South Australia has a few attractive health resorts more popular than Edithburg, which is situated on the eastern shore of Southern Yorke's Peninsula. The trip is easily made in a few hours by the S.S. Warooka, whose genial skipper is Capt. Henderson, who for many years successfully piloted the James Comrie across the find to Kangaroo Island.
Edithburg, which Is in the Hundred of Melville- the first hundred surveyed and gazetted under the regulations of the Strangways Act, in the early seventies- was named after Lady Edith Fergusson, the wife of Sir James Fergusson, formerly Governor of South Australia, and streets in the town derived their nomenclature from the Christian names of other members of the viceregal family. In the early days of its history Edithburg was principally known as a pleasant rendezvous for holiday makers and health seekers, but the past decade has witnessed a great change in the tide of affairs, and at present the port of Edithburgh claims to be one of the principal shipping places in this state.
-The Salt Industry- -Valuable Salt Lakes-
The discovery that awaited development within a few miles of the town was speedily followed by a period of industrial activity and commercial enterprise on the part or Messrs. Henry Berry & Co., who were the pioneers in the opening up and development of the salt industry on the peninsula.
It is due in a marked degree to the action of this firm that success has attended the efforts to secure recognition and markets for South Australian salt. Certainly salt manufacture has been responsible for reviving trade and establishing on a sound footing at least two towns on the Peninsula-Yorketown and Edithburg. The lakes whence the greater portion of the crude material is derived are situated within an area of a few miles of the former town, and the bulk of the business is derived from persons engaged in connection with the industry. Yorketown, formerly known as Weaver's flat, has a flourishing agricultural district to support its '"salt" trade; but Edithburg is not so favourably situated, and depends almost entirely, on the industry for its success. At present three refineries are working. The Castle Salt Company has a huge factory and enormous stacking sheds on the seawall, equipped with elaborate machinery for the treatment of salt until it emerges in the form of a splendid sample of household commodity. The works, are fitted with electricity throughout, and annually treat for export something like from 35,000 to 40,000 tone. Employment is necessarily provided, all the year round for a large number of hands, and the growing demand for the South Australian article promises remunerative occupation for a much larger number of employes. Mr. C. Allen is the secretary of the company and Mr. W. Baker manager of the works. Mr. Jordan is the general superintendent of works on the lakes and shipping manager. In close proximity are the Colonial Salt Company, 'which are also on an extehsive scale, and fitted with all necessary machinery. The annual output of this company, which is of comparatively recent establishment, is from 10,000 to 12,000 tons, which is mostly shipped to the Australian States and New Zealand. A splendid sample is produced, and increasing demand is a proof of the popularity of the Colonial Company's brands. Fourteen men are regularly employed at these works, and probably 40 to 50 are supplied with work during the season at the lakes. This number does not include carters. Mr. Wylie is the secretary, with office in Adelaide, and Mr. G. F. Benson is the resident manager.
The Standard Salt Company, which is under the general management of Mr, W. J. Daly, with Mr. Butt as practical superintendent, does not cater for the finer description of salt trade, but finds a ready demand for material used by curers and tanners. Comprehensively speaking, the industry is conducted on a scale of magnitude quite unknown to the greater majority of South Australians, and there is no doubt that the operations of these companies as manufacturers and shippers are an important factor in the commercial life of the state.
-Wanted, Better Accommodation.-
Increased accommodation for vessels is needed at this port, and greater inducement would be given to visitors if another jetty for passenger traffic were erected. It is absolutely dangerous to use the present structure during the busy season of loading, and, considering the splendid income derived by the Government from the jetty now available, it is contended that they could well afford to provide adequate accommodation for the traffic. Recently two dolphins _ were erected, one on each side of the jetty, for convenience of visiting craft, and even this addition has proved of service.
The town is controlled by a corporate body, composed of Mr. F. T. Gluyas (Mayor) and Crs. J. H. Hentsehke, G. F. Benson, W. Baker, and B. Rose, and the clerk (Mr. A. H. Miller). Mr. P. W. Allen occupies the position of poet, telegraph, and harbour master, Mr. B. Denton is school master and hon. secretary of the institute, and Mr. DeC. Ireland is in charge of the police department. A branch of the Bank of Adelaide is open for business bi-weekly, conducted by the Yorketown office.
Mr. G. Hart, an old resident, and largely interested in Edithburg commercial life, is the managing director of the Yorke's Peninsula Fertilizing Company, which is manufacturing a marketable article well adapted for agricultural requirements, iarge quantities of seed and floury gypsum are also exported by Mr. Hart to the other states and New Zealand, and recently trial shipments to Colombo have been successful. About 2,000 tons per annum is the average output of tihe material, of which limitless quantities are available at Lake Fowler. Mr. W. J. Hart is secretary of the Fertilizing Company. The enterprise of Mr. G. Hart has led him to embark, with a few Adelaide business men, in extensive operations at Taranaki, NewZealand, where promising oil fields are now in process of development, the sample of crude material in the possession of Mr. Hart, brought from the works, was tested in my presence, and appeared to be highly charged with the qualities necessary for the successful production of a marketable oil. An expert from America is on the fields experimenting. The Broken Hill Company are in treaty with Mr. Hart for supplies of gypsum for use in connection with the new Carmichael process for dealing with sulphides, and, if successful, a large impetus will be given to this trade.
The business interests of Edithburg are in the hands of Messrs. C, S. Robert, T. J. Gluyas, A. Juers & Co., and Mrs. Born, storekeepers; W. Fleetwood and E..Dayey, bakers; R. Bramley, butcher; D. Stephens, Wallace, Batley, and Aseer, blacksmiths, &c J. Oldland, A. Wallace. J. Hentschke, and F. Hancock, fruiterers: C. H. Wallace and Rechner, saddlers; F. Stoneham (Edithburg Family), and C. Calnan (Troubridge), hotel keepers. This town is vastly improved, and could be made much more attractive to tourists and visitors if the corporation could see their way to plant suitable trees along the seawall, and erect shelters for the convenience of the public. At present there is an appearance of neglect and want of enterprise in this direction. Cheap excursion rates by steamers from Saturday to Monday would assist in popularizing this healthful and interesting seaport
This town is at present much in evidence owing to the projected enforcement by the Government of jetty dues on all merchandise and produce handled at the shipping place. There is no jetty, and hitherto all freight was landed and shipped free of taxation. As, however, the town is within the radius fixed by the Customs Department as being amenable to the Act, and it is proposed to collect fees, strenuous efforts are being made to maintain the old order of things by a few residents, and the Commissioner of Crown Lands has promised to visit the spot and give consideration to the views of those interested. Originally the place was known as Salt Creek, but the name was altered when the town was surveyed early in the seventies. The sale of town allotments realized about £1,200. The principal exports are wool and wheat, and most of the merchandise for Yorketown found its way by ketch to Coobowie. The Edith Alice has been at regular trader for many years. Mr. H. T. Hew ton keeps the store formerly conducted by the late Mr. Cornish; Mr 0. Heath is the local shipping agent and wheatbuyer; and Mrs. C. Heath conducts the hotel, which is freely patronised during the season by visitors. The state school is superintended by Mr. J. Pryor; and Miss B. T. Elliott is the postmistress. Coobowie is one of the few watering places along this coast provided with a sandy beach.
is about 10 miles inland from Edithburg and Coobowie. By virtue of its location it might aptly be termed Salt Lake City, for on all sides large sheets of salt deposits may be seen by any one who undertakes the trip. Thanks to the courtesy of Mr. Jordan (superintendent of works for the Castle Salt Company) I was enabled to get a glimpse of the larger portion of the area under development, although the season was too far advanced to get a full view of the operations. The season has been rather quiet, owing to the weather, but so far results have been very satisfactory, and stocks on hand, will enable the various companies to fulfil their engagements for the year. The Castle Salt Company hold by far the greater portion of the area available for working, either freehold or leasehold. On Lake Fowler alone, which has a superficial area of 1,260 acres, with a circumference of 10 miles, the deposit in sight is enormous, and Weaver's Lagoon, with an area of 639 acres, is rich. From all appearances there is little prospect of the salt "lodes" being worked out for many years to come.
-Sound Commercial Life.
Consequent on the progress made in the industry, substantiality supplemented by the improvement in agricultural prospects, the town of Yorke is materially benefiting in general trade, and can fairly he included among the few towns in South Australia which maintain their commercial position. The volume of business, however, is well catered for in all branches, and does not warrant an influx of tradespeople in present conditions. Several new residences and business premises have been erected within the last year or two. The hospital is under the able superintendent of Nurse Dickens, and proves an inestimable boon to the district. Dr. H. A. Davies, exMayor of Yorketown, and an enthusiastic supporter of all movements for the well being of the residents and improvement of the town, is the resident medical officer, whose valuable services are ever at the disposal of suffering humanity. The doctor is exceedingly popular on the Peninsula. Mr. Erichsen, the present Mayor, has greatly extended his business premises; Mr. Woods has added a new wing to his store, and completed other improvements; and Mr. Rechner is now carrying on his saddlery business in new premisses on the site of his old shop. Many other improvements have been effected, but the most striking additions to the architect of Yorketown are the large and commanding new Roman Catliolio Church, erected last year on the western side of the town. The edifice is a handsome structure.
The present holders of office in the corporation are:-Mayor Mr. M. Erichsen, Crs. W. Riddle, G. Martin, F. W. Friebe, C. Klem. Q. Young, and J. G. Daymond; Clerk,- E. Stonhouse. The poet and telephmaster is Mr. E. H. Matthews. . E. Dudley is schoolmaster. The institute secretary is Mr, W. Woods, the librarian Mr. S. Gregor, and the police officer M.O. J. G. Buttfield. The Yorketown Rifle Club has Mr. H. Hughes for its secretary, The bandmaster is Mr. W. Russell, and Mr. F. Wood is secretary of the racing club. The Bank of Adelaide is represented by Mr. H. Hughes as manager, with Mr, H. Bamberger as teller. These gentlemen are exceedingly popular in their official and social relations with residents on Yorke's Peninsula. Mr. W. B. Golds worthy is the local solicitor.
Most of the business men have resided an the town for a number of years, and the following list is fairly representative:- Chemists, Messrs. J. Marston & Sons; storekeepers. Messrs, M. Erichsen, W. Woods, McFarlane, F. Rourig, J. M. Nagar, and W. Boyce; butcher, F. Graber; bakers, Sampson and Mrs. Fisher: bootmakers, F. W. Friebe and H. W. Hill; saddlers,. O. G. Rechner, Till & McFarlane, blacksmiths, W. Riddle, McFarlane, and Lloyd; plumber, W. Russell; painters, Gordon and McFarlane; fruiterers, H. MacFarlane and Mrs. Fisher. There are two local newspapers published weekly, The Clarion, issued by Mr. MacFarlane. and The Pioneer, by Mr. Wilkinson. The travelling public are well catered for by Mr. J. Scott, an old on the "road"' identity, who provided conveyances, well horsed, for the majority of the "commecials." The hotels are Melville (Mrs. Stockings) and Yorke (Mr. J. G. Desmond).
-Wealth in Eggs.-
Mr. Erichsen incidentally supplied the following figure's in conection with a by-product of the farm:-Average number of eggs purchased by local storekeepers annually, 60,000 dozen £2,500-not a bad result from the poultry in this district. The results from farming are satisfactory, and much improved yields are expected from the district when the Moorowie blockers get fairly under way with their cultivation.
The Penton Vale Estate has now about 40 families, in place of a few station hands formerly, and successful results are being secured from the many holdings. The roads about here are fairly good considering the heavy cartage.
-Official Attention, Please.-
The local post office should be rebuilt or extended. Some little time ago an amount of money was voted for much-needed improvements, but unfortunately the matter so far ended there. The inconvenience and annoyance of standing in the blazing sun or pelting rain outside the present shanty are intolerable, and the interior is quite as badly in need of attention as the exterior. The income from this branch and the volume of business entitle the officials as well as the public to more accommodation, and that without delay. One other source of trouble to the majority of Peninsula residents, before the rain, was the scarcity of water-in many places the supply was nearly exhausted, and in others carting had been carried on for some time.