YORKE PENINSULA. STORY OF AN ITINERARY, __TOWNS. FARMS, AND CHURCHES.
No. 1. The change which has been wrought by superphosphates, helped by good seasons, in southern Yorke Peniusula, has been of a most remarkable character. A gentleman who revisited the district a few, months ago, after an absence of many years, remarked on returning to Adelaide:— ''When I was last, there some of the farmers had not a second pair of trousers. This time it took me all my time to dodge their motor cars.'' Probably there was a little hyperbole about this statement, but there is no doubt the alteration in the condition of the place and the people has been marvellous The object of this article is not, however, to go info detail concerning the productions or the fruitfulness of the southern Peninsula, but merely to give some idea of the size and the relative positions of the different centres of population, which are dotted so thickly over the country.
Methodist Churches as Guide Marks.
Starting from Kadina, my way was through wide wheat fields, on either side of the road, to Boor's Plains, six miles distant. There is no township here, but a cosy little Methodist Church, built of stone, denotes that there are settlers not far away. Another four miles takes me to Cunnliffe. Here again the only building is a substantial looking stone Methodist Church. Five miles further a third church, belonging to the same denomination, which evidently is flourishing and enterprising, tells me that I have reached Agery. I travel seven miles more, and on a breezy elevation I come to the township of Arthurton. For the whole of the 23 miles from Kadina there is a beautiful metal road, while as far as the eye ran see on the left and right are magnificent crops of wheat, which are looking extremely, healthy, and promise to yield an abundant harvest. Arthurton is 10 miles from Ardrossan, and nine miles from Maitland. The buildings are an hotel, which has lately been greatly improved, a Methodist and a Roman Catholic Church, two general stores, a public hall, a schoolhouse, a blacksmiths forge, and even private houses. Round about, however, is a fine farming district, and there is an air of prosperity everywhere.
The Maitland District.
Covering the intervening nine miles, I arrive at the prettily situated town of Maitland, which has made great progress during late years, as a result of the fine harvests reaped in the neighborhood. There are two large hotels here— the 'Maitland' and the 'Yorke Valley'— and there are four churches, the Anglican, Congregational, Methodist, and Roman Catholic. There are also three general stores, two banks, a post and telegraph oflice, an institute hall, a police-station, a district council office, a large motor garage and motor repairing establishment, an ironworker, two butchers, and as many bakers, saddlers, hairdressers, and greengrocers, a restaurant, a tailor, and four builders and carpenters. Most things that a reasonable man can want, it will be seen, may be obtained locally. Maitland has made great strides of late, and is still growing. There are, in addition to the business places named 80 private houses, and four more were in course of erection while I was there. The crops all round Maitland are excellent, and the farmers are looking hopefully to the verdict of the harvester. The town occupies a very central position, being 31 miles from Kadina, 22 miles from Moonta. and 15 miles from the coast at Port Victoria.
Leaving Maitland, I travelled towards Port Victoria on a very good road, and seven miles out I came to the township of South Kiikerran, which extends two miles along the road. At the Maitland end there are two very well built Lutheran churches, the material of construction being stone. At the other extremity, towards Port Victoria, there is the store and post-office; while eight private houses are erected or the land between. A journey of eight miles more brings one to Port Victoria, which is on the western side of the Peninsula. There is a very substantial jetty reaching out into deep water, where oversea ships can tie to load wheat and other cargo. Last season 100,000 bags: of wheat were brought into the port from the surrounding farms, and sold to the local miller and the various wheat buyers. There were 55,000 bags shipped away, and 45,000 bags were, at the time of my visit, still remaining in the wheat stores and stacks waiting for transhipment. The township is very compact, and has grown considerably during the last five years. There are many fine buildings, including a flour mill, two banks, an institute hall, a post-office, an hotel, two general stores, six wheat-buying agencies, a public school, two bakers and a butcher, an Anglican and a Methodist Church, a saddler, an ironworker, a blacksmith, and 24 private houses.
Port Victoria to Curramulka.
Wauraltie is my next stage, and it is eight miles away on the Port Vincent road, It consists of a general store, a public school, a Methodist church, a public hall, a post-office, the business of which conducted in a private house and two dwellings. Wauraltie is only three, miles from the sea beach, on which beautiful nautilus shells are often found, and it is considered to be one of the most healthy places on the Peninsula. Six miles further on is Mount Rat, and here there is yet another Methodist Church, with a public school, and two houses. After another stage of six miles I reach the very beautifully, situated town of Curramulka, nestling comfortably between the hills. This place, too thanks to the prosperity of the adjacent farmers, has greatly improved of late. There are three general stores, a bank, a hotel, an institute hall, a post-office, a school, Methodist and Baptist churches, a boot shop, two blacksmiths, a builder, a saddler, and 22 private residences. The drive of 20 miles from Port Victoria to Curramulka if most enjoyable, the road lying through hilly and wooded country, while all the way on both sides of the traveller are crops that do the heart good to look upon. The distance to Minlaton is nine miles and to Port Vincent 12 miles.
Maitland to Minlaton.
Maitland having been reacted again, I left by the main road is the direction of Edithburgh. The first place of call was Urania, a small town, consisting of a substantially built Methodist Church, newly built, a general store and post-office, a public hall, a public school, and two blacksmith's shops. It is ten miles from Maitland, seven miles from Wauraltie, and 18 miles from Minlaton. Nine miles farther on is the old Mount Rat Hotel, which, has been closed for many years, it was quite a busy place 26 years ago, when it was kept by the late Mr. Henry Humberstone, who afterwards built a great hotel with 60 rooms at Victor Harbor. Nine miles more along the same brings me to Minlaton, which has seen great, expansion during the last few years, end is now one of the largest and most flourishing centres on Southern Yorke Peninsula. There are here Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, and Roman Catholic churches, two banks, a post-office, police station, and hotel, a handsome and commodious institute, four general stores, a flour mill, public school, and Masonic hall. There are also two builders, three blacksmiths, tailor, a motor garage, a bootmaker, an ironworker, two saddlers, two hairdressers, and 72 private houses. The good times enjoyed by the surrounding farmers are reflected in the brisk and active town, which is nine miles from Curramulka, an equal distance from Mount Rat, and 18 miles from Yorketown.
Leaving Minlaton I continued on the Yorketown road for two miles, and then turning to the right at the finger past and travelling for seven miles more I arrived at the little village of Brentwood, which is only two miles from the sea on the western side of the Peninsula. Although, as in all other cases, there are farmers doing well in the adjacent country, there are at Brentwood (which is 13 miles from Warooka, and 11 miles from Yorketown), only a school, an institute hall, the inevitable Methodist Church, a store and post-office, two blacksmith's shops, and four private houses. Travelling from Brentwohousesd and passing at the back of the sandhills for 11 miles I came in sight of Warooka, two miles ahead on the top of a hill. On the way from Brentwood to Warooka I passed through about a mile of water, which had overflowed the metal road in three different places. Warooka has, of course, a Methodist Church, only recently built, with a post-office, institute ball, public school, two general stores, a hotel, a blacksmith's shop, and 18 private houses. Warooka is six miles from Port Turton, 14 miles from Yorketown, and 23 miles from Corney Point.
YORKE PENINSULA. STORY OF AN ITINERARY, __TOWNS. FARMS, AND CHURCHES.
I closed my former article concerning my itinerary through the towns of Southern Yorke Peninsula with a description of the township of Warooka. Travelling thence to the eastward for 14 miles I reached Yorketown, which is differently situated to any other centre on the Peninsula. It is at the junction of five roads and extends for some distance along each of them. These five high-ways lead to Warooka Edithburgh, Stansbury, Minlaton, and Port Moorowie. Yorketown is a very large town, and it has progressed exceedingly during the last 10 years. There are at present in its busy streets seven general stores, bank, two hotels, seven-places of worship —Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, and two Lutheran Churches. There are also a Town Hall, a Masonic Hall, post-office, police station, public school, court-house, and newspaper office. The wants of the people are further catered for by four saddlers, three bootmakers, two greengrocers, two ironworkers, two tailors, a butcher, a baker, three blacksmiths and coachbuilders, two builders, two cycle works, a hospital, a painter, and a hairdresser. There are also 90 private houses. The central situation of the place is shown by the fact that it is but nine miles from Edithburgh, 14 miles from Warooka, 15 miles from Stansbury, 18 miles from Minlaton, and nine miles from Port Moorowie.
The Centre of the Salt Industry.
Leaving Yorketown I travelled over a very bad road, which has been terribly cut up by waggons carrying heavy loads of salt, and eventually reached Edithburgh, the last town on the lower extremity of the Peninsula. By the main road it is 89 miles from Kadina, and it has a larger population than any other centre on the southern part of the Peninsula. The importance of the salt industry in this neighborhood Is shown by the fact that there are three large salt refining establishments here, which employ a large number of men. The other buildings comprise four general stores, an institute hall, an Anglican and a Methodist Church, the latter of which has only just been built, a post-office, and a bank. There also also a butcher, three blacksmiths, two saddlers, four greengrocers a public school, cycle works, and coffee palace, with a chemist, a hairdresser, two bakers, a painter, bootmaker, dressmaker, two hotels, a police station, and 115 private houses. There is regular communication by steamer with Port Adelaide, and for the benefit of the shipping trade, which is at times very brisk, there is a very wide and substantial jetty, on which are laid three lines of rails. These are used principally in connection with the trucking of salt from the different refineries, which not only supply Adelaide with that indispensable article, but also countries far beyond the border of this State.
The Grave of 32 Seamen.
Troubridge lighthouse is five miles to the south of Edithburgh, end it was near that spot that the Clan Ranald foundered on January 31, 1909. I visited the cemetery about half a mile to the north of Edithburgh, where all the unfortunate people who lost their lives as a result of the disaster are buried. In the far extremity of this picturesque burial ground there is a large grave, extending for a length of 60 ft, in which are laid the remains of the 32 lascar seamen whose bodies were washed, ashore after the steamer disappeared. No headstone marks the spot, nor is there any other memorial of the dead who sleep underneath. This, I consider, is much to be regretted, and it would be a kindly act if a small sum of money were raised with which to meet the cost of erecting a monument, on which might be written the story of the catastrophe and the names of the poor fellows who lost their lives so far away from their relatives and their country. I will do what I can to help forward such a movement.
A Journey Along the Coast.
Edithburgh is nine miles from Yorketown and 16 miles from Stansbury. Leaving the first-named town, I began my return journey along the coast, the first three miles being by a road which was in a very dilapidated condition owing to the heavy salt traffic which passes over it. Coobowie, which is that distance from Edithburgh, owes much of its activity to the salt industry. There are three sheds for the storage of that material. An hotel, the inevitable Methodist Chapel, two general stores, a blacksmith's shop, which is also the post and telephone office, and eight private houses, make up the list of buildings. There is no need for a jetty here, as the limestone rock on the brink of the sea is so hard that it forms a splendid bottom and the waggons can be driven right alongside the barges. There they can either unload or take in cargo for the shore. This is a primitive way of doing things, but apparently the teamsters and the townsfolk are satisfied. Still continuing along the coast for another five miles, I arrive at the little village of Pickering, which was formerly known as Wool Bay. This centre possesses a large and substantial shop, which also serves as a post-office, and a big store, in which divine service is held. There are six private houses. Messrs. D. Miller & Co., of Waymouth-street, Adelaide, have six large limekilns in the vicinity and these employ a goodly number of men. They send extensive and regular consignments of lime to the metropolis. There is a small jetty here, but it is not adequate for the requirements of the local trade and should be both lengthened and widened. The Government have already been requested to vote a sum of money for that purpose, and the residents hope that their wishes will be complied with. Continuing along by, the side of the sea for seven miles further, I reach the prosperous town of Stansbury. There are two long jetties here. That right opposite the centre of the town was erected many years ago, and although it reaches far out into the gulf the water at the end is not deep enough to allow any but very shallow draught steamers to come alongside. About three years ago, therefore, another jetty was constructed at a spot at considerable distance north of the original structure, and there is some inconvenience attached to its utilisation, owing to its distance from the business heart of Stansbury. The town has a large number of buildings. There are an institute hall, an Anglican and a Methodist Church, a postoffice, and three general stores. A butcher, a baker, and two blacksmiths are earning a comfortable living, and there are 48 private houses. Mr. Pitt has four limekilns here and he sends a large quantity of the product to Adelaide.
Port Vincent and Ardrossan.
Eleven miles further on is Port Vincent, the most prettily situated of all the harbors on the Peninsula. It remained a small place until about two or three years ago, when it made a start on the road of progress and improvement. This place has the advantage of deep water right up to the edge of the sea, along which wharfage accommodation 400 ft. in extent has been erected. On this wharf there is a large crane, capable of lifting very heavy weights from the holds of the ships into the waiting waggons. Port Vincent has grown considerably in recent months. When I was last there there was only a small hotel and a few wooden buildings. To-day the public-house is large and commodious, and there are three general stores, a flourmill, a Methodist Church, and a blacksmith's shop. A post and telephone office is connected with one of the stores, and there are two bank agencies, while a large institute is in course of construction. In Addition, there are 15 private houses. Port Vincent is about equal distant from Stanbury (11 miles) and Curramulka (12 miles)
As I was informed that it was about 30 miles from Port Vincent to Ardrossan along the coast, and that the road was very rough, I determined to travel by way of Curramulka. The road in this instance was very good. About a mile to the west of Curramulka I struck the Three-chain Travelling Stock-road, which runs northward for 24 miles right into the town of Ardrossan. This place has gone ahead wonderfully during the last few years. It contains a large implement factory, of which Mr. Smith is the enterprising proprietor. This establishment covers an area of 2.5 acres and gives steady employment to 100 workmen. There are also an Institute hall, a post-oflice, two hotels, three general stores, a draper's shop, two bakers, two butchers, a public school, an ironworker, a bank, a boarding-house, and 80 private houses. With the object of providing proper handling of the increasing quantity of goods carried over the jetty it has been found necessary to double its width and that much-needed work is now nearly complete. Mr. Barton, one of the local storekeepers, is erecting expensive additions to his business premises. Messrs J. Tiddy & Co., storekeepers, of Mailan, who founded a branch here about 18 months ago, have been so successful, too, that they are contemplating the construction of an emporium, which will be, when completed, the most extensive building of its kind on Southern Yorke Peninsula. Ardrossan has the advantage of direct daily mail communication by way of South Hammocks with Adelaide.
Evidences of Prosperity.
Travelling again by means of the Three-chain-road and still going to the north, I reach, after a stage of 11 miles, the township of Price, which consists of an hotel, three stores, three saddlery shops, a black smith's shop, and a small hall, which is used for day school purposes during the week and as place of divine worship on Sundays. There are eight wheat-buying agencies and six private houses. Last season there were 70,000 bags of wheat shipped from this port, despite the fact that the jetty and its approaches are in a very neglected condition and badly need attention. Price is 16 miles from the South Hummocks railway-station and 14 miles from Arthurton. The name of this brisk port calls up recollections of the late lion. Thomas Price, and I was pleased to notice during my journeyings what a large number of the residents of the Peninsula have preserved the excellent likenesses that were issued at the time of his death. I saw numbers of these hanging up in the business-places or on the walls of private residences—a sufficient proof of the high esteem in which the memory of his excellent work is held in all parts of the State. I have now completed the brief chronicle of a tour through all the townships of Southern Yorke Peninsula. I was delighted to see everywhere the splendid appearance of the crops, and to listen to the confident way in which residents spoke of the prospects of the coming harvest. On all hands there were evidences of contentment, progress, and success. More especially was this the case when I got among the farms where, during the last few years, the men who are working the land have been able to build handsome residences. Many of these houses in appearance and in regard to the aspect of comfort which surrounds them are equal to the majority of the villas which have been erected in the suburbs of Adelaide. They range in size from five to 14 rooms, and are replete with all the accessories of a convenient dwelling. With very great certainty, I predict a happy and affluent future both for the agriculturists and the commercial glasses on Southern Yorke Peninsula.