SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S FIRST OFFICIAL EUROPEAN SETTLERS set sail in 1836 on board nine ships and landed at Kangaroo Island. But problems such a water supply forced the need for the alternate Adelaide plains site that was picked by surveyor-general Colonel William Light.
While Light and his team searched for an actual site for the city, the immigrants from the first seven ships camped in the sand dunes at Holdfast Bay, the site of Glenelg. This is where first governor John Hindmarsh proclaimed the province of South Australia on December 28, 1836.
When the pioneers moved to the new city site, they camped on the banks of the River Torrens, opposite the site of the future Newmarket Hotel and Town Acre 1. The grassy slopes between the hotel and the river became the railway yards and now the biomedical precinct.
From January-March 1837, migrants camped in tents and wooden huts in two camps named after two of the first migrant ships, the Buffalo and the Coromandel. When Light completed surveying the city, the town acres not purchased before settlement were auctioned in one-acre lots, and the temporary campers who could afford to buy quickly claimed their new town lands.
The first building material was wood from lands around the River Torrens. The Adelaide Aboriginal tribe, the Kaurna, earned income from selling timber. The use of timber was quickly made illegal but persisted covertly into the 1840s.
Legal timber cutting as an early industry was done in wooded areas beyond the city, particularly the Adelaide Hills. Timber getters – “tiersmen” brought their supplies to several merchants on the north eastern side of the cityThe Woodman’s Hotel in Grenfell Street, established in 1838 (later rebuilt and known as The Producers), was named after the large wood yards nearby. There was also another timber yard on the Botanic Hotel site.
Many early homes were built of timber or had roofs of shingles, but the Building Act 1858 outlawed this due to fire hazards fires and termite damage. Prefabricated timber Manning houses also were shipped to South Australia by early colonists. Limestone was one of the first main materials used for building. In most cases, it was easy to obtain as most of Adelaide area sits on a bed of nodular limestone (calcrete).
BEFORE OFFICIAL COLONIAL SETTLEMENT STARTS ON KANGAROO ISLAND IN 1836
CONFLICTING FACTORS AT PLAY IN SETTLEMENT OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
DISAGREEMENTS DOG EARLY DAYS OF THE COLONY
After rejecting Nepean Bay on Kangaroo Island, surveyor general William Light explored eastern Gulf St Vincent for a capital city site. Rapid Bay impressed him but he sailed north to seek the harbour reported by the explorer Captain Collett Barker and whaling captain John Jones. Settlers from the first seven ships began arriving and started camping in the sand dunes near the Oatawalonga creek at Holdfast Bay two weeks before Light found the entrance to the Port Adelaide river on November 21, 1836. The colony was proclaimed when governor John Hindmarsh arrived on December 28, 1836.
South Australia’s first governor John Hindmarsh and resident commissioner James Hurtle Fisher cemented their dislike for each other during the five-month journey to South Australia on HMS Buffalo in 1836. Fisher was second in charge to the governor but had been given entirely separate powers regarding sale of land and emigration. This power division led to disputes between Hindmarsh and Fisher rising in colony’s council of government, and so violently outside, that in 1837 the resident magistrate's court bound them over to keep the peace towards each other.
FACTIONS DEVELOP AROUND POWER PLAY BETWEEN GOVERNOR AND RESIDENT COMMISSIONER