections. Several hundred acres must be occupied with salt lagoons, one of which, called Lake Fowler, covers two or three square miles. The land surrounding these is generally of the best description. It consists of either black, brown, or red marl, in all cases resting on a limestone subsoil. In much of it limestone is freely scattered over the surface. In fact, the goodness or badness of a section is to a very large extent measured by its freedom or otherwise from stone and its depth from the surface. It is astonishing to see the quantity which has been unearthed; and some of the best crops have been taken from land that was thickly covered with stones until they were carted off. These are used for walling, and make an admirable fence, being not only substantial and proof against all cattle, but the very best of safer guards incase of fire. I saw one stretch of about three-quarters of a mile, which I was informed contained nearly 2,000 loads of stone. Certainly there is so fear of building material being scarce for some years to come. The sheaoak huts, which from motives of speed was largely used ih the first instance, are giving place to neat stone-built cbttages, with either thatch or iron roofs. . The latter are much to be preferred, on account of the water they save, the land being of such a nature as to prevent the adoption of the clay-hole system in vogue in the Northern Areas. Tanks have to be built and cemented and water caught from the roof, or, as is the plan adopted in many cases, a block, say of a quarter of an acre, plastered over, and sloped so that the rain runs into the tank. Many of the settlers, but not all, are able to get water by sinking good enough fpr cattle. In some cases it is nearly as good as rainwater, and the depth of sinking is as various as the quality of the fluid. Some of the best wells, and indeed most of them, are only a few feet from the surface in a sort of limestone rock. I Have heard of cases where persons have sunk 12 wells, getting salt water in every case, andthe next one within a few yards of the others has rewarded them by the issue of really good drinkable water. It is no less remarkable that in sections to which water for shepherds has been carted for numbers of years the selector has found good springs with very little, trouble. In one case particularly a bole was sunk under the very place where the tank had stood, and resulted in the obtaining a good supply at the depth of 12 feet. The exact quantity of land under cultivation I have not the means of ascertaining in anticipation of the statistics which are now being collected, but there is very little doubt it will be folly double that of last year, so that the aggregate yield will more than equal that of last harvest, which is verified by the quantity already shipped and stacked. The distance of cartage is in no ease great, seldom over 10 miles, and I notice many farmers are turning their advantage in this respect to good account, having already a good bit of ploughing done for the coming season. The general result of experience seems to show that early ploughing, next to fallow, and early sowing are sure to yield with anything like an ordinary season good crops,


is distant about three miles from Edithburgh along the coast, but when the tide is in a sweep round the creek swamp lengthens the distance by about two miles. At the time of my trip I was able to take the shorter route. Proceeding for abont a couple of miles along the cliffs we then descended a sandbank, and drove along'on the sea bottom, which is a com plete stone road as smooth as Bindley-street, but withont ever having needed macada mization. The bay further out has a sandy bottom, on which the ketches which trade here beach themselves at high water, and then at low tide the teams run alongside and take off the cargo. The Edith Alice was being unloaded in this manner at the period of my visit. Wheat is transhipped to them from the drays in barges or big boats, which is rather a laborious process, although many of the settlers declare that they prefer it to having a jetty, upon the ground that any number of vessels - may be loading at the same time, whereas the number at a jetty must be limited. The advantage, however, of being able to load from 800 to 1,000 bags in one days, as is the case at Edithburgh, must, however, be very considerable where there is a large quantity to be sent away. There is no township at Salt Creek, but there is a store and an eating-house, both erected on credit holdings. The latter is likely, if it had not already done so, to revert to the hands of the Government, and the settlers in the neighbourhood are anxious that it should be laid out and sold for a township. About a mile from the landing-place is situated the Salt Creek Schoolroom, which is attended by a good number of children, who receive instruction from a teacher licensed by the Board. A drawback to the shipment of wheat at this place is tbat tbe approach is through a heavy bed of sand. Edithburgh and Salt Creek are about equi-distant by the surveyed roads from


which is undoubtedly the most central town ship for not only Troubridge Area, but nearly all the farming districts and also the bulk of the sheep-stations. There are five roads leading into it from Gum Flat, Crrie Cowie and Twokock Stations, Penton Vale, and Edithburgh. "Consequently the township consists of five angles of sections, and several of them being very obtuse angles the plan looks rather inconvenient, and withal somewhat curious for building purposes. No provision was made for a township in. the survey, and the selection of the site is due to Mr. Jacobs, the first storekeeper, whose faith in the position for centrality and in the country for capability has not been belied by, the results. There are now, two stores, a blacksmith's and saddler's shops, shoemakers, and butchers, besides an hotel, and all seem doing a thriving trade. " There is likely to be some ambiguity about the nomenclature of the- place, which was briginally called "" Wieaner*s Tlafc," and; Under J that name still appears in the postal calendar. All the other premises, save: one, have, however, been built en the, opposite block, which was surveyed and sold under the name of Yorke Town; Another corner section bias been purchased for building purr poses within the last few-days, and; still another is to be cut up into allotments either next week or the week after, so that there may be for the five corners constituting the township as many different names. One other indeed, has already been received —, the somewhat equivocal title 61 " Bunkum Corner"—but of the precise, origin thereof my informant was not particularly definite.

-About half a mile from here there is a.

Roman Catholic chapel, a neatly built structure of stone with brick pointings, at which one of the clergy from Adelaide officiates every three or four weeks, and it is cantem' plated shortly to hold a day-school in the building; A cemetery is situate a stort distance ioffi.the graves, five in number, being each neatly fenced. At the Diamond Lake—so called, I presume, from its some what resembling a diamond in shape- a good, commodious, and lofty schoolroom has been erected by the residents, assisted fay- the [ Education Board, and I see by Mr. Giles's last report there 1b ah attendance of about 35 children, but that does not represent the number of children that are within easy walking distance. The building is used on Sundays for Divine' service, under the direction of the Wesleyan body, who have, also a chapel at Sunbury, recently completed, besides several in course of erection at other central points. The temperance cause is not without its advocates, and cotenjporaneously with my own visit a deputation of Good Templars or British Templars were over here for the purpose of inaugurating the banner of their Order and furthering the cause of sobriety. The need fortius is I doubt not quite as great as in other parts, but of the general-arrangements of the hotel I am bound to speak well. There was an air of comfort and good humour about the place, in keeping with the appearance of the genial host mid hostess, and a well thatched haystack in the yard gave evidence of good provender during winter months for beast as well as man.

The spirit of rivalry between Yorke Town and Edithburgh rages very high, and the recent removal of the police-trooper and Magistrate's Court from the former to the latter place is severely protested, against, as being opposed to the interests and convenience of the great bulk of the population, to whom Weaner's Flat would be much the more comeatable place; In favour of Edithburgh the consideration which weighed with the Inspector was probably the fact of the arrival and departure of the steamers, and the convenience of transit to and from the metropolis. "Whichever is penhanently adopted as the station the Government will soon have to provide accommodation of their own, as the hotels and stores are too small for their own trade and hence quite inadequate for even texnporaiy police quarters. Additions, particularly at Yorke Town, are being rapidly made, but the scarcity of labour in mechanical and agricultural callings is a serious obstacle to progress.


Mon 9 Mar 1874, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

In close connection with the Troubridge Area are the Hundreds of Moorowie and Para Wurlie, which about the same time as the Troubrige Area was declared were surveyed and put up to auction, I presume on the old "killing-a-squatter principle," but somehow or other the bait did not take, and every section, almost without exception, passed the hammer, so that all the sections in those districts have taken place at the minimum price of £1 per acre, although Including some land of the first-class.


Troubridge on its eastern side. It is named after Mr. Fowler's Moorowie Station, which has a garden, is fenced in front of the house one of the paddocks is enclosed with a tall kangaroo fence—the only one I have yet seen on the Peninsula. There is a cultivation paddock, where hay has been grown for, the last l4 years. A plentiful supply of water is easily raised by a Californian pump from a waterhole, which was the origin of the as also the site of the station. (Some of the land is of excellent quality, free from stone and only slightly timbered, although many sections do not offer inducements to the farmer for arable purposes. The place is badly infested with rabbits, and, judging from their numbers, is, I should think, their original home. In one spot I kept starting dozens of them at evey few paces, and I don't know how many brace have not been bagged in one day's sport. Great as the nuisance may be, many or the their families have been ; largely indebted to them for their supply of animal food. Mutton (as it often happens in a sheep country) being unobtainable for love or money. This is not always the case, but it has been so, and the butchers as well as private families have imparted their mutton by the boats from Port Adelaide. The yield in Moorowie has been perhaps rather more than that of Troubridge—I should say from nine to ten bushels as an average, and the quality first-rate.


is separated from Moorowie by what is known hs as Great Swamp, now perfectly dry, although in passing across it I saw what appeared to be a large sheet of water some distance off. I afterwards learned that there was no water at all, and this was a mirage. The principal cultivation is on the Peesey Range, which forms the best part of Mr. Joseph Gilbert's Orriecowie run. The land is of good quality, being generally covered with black and silver grass, and more or less timbered. The subsoil is a rubbly limestone, of which many evil prognostications were made. The crops have this year turned out better than in any district I have yet noticed, and the average will most likely, come up to 12 bushels per acre. A building for the double purpose of a school and a Wesley an Chapels now approaching completion, and is to be opened on Good Friday. It is called, on account of being situated on the highest part of the range, Mount Hardwicke Chapel. A store and Post-Office adjoining it have assumed the native name of Warooka; while it is stated that the proprietor of the township, which was a piece of freehold land, has still another cognomen which he wishes to impress on the locality. All this is rather confusing, and as a respected settler put it to me - why they should go to the barbaric title of some poor native instead of perpetuating the name of one of our oldest noble families he could not understand. However, native names have been warmly advocated, and I do not profess to pronounce between the two, but certainly it is a great pity to encumber a young place with a number of different and confusing names. There are some excellent log fences in this as well as the other districts I have referred to. Manyof them are proof against both small and great cattle, thoroughly substantial, and more durable than wire, the posts of which must after a series of years get rotten and want renewing. And although posts are very plentiful now ten years time will make a great difference in that respect. The natural shipping-place for the Peesey Range and adjacent country is in Hardwicke Bay, a large bay in Spencer's Gulf, protected by the two headlands, terminating, one in Point Pearce and the other in Cape Souttar and Waldung Island. The spot where the vessels lie is off a sort of inner promontory, Point Turtbn, off which there is deep water and good anchorage. Being in the route of vessels trading between Ports Wallaroo and it affords peculiar advantages in the way of freight, and the settlers are bestirring themselves to obtain a jetty, which could be constructed at moderate expense. At present the bags of wheat are sent down from the cliffs by means of slides into the boat or barge, and then transferred to the vessel. In the landing of cargo there is more difficulty, and the boats are obliged to go round onto the sandy shore, and then the goods must be carted over a wide piece of beach shallow water. One or two alterations of the roads leading to Point Torton are greatly needed, and some of the residents have been urging the Commissioner of Crown lands on the subject, but without, as yet, any satisfactory result. A plentiful supply of goodwater is obtainable within a mile of the Point, which is a great boon when teams are carting in hot weather. Water is generally plentiful throughout this hundred. There are one or two remarkable appearances about the coast South of Point Turton, ascending a hill which commanded an extensive view, I observed a sandhill ridge perfect and continuous, which apparently had once skirted the shore, just as the sandhills at Glenelg do at present. But this ridge is now fully half a mile from the sea. The intervening space is nothing but pure sand, gradually sloping down to the beach, and covered now with a growth of sheoak and bushes. To the northward of Point Turton the appearance is somewhat different, although pointing to a similar inference. There may be seen ridge behind ridge of sand, each running in an unbroken line, until some distance farther north they merge into a more irregular series of sandy ranges extending some miles inland. I do not profess to give a scientific opinion, but the unmistakable impression produced on a common observer is the seashore has been receding. Akin to this, if not bearing out the conclusion, I noticed that from the swamps (both the shore) and even many miles inland, there is dug up what might at first sight pass for limestone, but proves on examination a conglomeration of clay and shells, with sometimes more or less an admixture of sand. It is soft when taken up, and I saw a house the quoin-stones and window-sills of which were cut out with an old saw. When exposed to the air the surface becomes quite hard, and thus affords good building material.


The former name is that of an agricultural area, the latter of the hundred, which comprises not only the whole of the area, but also other country beside. The Penton Vale Area was thrown open in the beginning of 1872, and a few sections were taken up at the top price of £3 an acre, the remainder being left till the price came to £2, at which prioe a good many were secured, while others have since been taken at the lowest price. The best of the land is a belt running from, the head-station to the northern boundary, and another along the sea-coast, the intervening country being of a very stony description. Nearly all that has been cultivated had to be cleared, and so far the results of the cropping have been generally satisfactory, and such as have given the district a good repute. The soil is brown with black friable loams, with some red hard land in the flats, which is generally not so productive, so far as present experience shows. The average yield has been estimated this year at between eight and nine bushels. I believe the returns will show that to be rather under the mark. There is a moderately good supply of water in several reserved wells, while some of the farmers have obtained it on their own land. The depth at which it is found varies greatly, in some cases being only a few feet, while other wells are 100 feet deep. The most central and generally used well, at Hayward Park, is 60 feet deep, the water being drawn by a horse-whim. It is considered a grievance that this should have been leased to the squatter whose sheep are on the unoccupied land, and who is authorised to levy, charges for all cattle watered.

It is very necessary, however, that there should be some one in charge of the machinery, which is in a very dilapidated condition, and as it is difficult to get the farmers to combine to do anything of the kind, perhaps, provided the charge is kept moderate, the arrangement is the best that could be made.

Penton Vale, Messrs. Anstey & Giles's head-station, is situate on the boundary adjoining Troubridge, on a stony flat, but possessing the great advantage of an abundant supply of beautiful water at a very short depth. An endeavour was made to have a Government township laid out on such a suitable spot, which would have afforded the very, best site for a mill; but the land was taken up by the proprietors of the run a day or two before the memorial reached the Crown Lands Office. There is a slight change in the timber in this area, peppermint being more plentiful and the land richer than in some other parts through the area, and as in Troubridge, there are a number of lagoons, one of which, called Weaver's, is very large. Close to its edge, apparently in its bed, are two wells, at which a large number of cattle are watered all through the summer, although the water is very brackish. In winter and for some time afterwards there are small fresh lagoons around the larger one, where the cattle can get a drink without any trouble. The land used to form part of the well-known Lake Sunday Run, and even in the stoniest parts is well grassed. In very dry seasons when the grass has been entirely cleared off by the sheep the sheaoaks were chopped down, and served the purpose of herbage proper. In the first settlement, when the surface was eaten so bare that a hatful of grass was not to be obtained the Sheaoaks in this, as in the other areas, was of great assistance as fodder for bullocks, which do well on it, and even for horses. Now, however, grass is abundant and cattle in good condition. Between the settled part and Lake Sunday Station, on the western boundary, there is more land in the course of survey, some of it of fair quality, although all considerably timbered and in parts very stony.


Adjoins Dalrymple to the north, and was only declared last year. A large proportion of the land is taken up, and a good deal will be in crop this year. Most of the wells are deep, one of them at Scrub Hut being 110 feet. That was leased, the same as Hayward Park, but has since fallen in, and so at present is not I believe available for the supply of stock. There is a fine supply of water at Beach Hut, which, as the name implies, is situated close to the coast. It is unfortunately in a distant corner of the Hundred, away from the bulk of the settlers. Water is sometimes taken from it to


which is a township surveyed and sold by the Government, although not at present much populated. It is, however, the natural outlet for both the Hundreds of Ramsay and Dalrymple, except a small portion of the latter adjacent to Salt Creek. Oyster Bay has been for many years the place of shipment for the Lake Sunday Run. The front allotments fetched high prices. A long sandspit stretches out from one of the promontories, so that there is good shelter for vessels in almost any weather. A considerable quantity of wheat was shipped there this season, and the settlers hope before nest harvest to have a jetty erected. The township is prettily situated on the slope of a bill, commanding a beautiful view of the country on either side, as well as the sea and Mount, Lofty. Already a store and a blacksmith's shop are in full operation and a Post-Office, although there has been hardly more than ; one harvest reaped, but very few settlers having any crop before this harvest, and those who had but a small quantity, although a high average. In a small cove at one corner of the Bay a vessel is being built for the Peninsular trade, to be called I believe the "Free Selector." The knees and other heavy timbers are all obtained on the adjacent land, the crooked peppermints being very excellent for such purpose. It is the second vessel that has been built in the same place by the proprietor, Mr. Taylor. A sum of £50 has been obtained from the Government for the purpose of clearing the road inland as far as Weaver's, over which there is considerable traffic. A very pretty wooded point runs out on the right of the township, and care should be taken by declaring it a forest reserve, or some other means, to preserve the trees here from ruthless destruction. It is possible Stansbury may at some future day be a resort of Adelaideans seeking a retired watering-place, which they would here find combined with the boon of almost invariably cool nights. If, however, it were only for the sake of local residents, the timber in question should be preserved.

Salt, wood, and gypsum are or will be articles of considerable export from Yorke's Peninsula. The first has already been shipped in some quantity. It is obtained from the lagoons, being scraped into heaps off the surface. In its raw state, however, it is very strong, and some process for refining it would, I should think, add greatly to the valne of the product. Gypsum is obtained from the same lagoons. It is underneath the salt in beds of varying thickness in the form of regular diamondshaped crystals, quite transparent when broken thin, and very pure. M. Tocchi and three men have been working for the Yorke's Peninsula Plaster and Cement Company for some months, and have about 150 tons at King's Lagoon washed and ready to send away.

The carriage of sheaoak to Port Adelaide for firewood is an increasing trade, and one which can be carried on to the advantage alike of those engaged in clearing the land and consumers on the other side of the Gulf, whilst it affords a large amount of employment to small coasters, or back freight to the regular trading ketches. The wood is purchased on the beach from the farmers at from 5s. to 6s. per ton. Many thousands of sheaoak pick-handles have been supplied to the Wallaroo mines, and much of the timber could be split for wheel-spokes, but the dearth of labour is a hindrance to anything of that kind, and for the same reason a great deal is drawn together in heaps and burnt instead of being cut up and carted to the shipping-places. In riding from Lake Sunday Station I had an opportunity of getting a general view of the country between that and Yorke Valley, the road being tor the most part along rising ground. From the centre, towards St. Vincent's Gulf, there is a wide belt of mallee-scrub extending the whole distance from Moonta to the northern end of Penton Vale. On each side of this towards the coast is more or less good land available for agricultural and pastoral farms in combination, which is or will be the prevailing system among the settlers of the Peninsula. After riding 20 miles, passing several wells of good water, I reached


a second station of Messrs. Anstey & Giles, which is distinguished by a few clumps of gum-trees, the only ones on the Peninsula ; while underneath them are two beautiful wells, which afford an abundant supply of water, while they are only a few feet deep. The Overseer's house is a neat stone building with an excellent roof of thatch made with native rush, the timbers being of pine, as straight almost as sawn timber. In the garden are apples and other kinds of fruit trees. At Curramurka, a few miles off, the are some wonderful caves. I saw piece of the stalactites, and heard a glowing description of the largest of the caves, which I should have endeavoured to visit, but Mr. Paddock, the Overseer, being away I was unable to secure a guide. I therefore pressed on, and after passing through some very nice country, undulating ar lightly timbered with sheaoak on black grass hills, seeing hundreds of kangaroos and several emus, came to a wire fence which divides Gum Flat from Mr. Samuel Rogers's Yorke Valley Run. Instead of taking the direct course to the valley I branched off towards Point Pearce, and after a few hours ride reached the station of the


The buildings are all of stone, situate in the middle of a small plain of which Boorkooyanna is the native name, Boorkoo signifying a small shrub which grows there, and yanna plain. It is within about three miles of the sea, and in the sandhills a plentiful supply of fresh water is obtainable. There were 18 in the school or working at the establishment at the time of my visit, and two had gone away to see their parents. The institution, which is under the management of the Rev. W. J. Kühn, is conducted mainly upon the principle of self-support, and an important part, though by no means the whole, of the work is sheepfarming. A commencement was made with 100 ewes five or six years ago. and now there are about 1,300, some 400 having been sold for £142 after last shearing, which yielded a return for wool of . £317. The Mission originally had one square mile, which has been all enclosed with stake and brush fence; but three years ago, the flock having so far increased as to require more grass, the Surveyor-General visited the place, and shortly afterwards the Government granted the use of 'The Point,' which has an area of about six square miles, and is enclosed by simply one fence run from beach to beach. The whole of the work on the place is done by the natives under the guidance and instruction of Mr. Kühn, no white labour being employed. They received this season £18 for shearing, being paid at the rate of £1 a hundred, and their work is acknowledged to be better done than the ordinary shearing in surrounding stations. Six of the young men are now employed at a weekly payment of 5s. beside their rations, and others can get employment at occasional times if willing to undertake it, the handsome return from the sheep last year having enabled this system to be adopted. The wages are for the most part spent in clothes, and the appearance of the young people on Sunday particularly is a source of satisfaction to the wearers, as well as having the effect of emulating the other blacks to improve their condition by the same means. The girls are employed in the ordinary household duties, taking it in turns to cook both for themselves and for the superintendent's house, all of which duties are performed'in a highly creditable manner. They make their own clothes, and also earn something by making rush mats and baskets, which are sold at the Wallaroo townships. Of course the benefits of the institutions are not confined to pure aborigines. Indeed, most of the inmates have a good deal of white blood in their veins ; and while on the one hand they are raised above the normal state of their tribe, they, are still placed under disabilities which such institutions as the one I am describing help to lessen or eventually remove. The younger children are taught for a few hours daily, and all those who have been some years at the station can read and write and cipher. Same of the copybooks would be no discredit to white children of the same age. They have a good schoolroom, 40 teet long by 18 broad, and a dormitory each for boys and girls 18 feet square and well ventilated. Saturday is always made a free holiday, when the boys all go either fishing or hunting, kangaroos being plentiful in the scrub aud fish on the coast. There is an island about two miles from the point where penguins abound, and another which is thickly inhabited by shags. In olden days the blacks used to swim over to this point for the sake of the eggs which they were able to obtain at certain seasons in abundance, and of which they are particularly fond. The young natives, however, have almost given up the art of natation, and none of them now care to go except 'along boat.' The aborigines of the Peninsula, who number between 100 and 200, are the remains of two tribes, distinguished now as the Peninsula and the Wallaroo mob, and they together with the Crystal Brook mob have friendly intercourse, meeting occasionally by invitation and arrangement of the respective kings. They frequently attempt to get the young people away from the station, and though they sometimes succeed, it is satisfactory to Mr. and Mrs. Kiihn to find that in many cases their allurements have not been sufficient to induce the children to leave their comfortable home and return to savage life. Unfortunately about two years ago a sickness in the shape of chest complaint carried off several of the children, and the old natives in consequence took several children away. A short time ago one of the girls was married to one of the young men rejoicing in the title of Jack Wilson, and they are living in a comfortable cottage on the land, Wilson being one of the regularly employed hands. Another marriage is expected to come off shortly, and a cottage is m course of erection by the blacks themselves to provide the necessary accommodation. Furniture is not expensive, as the mallee and pine in the neighbourhood afford material for most of the requisites. As with the other stations, Government rations are supplied to the sick and aged, and blankets to all who apply once a year. A service is held every Sunday in the: schoolroom, and the young natives join in the singing. In the afternoon they have Sunday school, and most of them have a fair knowledge of Bible truths, while several have been admitted to the church. At present cultivation of the land has not been attempted, but this season a small piece now being ploughed is to be sowed and cut for hay, to supply the horses that, are required for the use of the station, and perhaps a small quantity may be saved for grain. The appearance of the place and the financial results altogether reflect credit on the superintendant, and must be satisfactory to the ladies and gentlemen at Wallaroo town-ships who originated and carry on the mission. The value of the work is not to be judged by the number of the inmates. Although the race may be fast dying out, yet while any of them are left it can be no more than right that they should have a refuge where in time of need, through sickness or other cause, necessary aid may be given to the adults, and where the young ones who are thrown upon the world may have somewhat of the care which is bestowed upon other orphan or neglected children.


Thu 19 Mar 1874, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900)

By our Special Corresnondent.


To above designation may appear somewhancongruous in describing the following place but it was used in the first instance, and still continued, in contradistinction from the Wallaroo district, which is usually undrstood by the term Yorke's Peninsula alone.

By this name is known a tract of country included within the Hundreds of Maitland and Kilkerran, the former being the name also the township which has been laid out in a central position about midway between the coasts of Spencer's and St. Vincent's Gulf. The surrounding country consists of not one, but a number of valleys and hills. The soil is of a rich Bay of Biscay charter, equal, I should say, in quality to any the colony. There were about 1,800 acres in crop last year, and the average yield will probably be from fourteen to fifteen bushels per acre. Already a number of settlers have built themselves stone cottages, although they have had but one season the land, and there is a large quantity of fallowing done for next season. The land is timbered in belts and patches with heavy mallee scrub, but a great portion of it which is taken up was free from that obstruction. The work of breaking up the virgin soil is formidable enough nevertheless, the wavy black grass rendering it impossible to work a single plough with less than four good horses. What is known among the Farmers as ' black grass' will be better understood by the uninitiated if I state that it is a kind of flat rush which s^ows in clumps or tussocks, the rootlets of which are so tough that when a strong team of horses are at work the plough coming in contact with an extra heavy clump is sometimes literally torn asunder. This must be something like the breaking up of the American prairle, which is generally performed for the settlers at so much per acre by men who make it their special business, and have teams and implements suitable for the purpose. The Produce of last year over and above that required for seed has been mostly shipped to Parara, which is distant from 15 to 20 miles, the length depending upon the part of the area from which the wheat has to get and there being only one track through the mallee scrub, and that is the old one from Mr. Kogers's station at the south end of the valley. A direct road has been surveyed from Maitland Township to Ardrossan on the coast, the length of which is 13.5 miles. This is now being cleared, as being at present dense mallee scrub it is totally if valuable. Some of the farmers on the nonthern part of the Valley have taken their wheat to Moonta, a distance from 25 to 30 miles, and it is probable there will always be a portion of the produce that will find its way to that market. Oakdene, the head stion of Mr. Samuel Rogers, J.P., is in a somewhat central position in the main valley, and on either side of it are two wells 150 and 160 feet deep respectively. One of these has been reserved on the guarantee of several of the setttlers to maintain it in good order. It is not being worked by horse-power night and day for which the settlers pay £4 10s. per week. A great number of cattle are watered there at every day, and the well is sometimes dried ; but the springs are so strong that after a very short stoppage the pumping can be resumed. For drinking water most of the settlers go to Point Pierce, a distance of some 10 miles and more, where they obtain good fresh water from shallow wells in the sand. They hope, however, next year to store a sufficient supply from the rain in the tanks and dams which they are constructing. The subsoil is of such a nature that in most places merely scooping out wateholes is sufficient. There are men who do this work, having the necesaary appliances, at 7.5d. per cubic yard, and but for the difficulty and expense in obtaining horsefeed it would be done at a considerably lower rate. A number of very large reservoirs are being and have been taken out for Mr. Rogers, who has recently begun farming on a considerable scale, and has erected a very fine stable about 50 yards long, roofed with galvanised iron. Excellent straight posts for sheds well as fences are obtained from the mallee in the neighbourhood. At Oakdene there were geraniums and other fowers, both in pots and in beds, that would do credit to an Adelaide garden; but very little had been accomplished in horticulture. Several of the settlers have planted fruit trees, and believe that they will do well. The township of Maitland contains two smithies, and a store in full operation, an hotel built but not yet opened, a butcher's allotment, and one or two private cottages. There is some very good land to the south of that already occupied. I believe it is surveyed, and many friends of settlers are anxiously awaiting its being thrown open. In other directions there is some second if not first class agricultural land which will sooner or later have to be surveyed. The next place I visited was


the residence of Mr. Wm. Fowler, an old resident on the Peninsula, formerly at Moorowie, already referred to. Five years ago Mr. Fowler decided to remove to the site of his present homestead situate in the midst of his winter run, where he has several thousand acres of freehold land, which he secured before the credit system came in force. In getting to the spot from Maitland the traveller has to pass through some 25 miles of almost unbroken mallee scrub, and having to follow the one track, which is the only feasible way save to an experienced bushman, the distance is rendered much greater than it would be if a straight cut could be made across the country. Mr. Fowler's house, which is substantial and commodious, is situated in an opening in a range of bills a few miles distant from the coast, and though the gully a beautiful view is obtained of the Gulf, a belt of scrub intervening and giving variety to the landscape, while the houses at Port Wakefield are viaible in the morning and evening, when the sun's rays fall obliquely upon them. Mr. Fowler had last year 1,000 acres under crop with wheat, and reaped nine bushels per acre, the crop having been merely harrowed in. The previous year his average was nineteen bushels. This year the land will not be cropped, but simply left to grow whatever it will, and fed with sheep, by which means the grass and tussocks will be thoroughly rotted before being ploughed the second time. A large quantity of fresh land is, however, either already fallowed or being ploughed for sowing this season. The spot which Mr. Fowler selected has been vastly changed, and presents evidence of wise and liberal expenditure. Although this is only the fifth year since the garden was planted, there are pine and poplar trees twelve or fourteen feet high ; fruit-trees of all kinds of nearly equal growth, and already beginning to bear; while of grapes there are plenty, which, like the other fruit, are of fine quality. The flowers, of which Mrs. Fowler has some choice specimens, present a not less flourishing appearance, bearing in mind the advanced stage of the season. The plan adopted in preparing the garden was subsoil ploughing to the depth of 18 inches, and the result tends to establish the superiority of that system over hand trenching. It loosens the soil so as to enable the roots of the trees to easily penetrate to a sufficient depth without burying below the surface top mould, which is so valuable to the early growth of every plant. Besides the more ordinary kind of fruit trees there are orange trees in almost as forward a state as those previously referred to, and that without any artificial watering. In the farmyard are stables for about 30 horses, the timber in the locality affording excellent material for all kinds of sheds as well as fences, the latter being formed of stakes driven in the ground, and then the long supple mallee sticks laced between them, thus affording a sheep-fence which is unsurpassed and inexpensive, the work of making them being generally done by the blacks, who if they found in every one as good friends as Mr. and Mrs. Fowler would have very little cause to complain. A fine substantial stone barn has been built, capable of holding several thousand bushels of wheat, and built in the slope of a hill, so that wheat may be both taken in and out with a minimum of labour. The side walls are sufficiently strengthened by buttresses so extended as to form, by the extension of the roof, commodious sheds, which are used for various purposes. Eight reaping-machines are used it harvest time. A smith's and a carpenter's shop are permanent adjuncts to the establishnent. The land not cropped is used for grazing purposes, and the fine Lincoln sheep to be seen around the homestead are in hemselves a beautiful sight. The whole of the water for every purpose is obtained from either cement tanks or reservoirs — chiefly the latter — of which there are a large number in all parts of the ground, and so situated that from a moderate shower several thousand gallons of water are secured. Yarroo is on the route from Port Wakefield to Yorke Valley, and to those who are in the habit of travelling in that direction the genial welcome and hospitable entertainment of Mr. and Mrs. Fowler are so well known as to render it a favourite place of call.


Is a small township, which, is to be after April next the station from which the branch mail will start to Yorke Valley and the southern townships of the Peninsula. In the hundred which bears the same name there is a good deal of cultivation at open places, the largest of which is known by the name of 'The Cocoanut,' while some distance beyond, in a southerly direction, the Kalkabury Area plainly shows itself. The cultivation there has not been very extensive, a large portion of the land being covered with scrub. What has been under crop has yielded well. The average of this and Kulpara Hundred will probably not be less than 12 bushels per acre. Water is a vary scarce commodity. There is none but what is caught and stored, and the inhabitants do not appear to have made sufficient provision for a dry season such as the last, and are now many of them carting from Kadina and the Hummocks. There is a Government dam at Kulpara, which has still a moderate supply, but the use of that is very properly restricted to bona fide travellers. If it were not so the supply would soon disappear. The line of the Port Wakefield and Kadina Railway I crossed between Kulpara and Mr. Fowler's, through whose ground it runs for some distance. From the top of the range, which is a kind of spur from the Hummocks, there is a clear view of Green's Plains, and Moonta and Kadina may be seen beyond.


This mine is situated a short distance from the beaten track between Clinton and Parara, at the head of a small gully surrounded on three sides with mallee scrub. There are six cottages, besides the smith's shop and Captain Tregoweth's residence. The number of men in the employ of the Company is twenty. A considerable pile of stuff has been turned out from the mine, and the place has a promising appearance. The Company have endeavoured, as far as possible, to avoid heavy expenditure above ground, but it was necessary the men should have places to live in, so they have either built or supplied the timber for several of the cottages. They have also taken out two large tanks to secure a supply of water, and when they once get filled they will have abundance to last through even a dry season. The main shaft has been taken down 30 fathoms. At the 20-fathom level some rich ore was obtained, and it is hoped that in a short time the lode will be 'fit to save,' but that happy stage has not yet been arrived at. There are a few tons of dressable stuff at the surface, containing for the most part grey ore with a little yellow. The men have been engaged during the last few days in timbering the shaft, which is going down the course of the lode with an underlay of two feet in the fathom. Whenever the mine yields payable ore the cartage will be a very inexpensive affair, as the site of Ardrossan is only distant from one and a half to two miles. A township has been laid out there by the Government, and it is presumed a jetty will be erected, as until that is done the township can be of no service whatever as a shipping place. In the absence of sheep, which are very scarce in the neighbourhood, the miners obtain large quantities of crabs from the coast. I saw two of them returning with half a sackful, which they had caught while I was looking at the mine.


In what I have written of my few days of travel from Edinburgh to the northern end of the Peninsula, I have not attempted to give a detailed account either of the settled or the unsettled land of Yorke'a Peninsula, which is a tract of country nearly equal in extent to the whole of the settled districts north of Adelaide as far as the Burra. A portion of this is no doubt of a nature that will never he fit for anything other than sheep-feeding; but there are many hundreds of miles, generally between the scrub. and the sea-shore, of a fair arable nature, which will sooner or later be peopled with an agricultural population. The southern end, at the Troubridge, Area has already established a reputation as an agricultural district, although what has been brought under crop is but a small portion of what is still left to be subdued. Standing on elevated points one may see clearings and stubble-fields all around, but still they are surrounded with sheaoak forests. Dummyism has had not a little to do in retarding cultivation, as many square-mile blocks of the best of the land have been taken up and used for nothing but sheep-feeding. As long, however, as the improvements were made and the men resided on the land there was no impeaching their position, and many of the agreements have actually been concluded and the fee-simple of the sections obtained. There was no mistaking the dummy blocks taken up under the old Act, but with the present law and compulsory cultivation the distinction is less palpable, although the system has not been altogether extinguished. Postal facilities have been extended to meet the wants of the increasing number of settlers, and after this month there will be a mail twice a week to and from Kulpara, and thence connecting with Adelaide and the Wallaroo townships. The mail will arrive at Weaner's Flat on Wednesdays and Saturdays at about 2 o'clock, and from thence there are branch, services to Edithburgh, Penton Vale, and Oyster Bay, and the Peesey Range. There is also a mail once a week across the Gulf from Glenelg, which has been secured after a long and arduous struggle by the advocates of Edithburgh, and with anything but a head wind the communication by this means is considerably faster than by any other. On the other hand the land service, though, taking longer, is certainly more reliable. A stir is now being made to obtain the benefits of telegraphic communication, which, in view of the proposal of the Marine Board, there should be little difficulty in accomplishing. The construction of a line from Kulpara or some other point on the existing line to Cape Spencer would be an inexpensive work compared with the other schemes which have been mooted for tbe purpose of obtaining early intelligence of ships entering he Gulf, while the wire would pass through settled country where danger of injury and expense of repair would be reduced to the minimum, besides the important facilities that would be afforded to a large number of settlers. The most direct route would be via Yorke Valley and Weaner's Flat; but he people at Edithburgh would not be satisfied without at least a branch, and I believe they advocate the line being taken along the eastern coast, which would accommodate Parara or Ardrossan, and Stansbury, Oyster Bay, both places at which large and annually increasing quantities of wheat will be shipped. The reply of the Treasurer to the Marine Board's recommendation for the building of a lighthouse at Cape Spencer seems to indicate that some time will elapse before that is accomplished, but that will be no reason why the telegraph should not be extended very shortly, at least to the settled districts of the Peninsula, so affording immediate communication to that part of the country, while it will also be an important step towards the accomplishment at a future date of the other object.


Wed 10 Mar 1875, The Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA : 1865 - 1881)

Starting from the Maitland Hotel after breakfast onTuesday morning, we passed close to Mr Rogers Yorke Valley Station, which lies down in the valley, and presents quite a picturesque appearance from the top of the hill. Passing on, the work of opening and closing sheep run gates commences. The country is rather hilly, but bad roads are not know and very little saud. Sheoak trees are very numerous in Maitland and as we got further down they became still more so. Arriving at a shepherd's hut we reposed a while, and then pressed on to Gum Flat. Between the hut land the Flat kangaroos are very numerous, running in herds of as many as thirty-five, some being very large. About noon we arrived at Duncan's Well, at which we enjoyed beautiful water, and which rises within five feet, of the surface. Farm houses and cultivated land are passed, and Gum Flat is made at one o'clock, where a survey party are camped. Some very large gum trees, are growing here, and, strange to say, not one is to be seen outside the Flat. On the hill beyond this is situated Anstey and Giles' head station, of which there are five buildings. At the station house there is a fine garden, with almond and other trees, and many plants. There is any quantity of fresh water in three wells on the Flat, and the tronghs are made of gum trees, cut down the centre. Farm laborers are badly wanted on this station. The blacksmith of the PentonVale station is at present worktng here as a carpenter making sheep hurdles at £5 per hundred. He does not find any material, not even the tools. The mallee is carted on the spot, and he can make about 80 a week. Passing by the station buildings we found some stony country for a mile or two, and on our right was the first lake. The country then changes, becoming hilly with good roads, sheoak trees, and any quantity of black grass. For agricultural purposes the black grass country seems to be favorable, and the farmers speak highly of it. For miles the country is the same through which we passed previous to sighting Hardwicke Bay a beautiful view. A steady rain set in, and we soon got wet, with night approaching fast, but seeing a number of habitations, leaving us to believe that civilization and the comforts of the Melville Hotel were not far distant. The rabbits are very numerous here, and for many miles around. They seem very tame and are shot easily. Many years ago Mr Penton put some tame rabbits in the bush, thinking that he would be able, in a little while, to enjoy rabbit shooting ; but in a very short time they were extended thirty-five miles, and now they are a great nuisance and do a great deal of damage on the farms. At half-past five o'clock we arrived at the Lake Sunday Head Station. Here there is also a nice garden, and any quantity of fresh water; A sharp shower then set in, and we found we had yet seven miles to travel. Crossing Lake Sunday and rounding brush fences we had a really pretty drive. There are many lakes, and most of them are surveyed with the land, and fenced in, and a well formed track around them.

Cold, wet, and tired, we arrived at the Melville Hotel at half-past six o'clock. The tea table was literally crowded, and there was only one spare bedroom in the house. Great excitement prevailed, and any amount of business was doing. A jolly landlord and landlady, are found in the persons of Mr and Mrs Rossiter, and the best of accommodation afforded. A large room has recently been erected adjoining the hotel, and opposite there is a large General Store and Post-Office. Next the store three allotments of land have been sold for business purposes, to a blacksmith, wheeright, and a machinist. There is also a saddler, carrying on a large business. Mr S. E. Nixon has a studio erected at the back of the Melville Hotel, and is well patronised. A Police-Trooper, Mr Monument, is stationed at Weaners' Flat. A Roman Catholic Church, Wesleyan, and schoolrooms are erected here. Mr Rossiter of the Melville Hotel, is styled the "King'' of the place, which has three names, Weaner's Flat, Melville, and Yorketown ; and Mr J. Gottschalk is the "King " of Edithburg.

Sat 13 Mar 1875, The Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA : 1865 - 1881)

Bidding adieu to Edithburg, at ten o'clock, on Thursday morning we started for Lake Fowler and then on to the residence, of Dr. Vonnida, which is situated on a very pretty spot, and close to Lakes Fowler and Diamond. The Surgery is fitted up well, and in it there is a beautiful assortment of specimens and curiosities from Strangway's Springs. Sliding Rock, Moonlight Creek, and other places near the Blinman :-Native chisels, knives, boomerangs, swords, waddies; and all kinds of net work. Dr. Vonnida was presented with two addresses from the Oddfellows and Foresters on leaving the Bilnman, where he was highly respected. A sold and silver medal, together with a scarf, was also presented him by the Orders, of which he is a member. A valuable doublebalanced chronomoter gold watch with an inscription inside together with an address numerously signed was also presented him by a few friends.

Leaving his residence in the afternoon, we made Weaner's Plat, and then on to King's Lake. This lake is leased by a company in town, for the purpose ot working gypsum, of which there is abundance in the lake; in fact, in all the lakes, gypsum can be raised, and the only apparatus required is a few tools and a trough. It runs from one inch to eighteen inches in thickness, crops up nearly on the surface of the lake, and is very clean. After being raised, bagged carted to Salt Creek, and from thence shipped to town, it is worth 27s per ton. It is then manufactured into Plaster of Paris, and sold at 2d per lb., or £12 per ton. For the material there is always a ready market, and there are any number of lakes which might be worked with profit. It could also be manufactured into Plaster of Paris on the side of the Lake just as well as in town. One hundred years would be taken to work the Lake out, and then it would be ready to commence again, as it forms very quick. It is worked out in beds. On the side of the Lake there are three or four tons of gypsum in one heap, and about fifty bags ready for shipment. From the Lake we go on to Yorketown, and there met and spent the evening with several travellers, and other gentlemen.

Starting from "Weaner's Flat at seven o'clock on Friday morning, with a sharp drizzling rain, we arrived at Gum Flat at 9.30. The Surveyors have finished their work here, and have gone further on. Leaving the Flat at eleven o'clock, we soon arrive once more at Duncan's Well, and then take a different route more inland on to Giles' Station, Spicer's Flat. Here the surveyors are camped. From Spicer's Flat we went through the runs, and then round to Mount Rat, where there is a beautiful well, and plenty of good fresh water. The road from Spicer's Flat to Mount Rat is a very bad one, six miles of large boulders to travel over, and forcibly reminded us of the lines: -

" Rattle his bones over the stones," &c.

A short distance from Mount Rat there is another place famous for its water and caves Currymurka. Some of the caves run under the road, leaving just the limestone crust to travel over, and a depth of 130 feet below. On the road there are many holes which lead into the caves, and when travelling across, the sound is likened unto that of many drums. In course of time it is expected the road will cave in, as the limestone crust is crumbling away fast. Passing over the so called Mount we saw some beautiful country, between it and Rogers' Yorke Valley Station, arriving at Maitland hungry, tired, and terribly sunburnt, at four o'clock p.m. Bills are posted up throughout the township calling a meeting to be held at the Maitland Hotel, to take into consideration the question of a railway from Moonta to Ardrossan. Great anticipations are held by most people of Ardrossan becoming the shipping port of the Peninsula, and instead of breadstuff's, &c., coming through Kadina, everything will be landed at Ardrossan, and so smother Kadina. On Saturday morning, at eight o'clock, we started on our homeward journey, through the Bridle Track, then on to Moonta Mines, and from there to Port Wallaroo, having spent a pleasant week.

I would strongly recommend travellers and others visiting the southern part of the Peninsula to take the road, from the eastern corner of the Moonta Cemetery, in preference to the Penang or Kalkabury roads. There are about thirty-five sandhills between Moonta and Maitland. From Maitland to Weaner's Flat, I would also suggest the Mount Rat road in preference to the Mail track, as water can be obtained at the Mount, and on the other road, there is a long stage -over thirty miles-and not a drop of water. The distance is the same taking either track. Gum Flat is the first stage made from Maitland-about thirty-five miles, the next, Lake Sunday, about twenty miles from Gum Flat. The distance to Yorketown from Lake Sunday is about five miles, and from Yorketown to water's edge -Edithburg- thirteen miles a radius of about fifty miles in different directions fresh water, can be obtaioed. At Lake Fowler a trough is fixed close to the bank on the side of the lake, and from the bank water oozes continually into the trough. At other places there are wells ; and although so close to the salt lakes the water is not even brackish.

Down the Peninsula, a great deal of excitement prevails, each township fighting against the other. Oyster Bay is to be the shipping port, so is Salt Creek, and so is Edithburg, but Salt Creek has no water ; Oyster Bay a little and Edithburg more and a jetty besides. The inhabitants are strongly advocating a separate district, and hold hopes of gaining it. They say that their district is an important one, being one of agriculture, and that mining and agriculture are widely different, so they want a division, and are going to advocate strongly for members to represent the interest of agriculture only. Election matters were not thought much of until Mr Duncan announced his intention of standing, and then excitement prevailed. Had this not been the case it is confidently asserted by residents that very few votes, if any, would have been recorded. The great and most important want at Edithburg is a flour mill. One is in course of erection at Yorketown, and one is badly wanted at Edithburg. At Yorketown the farmers are keeping their wheat back from the market. At Salt Creek a Government land sale has recently been made -- township of Coobowie, One allotment, quarter of an acre, seventeen perches, corner of main street was sold for £62 5s ; another £61; one man offered £8 for a piece of ground eight foot square to sink a well. On the whole, allotments in the town of Coobowie sold well. Mr Kossiter, of the Melville Hotel, has bought a good sight in the new township, on which he intends erecting a large public-house, and other buildings are in course of erection. This town will be, in a short time, a very important one.


Sat 20 Mar 1875, Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) Trove

Sir—Why did but one-fourth of the ele store on the roll at Edithburgh exercise their right of voting? This question has been asked frequently after the late contest, and may be easily answered....