A History of Firsts - Oldest in S.A.

by Sally Brooks

SA Weekend Magazine, The Advertiser, 3-4 May 2014, p.13

9. European Settlement

The first official European settlement in the state, and Australia's first free settlement, was Reeves Point at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island. Reeves Point was chosen by the South Australian Company, who has sailed to Australia from London on the Duke of York, which anchored at Reeves Point in July 1836. [Reeves Point was named much later - c.1888? - probably from Samuel Reeves. The first settlement was Kingscote, (on Neapean Bay), now containing the site of the Reeves Point Historic Site - ed.]

12. European Tree

The first settlers at [what is now known as] Reeves Point on Kangaroo Island brought fruit trees with them from England. One of those was a mulberry tree, which was planted in 1836. The 178-year-old tree is still alive at the Reeves Point Historic Site (just off Seaview Road, Kingscote) and continues to bear fruit. (Accompanied by an old B&W image).

Many Other "Firsts"

[Kangaroo Island can boast several other "firsts" that could have appeared in the newspaper article: the first cemetery, the first church service, the first school, the first farm, the first two weddings, and much later, the first desalination plant!* - Chris Ward]

[... the first well at Reeves Point was, as such, the first European made water supply. And the first roads in the colony, some of which are still able to be seen. - Dene Cordes]

[Kingscote was not officially proclaimed as a township until 30th June 1838 by Governor John Hindmarsh. Kingscote was also named Queenscliffe for some time, confusing it with Queenscliffe, Victoria. See an interesting article in The Advertiser, Wednesday 16 April 1902, page 4 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4869462 - Neil Miller]

Air Mail

" ... the Kangaroo Island service was the first air mail route in Australia that carried all mail matter without surcharge. Other routes carried first-class mail matter, but the Kangaroo Island service catered for all classes of mail."

The Week At Parafield —And Elsewhere (1937, June 25). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 21. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74351186
  • Desalination plant. It was a late “first” It was built in 1998 to supply drinking water to Penneshaw. It is a small reverse osmosis plant and replaced the previous water supply that came from a privately owned farmer’s dam with the real potential for associated health problems. It’s output is something like 300 kilolitres per day whereas the big plants have an output of 200 to 300 megalitres per day. It is certainly the first in S.A. and quite possibly the first in Australia ? - Chris Ward.