About Edithburgh

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Edithburgh is located on the Yorke Peninsula approximately 80 km due west of Adelaide across Gulf St Vincent. To reach the town by road, it is necessary to drive 228 km via the Princes Highway and around the top of Gulf St Vincent.

When the town was surveyed in 1869 it was named after Lady Edith Fergusson, the wife of Sir James Fergusson, the South Australian Governor from 1868-1873. . The town’s two main streets were named Edith and Blanche after the couple’s daughters.

In the early 1900’s the town reached a size of just over 1000 people and was one of South Australia’s busiest ports, loading such items as barley, wheat, gypsum and salt collected from salt lakes in the district

Although now a holiday destination, Edithburgh was once the third busiest port in South Australia (after Adelaide and Wallaroo). It is surrounded by nearly 200 lakes which were used to mine salt that was shipped out from the Edithburgh jetty.

History points:

* The Narangga Aborigines lived in this area for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. They lived off fish and crustaceans, left their markings on the rocks and left shell middens where they camped.

* In 1802, Matthew Flinders became the first European in the area when he sailed along the coast and named the Troubridge Shoal which, at the time, was nothing more than a sandbar on a limestone reef.

* By 1847, one of the earliest settlers, John Bowden, was running sheep in the district.

* In 1851, the emigrant ship, Marion, was ran aground on the Troubridge Shoal off the coast from Edithburgh. There was no loss of life.

* The Troubridge Lighthouse became operational in 1856.

* The town and district was surveyed in 1869.

* The Edithburgh jetty was built in 1873 and was used primarily to ship salt, lime and gypsum across Gulf St Vincent to Adelaide.

* Between 1891 and 1900 an average of 40,000 tonnes of salt per year was being shipped out of Edithburgh.

* In 1950, the salt export from the town ceased and in 1973, the jetty was a port was closed.

 

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