Adelaide

This page includes my grandfather's postcards from Adelaide. Adelaide was the next port of call for P&O liners after Fremantle.

Adelaide
Adelaide aerial view as seen on Google Earth [1] Click image for enlarged view

Brief History of Adelaide

Before the coming of the Europeans, the area of South Australia was inhabited by the Kaurna people. Within a few decades of European settlement of South Australia, Kaurna culture was almost completely destroyed with the last speaker of Kaurna language dying in 1929.The surrounding area was an open grassy plain with patches of trees and shrub which had been managed by the Kaurna for hundreds of generations.

The South Australian Company was established in 1834 to populate the area around Adelaide. One of the founding directors of the company was Henry Robert Kingscote (1802-1882). I investigated him whilst tracing the history of an Edwardian steam yacht named Stephanotis and you can find out more about Henry Kingscote HERE. The company named the first settlement in the area on Kangaroo Island, Kingscote after Henry and emigrants started to arrive in 1836 - though Kingscote himself never went there. There had once been an aboriginal population on Kangaroo island, but these were long-gone and just a small number of 'sealers' were there when the Europeans arrived. The average age of the first group of emigrants was 19 years. After the area had been surveyed by William Light, the new province's capital was established at nearby Adelaide to his plans.

South Australia was officially established as a British Province in England in February 1836. The first governor proclaimed the commencement of colonial government in South Australia on 28 December 1836; the event is commemorated in South Australia as Proclamation Day. Adelaide, named after Queen Adelaide, the wife of the then monarch King William IV of Britain, was established as a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution. Unlike several other Australian colonies, South Australia avoided the import of convicts.

Adelaide was relatively untouched by 'Gold Rushes'. A find at Castambul about 10 miles to the east in 1846 proved unproductive. Finds at Echunga about 15 miles to the south-east in 1852 and 1868 were significant but were trivial compared with other parts of Australia. There were other finds over the coming years with the most productive being at Teetulpa, over 100 miles to the north.

Adelaide was Australia's third largest city for most of the 20th century. Electric street lighting was introduced in 1900 and electric trams were transporting passengers by 1909.

Adelaide Postcards

The monochrome postcards were all printed in England for Rigby Ltd. Adelaide.

Botanic Gardens

The unused postcard below shows the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide. A young man with a straw boater and a walking cane strolls past a pond in what looks like a posed photograph.

Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens Adelaide - date unknown.

Currie Street

The unused postcard below shows Currie Street in Adelaide. There is a large sign for the Adelaide Steamship Company on the side of the building in the centre of the image and a number of horse-drawn vehicles in the street. There are a lot of telegraph wires but no trams as far as I can see.

Currie Street
CurrieStreet Adelaide - date unknown.

General Post Office

The unused postcard below shows the General Post Office in Adelaide. There is a amall public park in the foreground.

General Post Office
General Post Office Adelaide - date unknown.

Railway Viaduct South Australia

The unused postcard was printed in England by an unknown firm for Rigby Ltd. Adelaide. It shows a wooden railway viaduct which it says is on the South Australian Southern Line. In fact it is the Sleeps Hill Viaduct which was part of the Adelaide to Melbourne (via Aldgate) line. Construction of the line, for which the primary purpose was to carry ballast from local quarries, started in 1879 and this section opened in 1883. The route was unable to support larger engines and a new one was constructed with the old route finally closing in 1919. The second image, not part of the collection, shows the viaduct looking from the opposite direction.

Railway Viaduct South Australia
Sleep Hills Railway Viaduct South Australia - date unknown.
Sleep Hills Viaduct
Image showing the Sleep Hills viaduct looking in the opposite direction to that on the postcard [11]

Click on the link below to go to the page on Melbourne - the next port of call in Australia.