Remembering our history

1890: Bullock teams taking wool from "Yudnapinna" to Port Augusta. PHOTO: SLSA, B 54867
1890: Bullock teams taking wool from "Yudnapinna" to Port Augusta. PHOTO: SLSA, B 54867

Yudnapinna Homestead, 80 kilometres north-west of Port Augusta, was built about 1850 and the property was one of the largest sheep stations in South Australia, shearing 100,000 sheep in the 1850s.

But what was happening in the world at that period?

The population of Australia was 400,000.

The Governor of South Australia was Sir Henry Fox Young.

On February 9, Elizabeth McArthur, co-founder of the wool industry in Australia, died.

On February 23, Cesar Ritz, Swiss hotelier, was born.

On May 1, Prince Arthur of the United Kingdom was born.

On January 27, Edward Smith, later the British captain of the Titanic, was born.

On June 1, 75 male convicts were transported to Fremantle.

In October, the University of Sydney was founded as Australia’s first, so the oldest university in Australia.

And in the Port Augusta area:

In the 1850s, Port Augusta was named.

John Horrocks left Adelaide in July 1846 on an exploration trip and was the first white man to find the way through the Flinders Ranges that is called Horrocks Pass. Horrocks rode the first camel that was landed in Australia.

Port Augusta housing consisted of two tents and a temporary building of palings that could house three people.

The price for town blocks was eight pounds, and for a water frontage 15 pounds.

Sheep properties were established and it was a common sight to see a continuous line of wool-laden teams stretching from Tassie Street to the present Pastoral Hotel, no doubt some from Yudnapinna Station.

The population then was 650 people.

Water on the Westside was sold at six pence a bucket. These buckets were not large and a thirsty horse could drink six bucketsful.

In 1870, the first pole of the overland telegraph line to Port Darwin was planted in Port Augusta.

The first courthouse was built in 1877 of marble from Kapunda.

In 1870, John Forrest travelled through Port Augusta, surveying Edward John Eyre’s land route to Western Australia.

Forrest made botanical collections during the expedition and gave them to Ferdinand von Mueller, who in turn named Eremophila Forrestii in his honour.

His great nephew is Andrew Forrest - nicknamed Twiggy, one of the riches philanthropists in Australia.

The City of Adelaide was built in Scotland in 1864. She was one of the fastest ‘most luxurious clippers in the world’, now the oldest, and is now at Port Adelaide.

Our premier is impressed with the development there as a tourist attraction. At a conference convened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2001, the ship’s name was reverted back to the City of Adelaide.

This wooden clipper ship is one of 10 great ships of the world.

Between 1864 and 1886 it made 23 trips from the United Kingdom to Adelaide - the only ship to do so, and on each trip she came to Port Augusta for cargo.

Often 17 ships were moored for up to six months in our harbour, including other famous ships. What a wonderful sight it must have been to see those sailing ships come up the gulf.

It’s important to remember how historic we have been in the early development of our state, and all that happened around the time Yudnapinna Homestead was built