Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 28 May 1910, page 5

Kangaroo Island Farms.


Twelve years ago Mrs T. Price, of Highgrove Farm, Hundred of Menzies, sustained a bereavement in the death of her husband, [Thomas Price d. 12 Mar 1898] and four years later her nephew (Mr J. N. Davis) came from America to take over the reins of management. Alter Mr Davis had examined the property he was well satisfied with the quality of the land and lost little time in getting to work. When he had cultivated 60 acres of virgin soil on the northern portion of the farm the neighbors looked over the fence and smiled — but a return of 50 bushels of barley and 3 tons of hay to the acre forced them to the confession that the results had far exceeded their expectations. The following year Mr Davis ' cropped' 200 acres of the same country. Result: — 40 bushels of barley per acre. The third year he tried wheat —and up came the winning number again — 30 bushels.

Highgrove Farm is one of the links in a very long chain of evidence which, per medium of the Kangaroo Island Courier, is going to refute the incorrect and idle statements of those who are continually discounting the qualities of K.I., as an agricultural and pastoral district. It comprises 4,500 acres of country — subdivided into ten paddocks, each of these being blessed with a good supply of water. In addition to the homestead (which is nicely situated on a slope and protected by a grove of gums) there are two cottages on the property. During the week the farm was visited by a representative of this paper who, through the kind hospitality of Mrs Price and Mr Davis, spent a pleasant and instructive time. The outing was not a 'fine-weather' one, but none the less enjoyable for that. After lunch, Mr Davis acting as pilot, the first move was made in the direction of the stables. We question if there is any farm in the Commonwealth that can boast of anything better in the shape of accommodation for horses and machinery than the substantial structure at Highgrove. The walls are of K.I. limestone — and the roof of galvanised iron. The building is 200 feet in length and 40 feet in width. One half is devoted to the well-being of the horses — and the rest for the protection of the machinery, The whole was designed by Mr Davis and constructed under his supervision. At the time of visiting the stables 24 splendid working horses, in prime condition, were observed feeding in their stalls. Highgrove, carries at present 43 horses, 25 cattle and 1000 sheep, Mr Davis being & firm believer in mixed farming (particularly for Kangaroo Island.) Crossing the farmyard a number of fine young ' porkers' were seen running about. The visitor was informed that there were 30 of these on the farm and that— 'in proportion to the attention given they formed the most profitable item.'

After visiting the stalls of Lawrence Drew and The Pilot, the two equine monarchs of Highgrove, a fine stack of 166 tons of hay was viewed with approval and the next item on the programme was a canter over the northern portion of the property through the wind and rain. All over this country beautiful feed — about 3 inches high — was coming up off the stubble. This land would easily carry two sheep to the acre and last year it gave an average return of 38 bushels of barley per acre. Half-an-hour later the writer was travelling the southern part of Highgrove over some of the finest country it has ever been his lot to see. The creeks running into the dams in the various paddocks must have gladdened the heart of the stockmaster . In one paddock passed through there were acres and acres of fine natural root grass—half a foot in height — besides a splendid show of stiver grass and trifolium. And the reflection of the scribe who pens these lines was as follows : — ' What do they know of K.I., who only Kingscote know ?'

We passed over 300 acres of country which is ready for the plough — and this useful implement will soon be tearing it up. Riding along the side of a hill the horsemen viewed with pleasure a splendid growth of rye grass coming up through the stubble. And then, by way of distinction we traversed a strip of country which, Mr Davis states, is identical with those thousands of acres of 'that, useless ironstone country' — that ' bug-bear of agricultural experts and ' lion in the path of the railway.' On this useless ? country, covered with scrub, the feed was shooting up in a strong, healthy fashion— pleasing alike to the eye of ' man and beast.' ' Do you think you could make a living off this useless country, by the cultivation of cereals ?' asked the scribe. ' I guess I could,' returned Mr Davis. ' And a good living too.' Patience, perseverance and systematic farming can accomplish wonders and it must be very satisfactory for the man who has been fighting the scrub year after year to ride over the property when opportunity affords and see the standing monument of his work, in the shape of hundreds of acres of cleared land. On the homeward way various topics are indulged in . Mr Davis is an ardent advocate of the railway and he marvels (like most people who know K.I.) at the apathy displayed by the 'powers that be' in this matter. Then the talk veers round to the fine fall of rain the district has been favored with, and the opinion is ex pressed that we have had enough, and three or four weeks fine weather is the next thing to wish for. On the subject of K.I's. vegetable-producing powers Mr Davis becomes eloquent and talks of cauliflowers — any amount of them — grown at the Highgrove garden, with hearts weighing 25 lbs. This year 400 acres of country will be cultivated at Highgrove Farm — 150 of this will be devoted to oats, and the balance to wheat and barley. Last year— not a good season for K.I, by the way — the average throughout was 28 bushels — so that Mr Davis should ship away a very weighty -consignment of grain next season.

Kangaroo Island Farms. (1910, May 28). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191634383

... Highgrove Farm, where the feed at this time of the year is so dense in its growth that, we venture to say, in itself it would be quite sufficient to give a ' knock-out' blow to adverse critics of the Island. The mellilotus, in particular, has made marvellous headway, and the sleek cattle, horses (over 40 odd by the way of those last named) and sheep, browsing in the paddocks, would make an advertisement such as would for ever silence those detractors who have (like that well-known animal — the ass) been lifting up their voices from time to time in condemnation of a district of which they really know absolutely nothing at all. And this only goes to show what can be done when the land is thoroughly cleared and sweetened...

Kangaroo Island Farms. (1910, October 1). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191635153


...On Friday next at 1 p.m. the Sunshine Harvester Coy. will give a trial of a stump-jump disc plough at Mr J. N. Davis', Highgrove, Kingscote, near the homestead. All interested are cordially invited to attend.

A FIELD TRIAL AT HIGHGROVE. (1908, February 15). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191636114

"... Well impressed with the cultivator..." ... The machine was put though some very severe tests and was drawn easily by six horses, the disc going to a depth of five inches. One great feature of this implement is that as soon as the disc jumps the spring releases and the disc rolls over the stump, consequently there is not breaking of discs as with other implements...

Field Trial. (1914, May 16). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189513927

The value of a permanent supply of fresh water for stock is, of course, too well-known to the grazier to be under-estimated, Highgrove Farm, near Kingscote, has a good supply of dams throughout the various paddocks but this year Mr J. N. Davis is adding further to the comfort and convenience of sheep, cattle and horses on the coastal portion of the property. He found out, some twelve months ago, that in different localities, fresh water could be obtained — only a few yards from the sea — by sinking a comparatively short distance. This week Mr Davis, with his assistants, while scooping out a dam, struck fresh water which, when last seen, showed every indication of an excel lent supply for the stock for the coming season. This example might, with profit, be followed by other farmers on the coast.

FRESH WATER ON THE COAST. (1910, October 1). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191635160

MRS T. PRICE [1911]

A wire was received at Kingscote on Friday morning announcing death of another old Island settler, in the person of Mrs T. Price, of "Highgrove Farm," who died in Adelaide at the age of 78years. The deceased lady, who was well-known and highly respected throughout the district, had resided at "Highgrove" for the past 25 years, which property was taken up by her late husband, where he was engaged in sheepfarming. During the past few years, during which time Mrs Price had been practically an invalid, her nephew, Mr. J. N. Davis had managed the property. Mr Davis and a brother-in-law (Mr. C. Price), are, we understand, the only relatives residing on Kangaroo Island.

MRS T. PRICE. (1911, December 23). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191640087

—Modern Principles.— [1908]

A model farm near to Kingscote on the Wisanger road is that conducted by Mr. J. N. Davis, on behalf of his aunt, Mrs. Price, a dear old lady, whose appreciation of her nephew could not be exceeded. About six years ago Mr. Davis came to South Australia from the United states and took charge of the Highgrove Estate, which, he has transformed from a rather 'wild' and neglected property into one of the finest on the island. The land consists of 5,000 acres, of which 2,000 are clear and 500 under cultivation. Full of energy, methodical, and modern to a degree, Mr. Davis works on scientific lines, and has everything about the farm absolutely spick and span, indeed, he is just that kind of man who makes two or three blades of grass grow; where another person could produce only one, if any. As an experimentalist, he ranks second to no other man on the island, and 'has enlightened many regarding the suitableness of the soil for the cultivation of fodder grasses. He has succeeded splendidly with sainfoin (for summer feed), rye grass, Yorkshire fog, and couch grass (on sandy plots). Horsebreeding for farming purposes has been one of his hobbies. For the better accommodation and comfort of his animals he recently erected substantial stables, which face the main road, and in appearance are far superior to scores of the houses which pioneer selectors occupy. As a member of the Kingscote District Council Mr. Davis has assisted to effect numerous desirable improvements to the town and the roads. His crops last season were fairly satisfactory; but, as in the case of most others, they suffered through the unsatisfactory climatic conditions.

- Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), Wednesday 11 March 1908, page 7


A New Justice of the Peace. Cr. J. H.[sic] Davis, of Salt Lagoon, near Hog Bay, has been appointed a Justice of the Peace. We congratulate Mr Davis on his appointment.

- Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 1 February 1908, page 4


[1915] The large gumshed in Kingscote, which was recently purchased by Mr J. N. Davis, of 'Highgrove Farm," is being taken down and will be re-erected on the above property.

THE GUM SHED. (1915, October 30). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189507524

[1915] J. N. Davis adopts an ingenious method of pumping water.

THE CYGNET DAM. (1915, February 13). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189508316

The Kingscote jetty on Monday morning [1917] presented a busy appearance, occasioned by the shipping of several head of horses, numerous pigs and a quantity of wool and general cargo. Amongst the pigs were several shipped by Mr J. N. Davis, of Highgrove, which attracted attention by their size and condition and it was estimated that some of them would turn the scale at over 6 cwt. ...

SHIPPING. (1917, October 20). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189506824

J. N. Davis' employee has a serious accident. [1921]

A NARROW ESCAPE. (1921, February 12). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191550536

Messrs A. Daw and Son will ... hold a clearing sale for Mr J. N. Davis at "Highgrove," next Friday, March 21st. [1930]

BRIEFLETS. (1930, March 15). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191554016


The death occurred at Brownlow this morning of Mr John Nash Davis at the age of 65 years. His remains will be interred in the Kingscote Cemetery at 3.30 p.m. to-morrow.

Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Friday 14 May 1937, page 2

John Davis died unmarried.

FREE-RANGE pigs have proven to be a successful enterprise on Dan and Jasmine Florance's Wisanger property on Kangaroo Island.

(Picture) VALUE OPTION: Dan Florance, Highgrove, Wisanger, Kangaroo Island, pictured with his three-year-old son Cain, said pigs had proved a valuable diversification tool on his KI property.

21 Dec 2011 Farm Online National Free-range KI pork sow gains