Place Names of South Australia - A
Almanda - American River
Also see South Australia - Mining - Coal.
In 1866 the 'Wheal Maria' mine at Scott Creek was found to be rich in silver and two years later it was renamed 'Almanda' which was applied to a subdivision of part section 285, Hundred of Noarlunga when Sara Ann Mackereth (1820-1882) cut it up in 1868 as allotments for miners. Ruins of the mine remain on section 232 and 'Mackereth Cottage' still stands on the site of 'Almanda Village' 29 km south-east of Adelaide.
Much information on the mine is to be found in the Register during 1868 - 18 June (p. 2g),
17, 18 and 20 August (pp. 2c, 2h and 2f),
2 and 11 November (pp. 2g and 2d); also see
2 February 1869, page 3h,
12 and 13 July 1869, pages 2c and 3c,
30 January 1869, page 2c,
15 July 1869, page 2c.
In 1868 the old Wheal Maria mine was 'transformed into the Almanda Silver Mine' and a company was projected, while the proprietors were 'very sanguine of success by reason of the encouraging result of the experiments.' (Register, 18 June 1868, page 2.)
'For ten days we have had a mining mania in its most aggravated forms. All the mineralogists have been fossicking in the Coromandel Valley... All the chemists have been busy making and reporting the most hopeful assays.... The lucky promoters of Almandas and Potosis are haunted by friends beseeching a share of their luck at any price. The Clarendon road resounds from morning till night with the noise of exploring buggies... The words "silver ore" are in every mouth...' (Register, 17 August 1868, page 2.)
The name was applied to a subdivision of part section 1072, Hundred of Adelaide by Harry O. Hannaford (1884-1977) in 1923; now included in Belair. The name is retained in 'Alta Mira Crescent'. A descendant of Mr Hannaford says that a home named 'Alta Mira' was built on section 1072 by Alexander George Downer in about 1882 and occupied by Mr Downer's coachman. At that time it was possible, with the aid of binoculars, to have an uninterrupted view of the city and it was said that Mr Downer was able to signal his coachman when he was ready to be transported home to his residence 'Monalta'. (See Monalta Park). The name is seen to be appropriate when it is explained that the Spanish alta mira means 'high watch-tower'.
The Register of 11 October 1923 at page 5e says:
On Saturday, October 27, under instructions from Messrs Fisher, Ward, Power & Jeffries, on behalf of Mr. H.O. Hannaford, 15 superb sites facing the main road, Alta Mira Road Crescent and Shirley Street, situated right at the front door of Belair, will be offered at auction with 'bedrock' prices and on liberal terms. At the same time, that magnificent residence, 'Monalta', formerly the home of the late Mr. George Downer containing fifteen rooms, with four or five acres of fine old world garden and the freestone residence Alta Mira, ... Containing eight rooms and all conveniences, including bathroom, electric light, etc., will be offered.
Named by Captain Matthew Flinders on 20 March 1802 supposedly after Lord Spencer's eldest son and heir. Lord Spencer presided at the Board of Admiralty when Flinders' voyage was planned; it was also the name of the Spencer estate in Northamptonshire. The name is of Danish origin alethorpe - 'village of the man Alea'.
In 1950 the SA Archivist observed:
Althorp, which should be spelt without the final "e'', is in Northamptonshire. There is an Althorpe on the River Trent in Lincolnshire. It seems more likely that Flinders desired to commemorate Lord Spencer himself rather than Lord Spencer's son John Charles Spencer, whose title, Viscount Althorp was, during his father's lifetime, a courtesy title only.
The Althorpes Post Office closed on 1 June 1920. Baudin called them Archip de L'est (Eastern Archipelago), while Freycinet's charts show Is. Vauban.
A note on its nomenclature is in the Observer,
5 April 1902, page 4a.
A sealing expedition is reported in the Observer,
6 May 1871, page 8d.
Also see South Australia - Flora and Fauna - Fish and other Sea Creatures.
A fatal accident is reported in the Observer,
23 March 1878, page 24d.
A visit to the islands is described in the Register,
25 May 1878, page 5b; also see
9 February 1885, page 6h.
Information on preparatory work for the construction of the lighthouse is in the Advertiser,
13 and 17 July 1878, pages 7a and 7c; also see
6 August 1878, page 7c,
18 February 1879, page 6a,
13 and 17 July 1878, pages 3f and 2f,
12 August 1878, page 3g,
15 and 18 February 1879, pages 2b and 3b.
"Mismanagement at Althorpe Island" is in the Chronicle,
20 and 27 July 1878, pages 12c and 17d,
10 August 1878, page 4c.
The laying of the submarine cable is reported in the Express,
17 March 1886, page 6e,
15 and 16 March 1886, pages 7f and 5c. See
8 February 1907, page 7g and
17 July 1909, page 7a for a report on the need for telegraphic communication.
A history of same appears on
17 July 1909, page 7a; also see
18 May 1911, page 7e,
15 June 1911, page 6g.
4 May 1912, page 34d.
Sketches are in the Pictorial Australian in
June 1886, page 86.
Information on the lighthouse and guano leases is in the Observer,
10 January 1891, page 30e,
11 August 1899, page 6h.
Photographs are in the Observer,
28 January 1905, page 25.
A visit to the lighthouse is reported in the Register,
15 and 19 February 1895, pages 6d and 6b.
"Two Keepers Seriously Injured" is in the Express,
27 November 1908, page 1g.
28 and 30 November 1908, pages 9e and 4f,
5 December 1908, page 45a.
"Lonely Island Sentinel" is in the Advertiser,
3 March 1934, page 23f:
Built on the summit of a massive rock the Althorpe lighthouse, one of the loneliest outposts of the Commonwealth lighthouse service, is the sentinel that guides shipping bound inward and outwards from Port Adelaide through the treacherous, reef-bound, Althorpe Passage. Three islands, known as the Althorpe group, bound the passage and the lighthouse is on the southernmost and largest. This island is 350 feet high, irregular in shape with steep sides and is nearly flat-topped.
Clustered around the light are the cottages, water tanks and outhouses of the head keeper and his assistants. The cottages are strongly built and they need to be for, on this exposed height, they catch the full force of the heavy gales that sweep these southern waters in winter. Wallabies and goats are the only animals on the island; the former were brought by a keeper who bred them for the table but when he was transferred the animals were allowed to run wild.
The island has only one landing place - sharply sloping - where a small jetty was erected. Clinging to the side of a towering cliff and facing the landing place, a tortuous pathway, the only means of scaling the height, leads to the top. The cliff is 300 feet high and the climb up the pathway takes 10 to 15 minutes.
Lying forlornly on a slight rise near the jetty is a grave containing the remains of three men who were washed ashore from the ill-fated Pareora. The grave is surrounded by a white-painted fence and set in the middle is a cross bearing an inscription - In memory of J.C. Braithwaite, J.F. Booth, R. Deerly, SS Pareora, 18/9/19. A few yards away and almost hidden behind a clump of salt bush is another cross that marks the grave of a Norwegian whaler named Peterson who was consigned to this lonely resting place in 1838.
A remarkable structure, known as 'Webling's Folly' is erected on the north-western slope of the island. Consisting of hundreds of large stones jammed closely together the rectangular structure is 45 yards long and 15 yards wide. Mr. Webling, a former keeper, intended to use it as a place for yarding goats and, although he and his assistants spent many days in constructing it, it was only used for ahort time and the goats were then allowed to wander free. The fact that there is not a stone disturbed in the structure, although it is exposed to the dreadful force of the winter gales, bears testimony to its strength and to the painstaking care that was exercised in building it.
The name was first given to a railway station in the Mount Lofty Ranges circa 1882. When 'Enemy Place Names' were being deleted from the map in 1918 the Nomenclature Committee suggested that 'Hahndorf' be altered to 'Yantaringa', meaning 'big lookout' but pressure from local citizens persuaded the Government of the day to choose 'Ambleside' which name persisted until 1935 when 'Hahndorf' was restored.
A photograph of a Church Lads' Brigade camp is in the Chronicle,
24 January 1903, page 44,
of a football team in the Observer,
16 October 1930, page 32,
25 July 1935, page 36.
"A Beautiful Spot in the Adelaide Hills" is in the Advertiser, 31 December 1923, page 8a:
One walks out of the Ambleside railway station to a hard white quartz road winding through what is practically virgin forest. There are only one or two houses at the station and the township (Hahndorf in prewar days) is nearly two miles away over the hills. However, the townspeople cling to the old title from long habit. The settlers are still 90% German in origin and, in customs and appearance, retain many of their original characteristics, though their sentiments are over 90% Australian.
This is proved by the experience in World War I when the fear of trouble from the German settlers proved utterly groundless. Wild tales due to the war fever - how wild we were we are just beginning to realise - brought some curious and almost laughable results. It was whispered in Adelaide that a wireless set was installed in the roof of the Hahndorf Hotel capable of sending messages to Hamburg and Berlin. The government sent up a party of soldiers and placed the town under martial law for some days. The story proved utterly unfounded.
The rumour also went around that at Hahndorf enough arms and ammunition were concealed to blow up the whole of Adelaide. The foundation of this story was that one inhabitant had been for years importing the best rifles from the continent for the Hahndorf Kingship, rifle shooting being Hahndorf's main sport. The son of the man whose loyalty was thus questioned soon afterwards went to the war to fight for the Empire.
An obituary of Mrs John Rundle is in the Register, 9 January 1908, page 5b, Observer, 11 January 1908, page 40b,
of H.E. Walton (formerly "Wittwer") in the Register, 4 March 1919, page 4h,
of Mrs Anna W. Sonnemann on 18 May 1921, page 8b,
of J.E. Rothe on 7 January 1922, page 6f,
of J.F.W. Paech on 25 February 1926, page 8h.
The golden wedding of Mr & Mrs H.A. Haebich is reported in theRregister,
21 April 1927, page 8f.
A subdivision of part section 50, Hundred of Dudley by Clement J. Bessell in 1966. The section fronts the American River.
The school opened in 1895 and closed in 1937.
Officially named by the first settlers on Kangaroo Island from the fact that an American whaler was wrecked there circa 1816. The marooned crew built a boat from pine trees, etc., and the structure on which the boat was launched was, according to Mr W.L. Beare who arrived in the Duke of York in 1836, still visible at that time. This information recorded by H.C. Talbot probably relates to Captain Pendleton of the Union and is, in some respects, in contradiction to what is believed to be the facts. (See under "Coal Mine Creek" in Manning's Place Names of SA, p. 74). On Flinders' charts it is shown as Pelican Lagoon.
The school opened in 1873 and closed in 1951.
An obituary of George Simms is in the Observer,
12 July 1913, page 41a.
An article entitled "Our Most Neglected Holiday Resort" is in the Register,
17 February 1904, page 6e:
American River remains unknown and unappreciated by the very people who yearn for a change of the holiday scene. Many years ago somebody was groaning over the neglect of the district - see Observer, 28 September 1844 - 'Kangaroo Island is nearly divided in two by American River. A neck of land separates it from the Southern Ocean. The river affords a perfectly safe harbour in all winds...'
I will not discourage possible visitors to this end of Kangaroo Island by making reference to the shortcomings of the steamer service and to the high tariff - £1 return and 6 shillings extra for meals. It is only the urbanity of the officers on board which makes that part of the trip sufferable. However, the troubles in this respect are all over as soon as Nils Rysberg's sailing boat comes alongside to take off the occasional passenger to American River... There are no hotels for miles around and the virgin dark-green scrub has only been disturbed by orchardists and barley growers...
It is described on
22 February 1905, page 6e,
30 November 1910, page 8f.
"Better Facilities Desired" is in the Advertiser,
7 April 1923, page 11h.
A photograph of the shipping of firewood is in the Observer,
17 December 1904, page 28,
of barley on
27 April 1912, page 32,
of fishing on
26 February 1916, page 26,
of a regatta on
15 January 1927, page 32.
A proposed "Scottish fishermen's" settlement is reported in the Register,
17, 23 and 28 November 1908, pages 5f, 5d and 8h.
Also see South Australia - Immigration - Migrants - Scots.
"American River Revisited" is in the Register,
16 February 1910, page 8a.
Shark hunting is described on
27 March 1922, page 9c; also see
7 February 1925, page 62e.
"Nyls Rysberg of American River" is in the Register,
6 November 1922, page 10d and
a proposed monument in his memory is discussed on
24 October 1928, page 5e,
1 February 1929, page 10h.
An obituary is in the Observer,
4 and 11 November 1922, pages 24b and 55a.
"Sea and Land Sports" is in the Register on
9 January 1923, page 4d; also see
7 February 1923, page 6f,
"The Charms of American River" on
10 February 1925, page 9f.
"Friends, Fish and Fun" is in the Observer,
21 February 1925, page 18a.
"Fishing at American River" is in the Register,
13 and 23 March 1925, pages 11d and 12f.
Also see South Australia - Industries, Rural, Primary & Secondary - Fishing.
An annual regatta is reported in the Register,
4 January 1927, page 13a.
A photograph of the laying of the foundation stone of a hall is in the Chronicle,
28 July 1928, page 41.