In 1836 between July and December eight ships came across to Kangaroo Island and aboard two of those boats were Col William Light aboard the HMS Rapid and George Strickland Kingston aboard the HMS Cygnet.
Light and Kingston both set off to survey the coastline and find a bigger land mass for the colonists to settle on. This is when they came across what is now known as Glenelg. Glenelg was named after Lord Glenelg the Secretary of State for the Colonists.
In December 28th 1836 Captain Hindmarsh arrived aboard the HMS Buffalo. There was a replica of this ship made and is running as a restaurant in Wigly Reserve today. It was on this day that Captain Hindmarsh Proclaimed South Australia where the Old Gum Tree stands today.
There is a lot of history in Glenelg and too many to list, but here are a few that you can see such as;
Glenelg Jetty (The Pier)
- The 381 metre Jetty was built in 1859. Iin 1873 the lighthouse that was situated at the end of the jetty caught on fire, completely destroying it. Then in April 1948 Glenelg was hit by a hurricane and the jetty was washed away. This only left the kiosk and aquarium , which was unsafe and therefore had to be demolished. In 1969 the jetty was rebuilt, but this time only being 215 metres long. As you can see the Jetty has had a few changes occur over the years.
Pier Hotel (Stamford Grand)
- The Pier Hotel was the first building to be built in 1856 and was a lot smaller than the Stamford Grand is today. It was then removed and replaced by a 3 storey building in 1912. The building was demolished again in 1990 and replaced with a more modern and stylish Stamford Grand.
- The Pioneer Memorial was erected in 1936 to represent 4 of the biggest colonists that came out here, the names of the colonists were placed at the bottom of the monument. The monument was finished off with the HMS Buffalo sitting on the top of it.
- The HMS Buffalo is located in Wiggly Reserve and is a replica of the ship that came out in 1836, with the first Governor (Hindmarsh)from England. The replica of the Buffalo is today used as a restaurant, for all to enjoy. There are many artifacts from the actual Buffalo in the restaurant for you to look at.
The Old Gum Tree
- In December 1836 the old gum tree was the site where Governor Hindmarsh proclaimed South Australia. There were approximately 200 settlers and colonial secretary Robert Gouger present at the proclamation. Today the proclamation is read on the exact date each year and anyone can attend this event.
- Partridge House was built in 1899. In 1971 it was going to be demolished and made into units, but the Glenelg council decided to buy the building and restore it for functions and weddings. The fountain in the front garden was a gift from William Townsend in 1877. The beautiful gardens and grounds are open to the public every day, but the house is closed.
- Glenara is located on the south esplanade and is a beautifully designed house that was built in 1873 for William Hill, up until 1990 it was still owned by the Hill family.
The Town Hall
- The town hall was built in 1875 and was designed by Edmund Wright, but without the clock and the clock tower, it’s purpose was to be used as the Institute building. In 1887 the Glenelg council bought the building and was then used as the town hall. In 1997 the Glenelg and Brighton council formed the Holdfast Bay Council and the town hall was no longer being used, this is when it turned into the historical museum, called The Bay Discovery Centre.
We can not forget to mention the great people who were here long before the British settlers even arrived and that is the aboriginal group called the Kaurna people, they lived in and around the Glenelg area.
If you would like to find out more about the history of Glenelg please drop in to the Discovery Centre and they will only be too happy to answer any questions. If you would like to know more about the geological history of Glenelg please go to http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/coasts/pdfs/no27.pdf