The First Jetty

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... after several years of research, I am no further closer to determine what happened to the first jetty. - Geoffrey Chapman.

I surmise that there was a jetty erected for the loading and unloading of people, animals and goods, the first jetty being built at Beatrice Point [east of the Mulberry tree] in 1837. It may have been just sufficient in size for holding a barge or similar size dingy steady for unloading and loading goods .

There is only one sketch of this first jetty and its exact dimensions and length are unknown. Reference of wharf & jetty July 1838 by descendant of Giles and several sketches.

As the water currents at Nepean Bay in this area is not particularly fast flowing, not enough to have caused massive amounts of erosion in a short period. However, the first jetty would have been exposed through rough weather from winds in the North-East-Southerly quarters

There is no historical information available that details why the first jetty was demolished- probably just deteriorated over the years and disappeared

As second private jetty "Jerry Martin’s Jetty" was built in about 1839, about 400 metres to the south to service the old metal quarry at the Bluff . I have a references somewhere, that the Calnan's arrange for timber to be cut and carted from Cygnet River. Captain Jerry Martin's ketches were shipping basalt up to Port River for about 10 years

I have a suggestion which may explain the circumstances- the piles in the sea would have disappeared soon after as they may have been built by unsuitable timber brought out by the first ships.

The planking from the first jetty may have been used on the Jerry Martin's jetty-the piles which are probably red gum have weathered the time. I feel that the Jerry Martin's jetty might have been a bit flimsy by the late 1850's - or he might have removed the upper structure of the jetty for sale.

Certainly by the late 1850's , the residents were using the small sheltered cove at Bear’s Point to land the boat's tenders.-they were not using the jetty at the basalt quarry. There is a reference about Roll's point at Brownlow [Nepean Bay] also being used- probably the small beach where the Yacht Club is now located

Timber was being shipped from the Cygnet River Mouth at Nepean Bay from 1857 to 1861 and small amounts until 1864.

It was not until 1884 before a jetty were constructed at Kingscote at Bear’s Point to service the local community.

Having spent a few weeks in Tasmania- I now realise how much the settlement over there around Hobart , New Norfolk, Hamilton & Richmond had grown by the mid to late 1930's- against the SA settlement, everything would have been very primitive!! No wonder all the stock would have been shipped from Tassie.

25 Jan 2019

I have been researching during the hot weather on the early jetties at Kingscote: Shipping :

1. From March 1840 to Nov 1841’s basalt (stone) was quarried from Kangaroo Island was sent to build a road way from the wharf [north end of what is now Commercial road to Queens town] a distance of about 7 miles across the swamp lands. original port road. The boats loaded from the second jetty in the Bay of Shoals

Schooners: “Victoria” [ 20 trips] , “John Pirie” [13 trips] , “Truelove” [10 trips] Cutters: “Francis” [4 trips] Brig “New Holland” [4 trips].

2. 1850 June 20—The ketch “Bountiful”, 58 tons, Clark master, from Kangaroo Island. Cargo: stone

3. In about 1890’s Captain Jerry Martin had the contract to cart basalt quarry rubble up to Port Adelaide. Captain Jerry Martin set up working a new “Quarry” at eastern Bluff- near the old Pioneer Cemetery. He built a 3rd jetty purely for loading basalt rock onto ketches. This was a private jetty and there was no suitable access to the jetty by locals for transporting goods

Captain Jerry Martin started carting stone in 1893 in the ketch “Napperby” and finished 1911I . In all, 76 boat loads containing some 3,088 tons, worth £4,500 was shipped to Port Adelaide.

Geoffrey Chapman