Cape Borda Lighthouse

See Lighthouses of South Australia - Cape Borda

The Cape Borda lighthouse was built in 1858, and is the third oldest remaining in South Australia. It is also the only square stone lighthouse in South Australia. Originally also known as the Flinders Lighthouse.

Image courtesy Gil Daw

Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), Saturday 24 July 1858, page 5



The Master and Wardens of the Trinity House of South Australia hereby give notice that the light on Cape Borda was first exhibited on the evening of the 13th July, 1859, and will continue to be exhibited every night from sunset to sunrise.

Cape Borda lies in lat. 35° 45'20'S., long. 136° 38' 0" E., and is a bold cliffy headland 480 feet above the sea level.

The lighthouse is a square stone tower, and stands thirty (30) feet from the ground, on the summit of a small mound, about five hundred (600) yards from the edge of the cliffs. The total height of the lantern is therefore five hundred and ten (510) feet above the level of the sea.

The light, which is on the catoptric principle, exhibits a bright and red flash alternately every half minute (½-minute), and may be seen on an arc extending from N. 60° to S. 35° W. (round by west.) The bright flash may be seen at a distance of thirty (30) miles in clear weather; but the red light will not be visible more than about half that distance; therefore, when the red light is not distinguishable, the bright light only will appear at intervals of one minute.  

Vessels approaching Cape Borda from the south west should keep the light well open of the high land to the southward of the Cape to avoid the reef off Cape Bedout, the western extremity of the island. Vessels bound up Investigator's Straits, after having rounded Cape Borda, should keep the Cape Borda light quite clear of the high land to the eastward of it, on a S.W. by W. bearing, until Cape Forbin is passed, when it may be shut in with the high land. Vessels bound down Investigator's Straits should not bring the light to bear to the westward of S.W. by W. The above bearings are magnetic, the variation being 5° E.

CAPE BORDA LIGHTHOUSE, KANGAROO ISLAND. NOTICE TO MARINERS. (1858, July 24). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 5.

Schooling at Cape Borda

1872 records show that there were 8 children who were regularly instructed for some time by an unknown female teacher
1872- 1877 unknown if school was open
1877 Teacher: J Belcher
1878 Teacher: A. Baldock- 8 children [still teaching in 1881 - UniSA]

- Geoffrey Chapman


WOODWARD Capt. G 1858 1st Head keeper (infection of eye injury)

Image: Tourism Brochure c.1910 courtesy Linnett family, and Anne A'Herran.

JOHNSON Unknown 1862 Daughter of Lightkeeper Charles and Mary Johnson (aged 3 weeks)
WELLS Unknown 1873 Son of Lightkeeper, Thomas Wells (stillborn)
MAIN William 1875 Son of Headkeeper Capt. George Main (scarlet fever, aged 7 1/2 yrs)
MAIN Arthur 1877 Son of Headkeeper Capt. George Main (fell off cliffs, aged 3 yrs 4 mths)
JENNESON Lilly [?] 1884 (aged 9 years)
WILLS Augusta 1884 Wife of Lightkeeper Wills (childbirth)
KOPP Irene 1895 Daughter of Jane Elizabeth Kopp
KERR Capt. Edward 1895 -
KOPP Jane Elizabeth 1903 Wife of Lightkeeper

Source: Lighthouses of South Australia - Cape Borda

JENNESON [?], Lily. 14-7-1884.JOHNSON, Infant. 19 July 1862 aged 1 month. Infant daughter of Charles and Mary Ann Johnson.
KERR, Edward, Captn. October 1885 [sic] aged 54 years. [Died 23 Oct 1895] [SAGHS 'Memorial Inscriptions' Database erroneously states  Oct 1865
KOPP, Irene. 17-9-1895. Daughter J.E.K..
KOPP, Jane E. . 19 April 1903. Wife of Light Keeper.
MAIN, Arthur. 30 November 1877. son of Light Keeper.
MAIN, William Thom. 9 May 1875 aged 7 years 6 months.
WELLS, 1873. Light Keeper. [sic][should read stillborn son of lightkeeper]
WILLIS, [sic] [should read WILLS] Augusta. 22-8-1884. Wife of Light Keeper.
WOODWARD, G. W. 13-9-1858. First Light Keeper.

Source: Lorraine's Cemetery Records

From Chris Ward: 

The numbers after the ages are the book and volume of the death registration and the word marked indicates that there is a named grave marker.  The list is compiled from Cape Borda journal, the gravesites and the BDM records which total sixteen.  E. & O. E.

There are at least four Cape Borda residents who died on the mainland.

 - Chris Ward 20 June 2020

History of the keepers and the building of the lighthouse

Thou bringest the sailor to his wife,
And travelled men from foreign lands;
And letters untoi trembling hands;
And thy, dark freight, a vanished life.

- Tennyson

See The Watchers by the Sea, our Lighthouses and Keepers

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia  PRG280/1/43/60  dated 1909, part of Searcy Collection

In Feb 1855 Samuel Harvey also applied. A few days later it was W. Dineham/Dinham who applied.

So no shortage of interest! But it was some time before the lighthouse would be built.

Robert David Sorrell, mechanical engineer, assisted in the erection of lighthouses at Cape Borda and Cape Northumberland.

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Saturday 10 February 1906, page 40

There were many problems trying to build a road from Snug Cove to Cape Borda lighthouse position.

Plans ready and advertise for tenders closing 13 Oct 1856.

27 April 1857 Mr Stokes was recommended. No appointment yet.

12 June 1857 Mr Underwood applied.

28 July 1857 Mr Tapley, 2nd keeper of the Troubridge lighthouse applied.

14 Oct 1857 Mr J Catley appled for the post of Under Keeper.

20 Oct 1857 "fast approaching completion"

11 Aug 1857 Mr G. W. Woodford applied for the position on the Lightship.

18 Nov 1857 Mr Norman applied

10 Dec 1857 M Johnson application for Under Keeper, testimonials of character submitted

14 Jan 1858 It was resolved that the following appointments should be made, viz. :—

To Cape Borda Lighthouse—Head keeper, Mr J. W. Woodward: second keeper, Mr Stokes; third keeper, Mr Fowles.

15 Apr 1958 Mr Stokes yet to confirm the offer of 2nd keeper.

13 July 1858 Light exhibited.

12 Aug 1858  J.W. Woodward's death, the result of an accident. 

11 Oct 1858 The lighthouse "not absolutely completed but so far finished to allow the exhibition of the light"

May 1859 Fowles removed.

11 Feb 1860 W Chapman was the Fourth Keeper.

30 May  1860 Head Keeper Wm. Tapley, 2nd Keeper Chas. Johnson. (Wreck of the Fides).

19 July 1862 Death of infant Johnson aged 1 month. Infant daughter of Charles and Mary Ann Johnson.

10 July 1863  A report that "the head-keeper had gone to sleep and forgotten to wind up the machinery which keeps the lantern revolving. An official report will of course be made relative to this very culpable piece of neglect—a neglect which might indeed have been attended with very disastrous consequences to life and property at sea."

14 Jan 1864 Troubridge Main Johnson was born at Flinders Light.

2 Sep 1864 2nd Keeper Johnson had an accident, dislocating shoulder, and was evacuated.

17 Dec 1864 Head Keeper Mr. Bruce.

16 Feb 1866 Head Keeper Mr. Bruce.

19 Nov 1866 Otto Frank born, parents Frederick Frank and Ellen nee Dunn

4 Aug 1866 Head Keeper Mr. Bruce.

16 Jan 1867 APPLICATIONS will be received at this Office, till 10 a.m. on Monday the 28th instant, from STOUT LADS, not under 16 years of age, desirous of joining the Flinders Lighthouse, Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, as Assistant Keeper. The principal duties are, to look after a horse and dray, cart the stores from landing place to Lighthouse, and make himself generally useful. Wages, £50 per annum, without rations. Advertising (1867, January 18). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), p. 1 (LATE EDITION).

2 Feb 1867 Fifteen applications were received for appointment of Assistant-Keeper at Cape Borda lighthouse. The Board selected Davis, Read, Woodgate, Dyke , and Busvard, who were directed to appear on Monday next, when the Board would choose one from amongst them.

15 Jan 1868  Fears of Russian ships used to invade Australia (1864 for several years Cape Borda lookout expected to report any suspected enemy shipping)

15 Aug 1868 A child belonging to one of the keepers of Cape Borda Lighthouse has been lost in the bush.

16 Dec 1868 Rosina Leslie born, parents Thomas Robert Leslie and Rosina Maria nee Donnelly

27 Aug 1869 Herman Castendyk, 24, died aboard Coonatto, nr Cape Borda

26 Nov 1870 Florence Webling born, parents Alfred Charles Webling and Mary Ann nee Deslandes

Apr 1871 until Feb 1883 George Main head keeper

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Saturday 13 August 1898, page 21

27 Oct 1871 Head Keeper George Main, wife Margaret Taylor, birth of daughter Margaret Taylor Main.

28 Nov 1871 Ethel Webling born, parents Alfred Charles Webling and Mary Ann nee Deslandes

5 Jan 1873  Thomas Wells, stillborn, son of Thomas Wells & Jessie Anderson nee Henderson

6 Feb 1873 C. Webling, second keeper at Flinders Light house, transferred to be second keeper at Cape Jaffa lighthouse, vice Montgomery, transferred. 

George Fraser (first appointment to service) appointed to be third keeper at Cape Borda Lighthouse, vice Edmunds, resigned. [George Fraser  was transferred to Cape Jaffa in 1897 and died 6 Jan 1897 as Head Keeper Troubridge Lighthouse. Mr. Fraser was born in Scotland, and like many of the keepers around the coast, displayed an early liking for the sea. He arrived in the colony in 1854]. 

Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912), Thursday 7 January 1897, page 2

Thomas Wells, third keeper at Troubridge, Lighthouse, promoted to be second keeper at Flinders lighthouse, vice Webling, transferred.  [Alfred Charles Webling was presented with an Imperial Service Medal 14 Sep 1908. See biography.]

22 Jan 1874 Lighthouse keeper's cottages and adjoining structures destroyed by bush fire.

13 Jun 1874 Arthur Russel Main, born to parents George Main and Margaret Osmond nee Taylor

14 Sep 1874 Mary Isabella Wells, born to Thomas Wells, and Jessie nee Henderson

9 May 1875 Death of George Main's son, William Thom Main, 7y 6m, of dropsy after scarlatina.

17 Feb 1876 A winding track across very high ground conducts the visitor to the Cape Borda Lighthouse, or rather the Flinders Lighthouse, for that is its real name. He is able, as he proceeds, to obtain some extensive views of the island, which is everywhere thickly covered with scrub of a luxuriant character. We were told that a few miles away, in a locality known as the Ravine, there was a considerable quantity of very fine timber, and the land over which we travelled was covered with wild flowers, mostly white, which had a very pretty appearance. Limestone crops up through the soil very frequently, and where the light- house stands the ground appears to be composed almost entirely of this stone. Situated on the south-west corner of the island, the lighthouse, a square structure, is a very prominent object, and commands a comprehensive view of the ocean, with land visible at various points on the horizon. Although the tower itself is only 60 feet in height, the light is 510 feet above high-water level. It is a revolving light, which flashes every half minute, alternately white and red, the bright light being visible 30 miles away, and the red for 15 miles. The principle is what is knows as the catoptric, which signifies that the light is intensified by means of reflectors placed behind it; while in the case of a light on the dioptric principle, such as that at the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, its brilliancy is focalised by the use of lenses arranged in front of it. The Flinders Lighthouse was established in 1858. The Head Keeper (Mr. Main) has a very neat detached cottage, and the other keepers, of whom there are two, have also commodious houses. These, with a schoolroom and a substantial stable and storehouse under one roof, make up the whole of the buildings in the settlement, which confessedly has a bleak and cold appearance, notwithstanding the air of comfort which prevails in the dwellings ; and if this was so on a sunshiny day, what must it be in winter, when nature generally must look as dreary as the dark and dismal rocks of the coastline ?Lighthouse-keepers generally, and especially those at Cape Borda, do not occupy an enviable position. Shut up to themselves, they are often only brought into association with the outside world by means of their light. Sometimes it happens that months elapse without Cape Borda being visited. It is not always that a visit is possible. But life is made endurable by leave of absence being frequently granted, and thus the tedium of what must be a very monotonous existence is to some extent relieved. The three families include nine children, for whose education nothing is now being done; but the Cape will soon be connected with the main land by means of the telegraph, and it is likely that the person appointed to represent the Telegraph Department will combine the duties of operator, which will be light, consisting almost exclusively of transmitting to Adelaide the names of passing vessels, with those of school teacher. Although Cape Borda is a very healthy place, it is true here, as elsewhere, "There is no flock, however watched and tended, But one dead lamb is there." We saw in a sheltered situation the plot of ground, neatly enclosed and carefully kept, where the remains of departed ones find a resting place.

23 May 1876 Dr Hardy attended Head Keeper [sic] [should read assistant keeper]  Mr Carter [sic] [Donald McArthur] for surgery. McArthur died 12 July 1895 as Head Keeper Cape Northumberland].

3 Jan 1877  The Second Keeper of the Cape Borda Lighthouse complained of the conduct of the Head Keeper (Mr. Main) towards him, and requested to be removed. It was resolved that on receipt of any further complaints Mr. Main would be removed.

4 May 1877 The second keeper at Cape Borda, who had been repeatedly charged with misbehaviour, was removed, and had to pay the expenses of his transfer to another lighthouse. 

19 May 1877 George Main Head Keeper; J. M. Belcher Station master [wreck of the Emily Smith]

30 Nov 1877 Late on Friday evening the City Coroner received the following telegram from the Head keeper at Cape Borda Lighthouse, whose child [youngest son] had been accidentally killed:—" Arthur Rossell Main, my son, born July 13, 1874, overbalanced while heaving stones on cliff, with other three children, eldest eight, sister and brother, and daughter of Andrew Rankine; fell about 450 feet." As soon as possible on Saturday morning Mr. Ward dispatched a telegram to Cape Borda permitting the burial of the body.12 Dec 1877   'Has the head-keeper at the Cape Borda Lighthouse been an officer or seaman in either the Royal or Mercantile Navy ; if not, what are his qualifications for his present position ?'-The Treasurer (Hon. J. P. Boucaut) replied :—The head-keeper Cape Borda Light house holds a Board of Trade certificate of competency as master and was at sea for 14 years, and has served in the marine department of this province for many years.' 

19 Mar 1878 Mr Robert A. Smith appointed as third keeper [see biography].

1 Mar 1878  Mr. Andrew Rankine, Second Keeper  to be Second Keeper Port Adelaide Lighthouse. 

Mr. Donald McArthur, Third Keeper Troubridge lighthouse, to be Second Keeper Cape Borda Lighthouse, sixth class, from 1st March, 1878, vice Rankine transferred.

27 Apr 1878  H. S. Christie, third keeper at Cape Borda lighthouse has been appointed third keeper Cape Jaffa lighthouse.

13 Jun 1878 Albert Baldron. keeper of tbe Cape Borda signal station.

19 Jul 1878  Robert Smith (Third Keeper, Cape Borda Lighthouse), to be Clerk, 6th class, Mercantile Marine

Office. Replaced by Thomas W. West.

13 Aug 1878 George Main head keeper.

1 Nov 1878 James Garrick, Third Keeper, Cape Borda Lighthouse, 6th class, vice Webb, resigned

14 Feb 1878 R. Jones, third keeper, Cape Borda (Flinders) Lighthouse, sixth class, vice Garrick, transferred. 

21 Nov 1878, Margaret Annie May Baldock born to Albert Baldock (telegraph office) and Margaret nee Lush

28 Dec 1878 Mr. Albert Baldock, Postmaster and Stationmaster at Cape Borda, provisional and temporary staff, to be Postmaster and Stationmaster at Cape Borda, 5th class.

THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1878, December 28). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 8.

11 Jan 1879  death of Rupert John Main age 9y 3m

26 Feb 1879  G. Main, head keeper of Caps Borda Lighthouse, in a long letter gave an account of the extra duties devolving upon him while acting for the Telegraph Department. Secretary to inform the Treasurer that the keepers could not properly attend to the light while acting for the Telegraph Department. 

21 Apr 1879 Winifred Naomi McArthur born to parents Donald McArthur and Elizabeth Mary nee McPherson

13 Sep 1879 Georgina Catherine Main born to parents George Main and Margaret nee Osmond

31 Jan 1880 G. Main, head keeper of tbe Cape Borda Lighthouse, asked for an increased salary. Not recommended.  [In 1883 George Main was transferred to Port Germein lightship. He died 7 Aug 1898 as Head Keeper of the Cape Jervis Lighthouse. See his obituary.]

13 Mar 1880 An official inspection by the Commissioner for Crown Lands, Surveyor General and party. The lighthouse was of course inspected with great interest, the machinery and the perfect condition in which it is kept being greatly admired. The light is alternately white and red, each being shown every thirty seconds. There are eight burners in aft, two deep, those of the same color being together. At a distance the two lights, one above the other, appear as one, but viewed close by the whole arrangement gives the idea of a kaleidoscope. The Althorpe light is visible from the Cape, a distance of about thirty miles. Quite a little colony is settled at Cape Borda. There are the head-keeper and two assistants, a watchman, who passes the whole night on the lookout for vessels, and the telegraph operator, besides, several families of children, who here, as in other parts of the island, are healthy, and very numerous in proportion to the adult portion of the population. There is some pasture about the Cape, and the officials keep horses, goats and fowls. We understand that the Government will reserve land here in order that sheep may be kept for the use of this establishment. 

AN OFFICIAL TRIP TO KANGAROO ISLAND. (1880, March 13). South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881), p. 15.  . [See full transcription on our History pages.]

29 Aug 1880, John William Ernest Baldock born to Albert Baldock (telegraph office) and Margaret nee Lush

13 Oct 1880 death of Ethel May McArthur age 3

13 Dec 1880  The second and third keepers of Cape Borda Lighthouse wrote [to the Marine Board] , complaining of the quantity of work they had to do in connection with the Telegraph Department besides the duties of the lighthouse, and asked to be released from working as " carters, grooms, and roadmakers" for the Telegraph Department.

04 May 1881 Clarence John Andrew Borda McArthur born to parents Donald McArthur and Elizabeth Mary nee McPherson

17 Feb 1882 A. Young, signalman Cape Borda, to be third keeper, Troubridge Ligthouse.  T. Williams, assistant keeper, Sturt Lighthouse, to be third keeper, Flinders Lighthouse.

15 Jul 1882 James Lotto Franks born to parents James Franks and Charlotte nee Nettle

04 Aug 1882 death of James Lotto Franks

29 Sep 1882  J. [James] Franks, keeper of the Cape Borda light-house, asked the board to assist him in the expense be had been put to through the death of his child [James Lotto Franks, aged 20 days].. The President said it was usual to accede to such requests, and it was resolved to grant him £5.

03 Oct 1882 William George Hamilton born to William Holmes Hamilton Jnr and Annie Freer nee Main

5 Jan 1883 Mr. Brown, of Cape Borda, has been transferred  [to 2nd at Port MacDonnell].

March-April 1883 John Dunn Taylor, relieving lighthouse keeper

06 May 1883 Albert Ernest Montrose McArthur born to parents Donald McArthur and Elizabeth Mary nee McPherson

1 Oct 1883 Four lighthouse-keepers, with their families (22 in all) comprise the population. Cape Borda is the signal station for English mail steamers, Orient liners, and all over-sea ships. There are several fine caves in the vicinity, in which stalactites abound.

23 May 1884 the second keeper at the Cape Borda lighthouse had absolutely refused duty, and was accordingly suspended.

09 May 1884 death of William Thomas Main, age 7y 6m

14 Jul 1884 Death of Lily Jenneson [?] aged 9

14 Jul 1884 death of Lilla Jenneson/Jemmeson age 9, daughter of Robert Jenneson

22 Aug 1884 death in childbirth of Augusta Wills, 34, in Norwood. Res. Cape Borda. Memorial at Cape Borda.

06 Nov 1884 Phillip Trevor McArthur born to parents Donald McArthur and Elizabeth Mary nee McPherson

29 Jun 1885 With the assistance of Keepers Gerer [Geier?] and Christie we reached Cape Borda [wreck of the Mars]

29 Jul 1885 Arthur Charles Geir born to parents Richard Geir and Mary Jane Montgomery

01 Nov 1886 Stella Elizabeth McArthur born to parents Donald McArthur and Elizabeth Mary nee McPherson

26 Dec 1885 A. C. Webling, as head keeper; D. McArthur, as second keeper; A. J. Young as third keeper

1 Feb 1887 John Jacob Kopp  as head keeper. [see biography] [see images and  family descendants report]

22 Feb 1887 Leaving Cape Borda the family of the keeper, who had been transferred to the Corney Point Lighthouse. 

29 Apr 1887 Sydney George Thomas Day born to Albert Sydney Day and Lillias nee Wells

20 Oct 1887 Edward Parker, third keeper, Cape Jaffa lighthouse, to be third keeper, Cape Borda lighthouse, vice Day [Albert Sydney Day], transferred. [Parker died 27 Feb 1907 see obituary.]

6 Nov 1887 At Birkenhead, a son to Mr and Mrs Edward Parker (Edward John Parker)

02 Aug 1889 Kenneth James Beckwith born to  Ralph James Beckwith and Ruth Agnes nee Manthorpe

13 Jun 1890 E. Parker, second keeper, Cape Borda Lighthouse, to be second keeper, Althorpe Lighthouse, vice Hendry, transferred ; J. Hendry, second keeper, Althorpe Lighthouse, to be second keeper, Cape Borda Lighthouse vice Parker, transferred. [John Henry drowned while fishing off Penguin Island lighthousecwhere he was Head Keeper, 24 Oct 1904]

21 Aug 1890 John Jacob Grot Kopp (widower), 46, married Jane Elizabeth Angus, 23, at Cape Borda

8 Mar 1893 James Arthur Hughes, 26, married Catherine Lawrance nee Malpas, 36, widow, at Telegraph Station House Cape Borda

28 Aug 1893 William Hendry born to parents John Hendry and Robina nee King

01 Jan 1894 death of Alexander Ernest Kopp age 3m, son of John Kopp

21 Feb 1894 Mr. John Hendry, third keeper of Cape Borda, to be second keeper at Cape Borda, in plaoe of Mr. A. J. Young who has been transferred to the position of second keeper at Cape Willoughby; Mr. Edward Kerr, at present third keeper at the Althorpes, to be third keeear at Cape Borda, vice Mr. Hendry

16 Feb 1894 Acting head keeper John Hendry reports a fierce bushfire endangering the light and cottages.

24 Nov 1894 Charles Hendry born to parents John Hendry and Robina nee King

30 Nov 1894 Irene Rosa Kopp born to parents John & Jane Kopp

13 March 1895 News has now come to hand of the illness of the third keeper of Cape Borda Lighthouse, Mr. Kerr. This is a station at which it is very difficult to get medical attendance, and prescriptions have sometimes to be dispatched by means of the telegraph. In this case, however, it has been found necessary to send the launch Mermaid to Cape Borda for the invalided keeper. Even now delay and tossing about must be experienced before proper treatment can be administered. Mr. Kerr was formerly master of the Glenrosa, which was lost on this coast.17 Sep 1895 Death of Irene Rosa Kopp, aged 9 months - Source: SAGHS. 

23 Oct 1895 Death of Captain Edward Kerr. Informant was son E. J. Kerr. - Source: SAGHS.

31 Jan 1896 Charles H. West to be second keeper.

24 Apr 1899 [wreck of the Loch Sloy] Head Keeper John Kopp; 2nd Keeper Walter T. Smith ; telegraph operator E. J. Foord [source "Windjammer" by Paul W. Simpson].

Images source

1901 South Neptune Island lighthouse exhibited [ opposite Cape Borda]

10 April 1901 Gertrude Mary Foord, Assistant, Cape Borda

15 Nov 1901 Postmasters and Postmistresses. Edward Brewer Squire, Operator, Adelaide, 6th Class, to 

be Postmaster, &c., Cape Borda, 6th Class, 1st April, 1901, vice E. J. Foord, transferred.

30 May 1902 death of Elbertha Smith, 22, daughter of Walter Thomas Smith

20 Sep 1902 A severe earthquake destroyed the light at Troubridge, but the Cape Borda light was unaffected.

13 Apr 1903  Death of Jane Elizabeth Kopp (wife of the Head Keeper), aged 41. [SAGHS 'Memorial Inscriptions' Database states 19 April 1903]17 Nov 1903  2nd keeper of Cape Borda will officiate at Althorpes as a result of the reshuffle of keepers after the death of McLeod at Cape Willoughby.

15 Dec 1904 George Luckett third keeper.

7 Jul 1905 Ornithologists interested in the records kept by the keepers of the birds "air fauna' that strike the lantern.

22 Jul 1905 Office. Abolished. Postmaster, Cape Borda. 

10 Oct 1905 Discussion on the need for another light on K.I. at Cape Couedic.

7 Jul 1906 Alleged irregularities at Cape Borda lighthouse which will result in some transfers.

20 Jul 1906 Mr. J. J. G. Kopp, who was head keeper at Cape Borda, has been transferred to Corney [retired 30 Jun 1914 see biography]

Point. Mr. W. T. Smith, head keeper at Port Adelaide lighthouse, has taken Mr. Kopp's place.

23 Aug 1907  Correspondence between the Marine Board and the Commonwealth Government concerning the suitability of funding wireless telecommunications to Cape Borda, and to repair the cable to Allthorpe Islands.

For a number of years the electric cable which connects Althorpes lsland lighthouse with the mainland has been out of order, and shipping has suffered materially from inability to communicate with that important outstation. Since the erection of the South Neptune Island Lighthouse a majority of inward bound vessels keep so far to the north that the usefulness of Cape Borda as a signalling station has decreased, and, owing to its altitude; there is constant difficulty in sighting vessels that do signal that place. From a utility standpoint, therefore, ships would be far better served were either the Neptune or Althorpes Islands made the medium of communication with Adelaide. It was hoped with the introduction of wireless telegraphy that some scheme for connecting either one or both places with the mainland would be adopted, but the Commonwealth Government, while anxious to include Cape Borda in the list of stations around the coast of Australia for a wireless installation, declines to connect the other outposts, neither will it put down a new cable to the Althorpes. 

COMMUNICATION WITH LIGHTHOUSES. (1907, August 23). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 8.

5 Oct 1908 Mr Smith Head lighthouse keeper.

12 Feb 1909  The station was of some value as a signalling place. Additionally the keepers had a lot of meteorological work to do for the Commonwealth authorities, and this was becoming increasingly arduous and complicated. It kept them on duty almost incessantly, and they had few spare moments.

17 Mar 1909 at Semaphore. to Mr. and Mrs. E. Carrison, of Cape Borda—a daughter (Phyllis). [parents Ernest Carrison and Lillian Louise nee Porter]

10 April 1911.-The Rev. F. J. Edmund returned yesterday after his quarterly tour of the island. He visited the keepers at Cape de Couedic and Cape Borda lighthouses en route. The ride occupied a week, and about 200 miles were covered.

8 Jun 1911 Chief lighthouse keeper Mr W. O. Wood.

4 Nov 1911 Mr Wood, keeper at the Cape Borda lighthouse, has returned to the Island after his trip to the old country to witness coronation celebrations.

19 Dec 1911 Mr Tyley, 2nd keeper.

20 Sep 1912 Mr Thompson, 2nd keeper.

7 Oct 1915 A. W. Lock, Cape Borda

24 Feb 1916 Resignation. A. W. Lock, Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda,  as from the 22nd February, 1916. 

30 Mar 1916 A deduction at the rate of £2 per annum to be made from the salary of William Alfred Lyall for rent of quarters occupied by him for the purpose of residence at Cape Borda; to take effect from the date of occupancy of quarters. 

25 May 1916 William Osborne Wood, Lightkeeper, Grade IV., Corny Point, £200 per annum, as Head Lightkeeper, Grade VI., Cape Borda, £210 per annum, vice H. S. Christie, transferred, to take effect from 1st May, 1916.  A deduction at the rate of £10 per annum to be made from the salary of W. O. Wood, as rent for quarters occupied by him at Cape Borda for the purpose of residence, to take effect from the date of occupancy of quarters.

30 Mar 1916 A deduction at the rate of £2 per annum to be made  from the salary of William Alfred Lyall for rent of 

quarters occupied by him for the purpose of residence at Cape Borda; to take effect from the date of occupancy  of quarters. 

25 May 1916 A deduction at the rate of £10 per annum to be made from the salary of W. O. Wood, as rent for quarters occupied by him at Cape Borda for the purpose of residence, to take effect from the date of occupancy of quarters.

9 Dec 1916 Miss Franks and Miss Thompson, daughters of the lighthouse keepers at Cape Willoughby and Cape Borda respectively, established a record ride for this district. These young ladies left their homes a fortnight ago, and made a complete circuit of the island, a feat which has seldom, if ever, previously been accomplished.

24 May 1917 William Thompson from Tipara.

25 Nov 1917 W. A. Lyall, Cape Borda, South Australia. 

11 Aug 1919 Alton Henry Beare born to parents Henry Netherton Beare and Elsie Elizabeth nee Gorton

11 Dec 1919 H. N. Beare, [Henry Netherton Beare] Headkeeper, Cape Borda, £30; in connexion with the education of their children, such allowances to take effect from 1st July, 1919.

Photograph taken by Jane Handyside Thomson, daughter of lighthouse keeper William Thomson, using a Brownie box camera, of two of her brothers, Arch and Jim, standing in front of the cemetery near Harvey's Return, Cape Borda.c.1914 State Library SA PRG 280/1/16/41

31 Aug 1916 Deduction of rent for quarters W. Thomson, Cape Borda, £9.  W. A. Lyall, Cape Borda, £8. 

31 Aug 1916 J. S. Davidson appointed

23 Sep 1916 Walter Clark third keeper transferred.

9 Nov 1916 The promotion of William Osborne Wood as Head Lightkeeper, Cape Borda, with increase in salary from £200 to £210 per annum, as from 1st May, 1916, has been cancelled. The deduction at the rate of £10 per annum to be made from the salary of W. O. Wood, as rent for quarters occupied by him for the purpose of residence at Cape Borda, has been cancelled. A deduction at the rate of 10 per centum, excluding portions of a pound, to be made from the salary of H. N. Beare as rent for quarters occupied by him for the purpose of residence as Cape Borda j to take effect from 1st November, 1916. Henry Netherton Beare as Head Lightkeeper, Grade V., Cape Borda, with increase in salary from £174 to £198 per annum, vice H. S. Christie transferred; to take effect from 1st November, 1916.

7 Apr 1921  William Edward Hurrell, Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda (c.1920-c.1926).

10 Sep 1921 W. G. R. Stuart,  Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda, probation extended 3 months.

2 Jan 1922  Resignation W. G. R. Stuart, Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda

23 Feb 1922 Extension of probation W. G. R. Stuart, Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda

28 Sep 1922 H. Boyle as Assistant Lightkeeper Cape Borda

4 Sep 1924  C. P. E. Perryman  as Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda

11 Dec 1924 A. R. Churton as Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda

28 Mar 1925 deaths of Neville Patrick Barton, 20, of Brunswick, Victoria and Charles Ravenscroft Robertson, 50, of Williamstown, Victoria. Drowned when unloading stores from the Lady Loch at Harvey's Return. See article.

27 Aug 1925 T. M. Hixon as Assistant Lightkeeper, Fourth Division, Cape Borda

27 May 1926 B. Macgowan as Assistant Lightkeeper, Cape Borda.

1928 E. J. Smith in charge

6 Dec 1928 . H. Brinkworth as Lightkeeper, Cape Borda

11 May 1933 Head ,Lightkeeper (£272—£308), Fourth Division, Marine Branch, South Australia  (Cape Borda), vice C. A. Nelson, transferred 

1 Feb 1934 Office Abolished.—Lightkeeper, Fourth Division, Cape Borda, Marine Branch, Lighthouses, South Australia, last occupied by S. J. Gray. [Sidney Joseph Gray].

18 Oct 1935 C.N. Rowe (b. 4.4.82) (commenced 26.2.12) Head lightkeeper

18 Oct 1935 A. M. Corkhill (b. 2.6.96) (commenced 3.3.27) Lightkeeper

1939 Jens Christian Danielsen (1873-1974), lightkeeper, Cape Borda (Electoral Roll), wife Adelaide Janet nee Richards.

1939 Charles Poynton Laver (1882-1969), lightkeeper, Cape Borda, (Electoral Roll), wife Mary Evangaline

1941  George Henry Mackrell (Electoral Roll)

1943 Frederick Charles Taylor (1887-1960) lighthouse keeper (Electoral Roll), wife Elizabeth Josephine Alice nee Kidd

6 Apr 1950 Lighthouses, Cape Borda, vice H. P. Cain, transferred 486 6.4.50 

19 July 1956 Lighthouses, Cape Borda, vice A. W. Winter 828 19.7.50 

1955-1975 Frederick George Cameron (1921-1992), wife Doris (Dolly) nee Gripton (1925-2006)  George Cameron formerly of Cape Jaffa Lighthouse and Kingston SE 

5 Jan 1967 Bull, William Arthur  65/66731 Lightkeeper ($1,866-$2,036), Fourth Division, Light keeping Sub-section, Cape Borda 

Obviously the above list is not exhaustive.

Source: Trove newspapers, Trove Government Gazettes, SAGHS births deaths and marriage indexes

See an illustrated 1939 article:  CAPE BORDA, A Modern LIGHTHOUSE (1939, April 8). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), p. 7 (THE MAIL Magazine).

Cape Borda Telegraph Station 

stands near Cape Borda Lighthouse on Kangaroo Island which was built in 1858 and is the only square stone lighthouse in South Australia. It was built to guide sailing ships coming out of the Roaring Forties trade winds and directing them through Investigator Straits towards Adelaide. A man, his two children and a horse and carriage can be seen outside the telegraph station. 

Photo dated approximately 1910 courtesy State Library South Australia B-8423.  

The image has been cropped and enhanced for clarity.

Signalling to a ship from Cape Borda Lighthouse. c.1920.Photo: State Library SA, B-49802
SLSA B10939, Harvey Return, about 1907.  Colourised and enhanced by Les Peters