THE PROGRESS OF THE YEARS

From The Historical Souvenir of Port Germein 1936-1961 by Roy Parkes, updated by Joyce Webb, additions taken from National Library of Australia newspaper database, Trove, council minutes and other sources.

I'd like to add more events to the timeline, including recent or within memory events. Please email details to me.

1839
~ In July, Edward John Eyre passed along the western side of the Flinders Range on his way north
1840
~ John Germein, master of the "Water Witch," while returning from the head of Spencer Gulf, discovered a fine harbour named "Germein's Roadstead" by Governor Gawler
1851
~ the coming of the squatters to the western side of the Flinders Range
1868
~ Port Pirie was made an out port. Before this wool was sent from either Port Wakefield (1856) or Port Augusta (1859)
1877
~ Telowie was opened up on May 22
~ The reserve at Baroota, called the aboriginal reserve in 1936, was surveyed as a water and forest reserve.
~ Report credits Captain Kingcome and Messrs Brine, Murdock and Newbold with having sown the first wheat crops in the district.

1878
~ Baroota was sold at auction on March 26.
~ Mr S. Miller traversed the Back Creek Gorge.
~ The first post office at Telowie, under the charge of J. Oldfield was established but in July, it was changed to Broad Creek.
~ In October Mr W. Gluyas was appointed postmaster in charge of the new Telowie post office.
~ The hotels were built, the Pier by Mr Samuel Miller, and Messrs Dowdy and Laffan established a store at Pt Germein

1879
~ Postal facilities were established at Port Germein about October, Messrs Dowdy and Laffan, storekeepers, placed in charge.
~ Several wheat agencies were established at Pt Germein.
~ The Port Germein Police Station is opened with Constable LeLievre in charge

1880
~ The Port Germein Post Office was given official status on Aug 13, 1880, when Mr J Clark was the first official postmaster.
~ The road through the gorge was begun.

1881
~The first magistrates' court took place in Port Germein on January 1 with 5 cases being heard by Messrs. Galloway and Carmichael
~ The Port Germein School was opened on the old site across the bridge on the Gorge Road, Mr Timothy O'Connell being the first teacher.
~The Mary Jane Anderson was the first vesssel direct for Port Germein to unload her cargo of timber for the jetty, at the jetty.
~ On July 17 the jetty built by Mr J. Wishart was opened for traffic.
~ The Methodist Church was built in November with Rev. G. J. Samson as minister
~The steamer Emu brings goods, passengers and mail to Port Germein on its weekly trip and takes away wheat and various produce when required.

1882
~ The Cattle Track in Telowie was cut up into blocks, Mr J. Tuohy being the pioneer blocker.
~ Mr Herbert Cobb was appointed postmaster at Port Germein. Here he remained for 23 years, and also held the positions of electoral officer, registrar of births and deaths, harbour master, sub collector of customs, collector of jetty tolls, health officer, inspector of excise, inspector under the kerosene act, detaining officer, receiver of wrecks and secretary of the agricultural bureau and of the progress committee.
~ The Savings Bank of SA opened at Port Germein in March, 1882.

1883
~ A further 400 feet is added to the jetty, making it 5,459 feet long, extending to 15 foot depth at low tides. Extension completed in June.
~ Steven Golding of Baroota begins to manufacture bricks, some of which are used in the Point Lowly lighthouse and in the outside of the smelter's stack in Pt Pirie.
~ Mr Dan Virgo is the contractor for the Point Lowly Lighthouse erected 1883. He later goes bankrupt and building is continued by Wishart group.

1884
~ March 12, 'Frey' was the first deep water sailing vessel to berth at the jetty to load a cargo of wheat
~ The church at Telowie came under the direction of the SA Baptist Union.
~ Wishart Bros. built the engine and goods shed at the start of the jetty.
~ Photographer Mr (Robert) Stacy visits Port Germein in April and May and takes historic photographs, including possibly some of the flood.
~ On May 12, at 8.45 pm a severe flood inundates the town and damages the water scheme and road in the Gorge.
~ In September, a steam engine replaces the horse haulage on the jetty, engine driver Mr Lachlan McPhee senior
~ In November Port Germein is declared a Port of Export and Import and is visited in the same week by the new South Australian warship, "Protector"

1885
~ Mr Ward of Telowie succeeded in developing a rust resistant type of wheat called Ward's Prolific.
~ At a sale of Port Germein township blocks on March 9, the front blocks averaged £3/15s a foot and the sale realised nearly £3000.
~ In April Dr Kenyon, Bishop of Adelaide, opened the Church of England's new stone building.
~ Inauguration of the Manchester Unity, IOOF Loyal Port Germein Lodge, No 110 on June 22.
~ Marshall and Son call for tenders for a large general store in main street in July; by the end of September it is built and ready for fitting out.

1886
~ The aboriginal reserve was subdivided into sections 152 and 158.
~ East side of the jetty dredged to 20 feet, low water, for 300 feet.

1887
~ A second berth excavated to a depth of 20 feet on the west side of the jetty.

1888
~ Port Germein District Council inaugurated on February 4 at the North Star Hotel, Melrose
~ Pipes laid from Baroota Springs to Port Germein
~ 19 ships loaded and despatched during the year
~ Doctor leaves during year and a replacement is desperately sought

1889
~Port Pirie Standard and Barrier Advertiser first published Jan 4.

1890
~ Jetty berths dredged, 15680 cubic yards of blue clay being raised.

1891
~ Moved in Parliament that a Local Court of Limited Jurisdicture be established at Port Germein.

1892
~ Royal Commission visited Port Germein in connection with the proposed railway line from Port Germein, through Lacey's Gully to Orroroo.
~ The goods shed was extended at a cost of £317/5/0
~ Mr Jas. Orchard, JP, laid the foundation stone of the institute in October

1893
~ Carmichael's Eclipse by Mr W.T. Carmichael and Gluyas Early by Mr H.J. Gluyas, both rust resistant wheats, were pefected at about the same time.
~ 'Earl of Dunmore' was the first 4 masted barque to load at the jetty

1894
~ J. Netting's dispensary burns to the ground and fire spreads to Mr F.H. Flugge's bran, flour and chaff store and destroys his stock. The front of the store with fruit and veges of Mr William Giles was also destroyed. All property owned by My Flugge (1-5-1894, The Advertiser)

1895
~ The Aboriginal Reserve was declared to be crown lands reserved for the use of aborigines.

1896
~ The Telowie branch of the Albert District IO of Rechabites was begun

1897
~ The Baptist church at Telowie was opened on October 3, free of debt

1900
~ Pipes were laid from Baroota Springs to Pt Pirie to augment Pirie's supply during a water shortage

1901
~ The new national Bank was built.
~ The census of this year revealed that in Baroota, 453 persons lived in 85 houses, while Telowie, including Port Germein had 564 persons in 129 houses. Port Germein itself was credited with 195 males and 172 females, 367 persons living in 68 houses.
~ The 4 masted ship 'Dunfermline' loaded 36,997 bags of wheat at Port Germein in January, possibly the largest load of wheat shipped from any wharf in SA per sailing vessel. The steamer 'Hendrika' took on 41,686 bags soon after.
~ The Port Germein Co-operative dairy factory was started in October.
~ Steamers 'Adelaide, ' 'Eleanor' and 'Florrie' ran excursions to Pt Germein from Pt Pirie on Easter Monday
~ Port Germein division of the Mounted Rifles , 30 men, inspected by Colonel Stuart, Acting Commandant of the military forces in September
~ Steamship 'Investigator' to Port Germein each Monday

1902
~ Mr Edward McHugh, one of the oldest residents of the district died in June aged 64
~ Coronation and peace celebrations included a march by school children with the Mounted Rifles, Oddfellows Lodge and the Port Germein Brass Band, around the streets and then to the rereation grounds
~ May 7-Annual chrysanthemum show at the institute with The steamer 'Adelaide' running an excursion from Pt Pirie for the event

1903
~ The Port Pirie Excelsior Brass Band chartered the steamer 'Adelaide' and ran a marine excursion to Port Germein where they gave a concert on the beach. About 400 people came over.
~ Dr Bain died in June after being in practice in Port Germein for the last 5 years. He was closely associated with the development of Clare and its wine industry

1905
~ A fight between 2 sailors on the jetty ended in a stabbing but both men fell over the side. One went to hospital and the other was fined.

1908
~ The building of the Laura to Booleroo railway robbed Port Germein of much of its "over-the-range" trade

1909
~ Broad Creek Methodist church opened

1910
~ A Royal Commission investigated the proposal to join Port Germein to Port Pirie by a light railway
~ Port Germein flooded by Baroota Creek due to enormous rains-poured through the town for 16-17 hours

1913
~ Telowie Creek Tennis Club formed
~ On November 21, at 2 am, the Port Germein butter factory was burnt to the ground

1921
~ Baroota Reservoir was completed on December 20 by contractors, Messrs Atkins and Finlayson
~ During this year the wooden pipes from Baroota Springs to Port Pirie were replaced by steel pipes
~ Soldiers' Memorial unveiled by Mr GF Jenkins, MP. The six foot statue of a soldier was carved in Italy and shipped to Australia. The granite basement came from Monarto and the marble from Angaston. The secretary of the Soldiers' Memorial Committeee at the time was Mr L. McPhee, the harbour master

1924
~ Sailing ship København, the largest sailing ship in the world, a 5 master, loading a part cargo of wheat Jan 1 to 15
~ Telowie Gorge tennis club was founded.
~ Saling ship Pamelia, Norwegian, loading wheat Dec 16 to Feb 2

1925
~ Wireless sets began to arrive in the district
~ The Methodists acquired the Baptist Church at Mambray Creek

1926
~ Sailing ship Elfrieda, German, loading wheat Jan 1 to Feb 12
~ The Beach Improvement Committee made efforts to clear and improve the foreshore to attract holiday makers
~ Kindergarten hall built at Port Germein
~ In December the Palais de Danse opened opposite the Pier Hotel on the foreshore. It was built for Mr Jack Laver, proprietor of the Pier Hotel. Dances were held every Wednesday and Saturday. Mr Laver had a 10 years lease and then the Palais would be handed back to the council.
~ Sailing ship Favell loading wheat Nov 20 to Jan 21

1927
~ Church at the Aboriginal Reserve was opened on September 1

1928
~ Springs at Telowie dry up because of very dry January
~ SS København lost at sea

1930
~ Palais under new management in February

1931
~ Supper room of the Institute remodelled into a kitchen and a reading and supper room, in which the library is installed.
~ Dredging carried out in the harbour in response to a petition complaining of no maintenance for 20 years.

1932
~ Sailing ship Pommern loads wheat Jan 11 to Feb 21.
~ Sailing ship Olivebank loads wheat March 9 to April 13
~ Sailing ship Pommern loading wheat Sep 1 to Sep 21
~ Sailing ship Favell loading Dec 21 to Jan 26
~ Mount Gullett region threatened by bush fire

1933
~ Sailing ship C.B. Pedersen loading wheat Feb 13 to March 4

1934
~ Sailing ship L'Avenir loading wheat Jan 12 to Feb 7.
~ Sailing ship Winterhude loading wheat Jan 26 to Feb 22
~ Sailing ship Mozart loading wheat Jan 30 to March 13 after first running aground on the beach.
~ Sailing ship Favell loading wheat March 27 to April 16
~ Port Germein, Port Pirie and Port Augusta flooded by an abnormally high tide on August 14
~ Dust storms on December 14 severely damaged Darlings' shed
~ Two passengers from the ship L'Avenir marry in romantic circumstances in Port Germein at the Anglican Church of St Clements next to the primary school, receiving national and English publicity in papers and magazines.

1935
~ Sailing ship Killoran loading wheat Jan 18 to Feb 8
~ Sailing ship Pommern loading wheat Jan 28 to March 4
~ Sailing ship Archibald Russell Loading wheat Feb 11 to March 31
~ On April 30th a painting of late Mr P. Hillam unveiled in Port Germein Institute by Mr Blesing, Minister for Agriculture
~ In May remodelling and reconstruction of the road through the gorge was begun
~ Jubilee celebrations for the Loyal Port Germein Lodge

1936
~ Sailing ship Ponape loading wheat Jan 19 to Feb 14
~ Sailing ship Winterhude loading wheat Jan 30 to March 6
~ Sailing ship C.B. Pedersen loading wheat Feb 5 to March 25
~ Sailing ship Killoran loading wheat March 26 to April 8
~ Sailing ship C.B. Pedersen loading wheat Dec 29 to Jan 21
~ Completion of sealing of Port Germein Gorge Road as a tourist attraction and for transport of grain from eastern centres
~ Work begun on long deferred railway line from Red Hill to Port Augusta so that Port Germein linked up to the railway syatem

1937
~ Sailing ship Penang loading wheat jan 29 to Feb 17
~ Two sailors from Penang drowned on Feb 3 at Port Germein
~ Sailing ship Archibald Russell loading wheat Feb 17 to March 2
~ Sailing ship Winterhude loading wheat April 10 to 28
~ Completion of the standard gauge railway line between Port Pirie and Port Augusta

1938
~ Sailing ship Admiral Karpfanger (now German owned but formerly Belgian owned L'Avenir) loading wheat Jan 5 to Feb 9
~ Admiral Karpfanger, a four-masted ship had 44 cadets and 16 officers and men of the Hamburg-America Line on board when she left. Five weeks later she radioed her position from somewhere south of New Zealand and said she would round Cape Horn. That was the last ever heard of her.
~ Sailing ship Winterhude loading wheat Jan 12 to March 5
~ Sailing ship Killoran loading wheat Feb 1 to March 5
~ Sailing ship Pommern loading wheat March 8 to March 26
~ Sailing ship Archibald Russell loading wheat April 29 to May 5
~ Formation of Port Germein School Welfare Club

1939
~ Sailing ship Abraham Rydberg loading wheat Feb 1 to Feb 18
~ Sailing ship Pommern loading wheat Feb 11 to March 1
~ Sailing ship Winterhude loading wheat Feb 14 to March 17
~ Sailing ship Archibald Russell loading wheat March 5 to April 1
~ War with Germany commenced

1940
~ Morgan to Whyalla railway line started

1942
~ Port Germein Volunteer Defence Corps started

1944
~ Baroota school closed and bus service to and from Port Germein School commenced
~ Morgan-Whyalla pipeline completed

1945
~ End of WW2
~ CWA sub branch formed in Port Germein

1946
~ RSL sub branch formed in Port Germein
~ Mr S.G. Stone left district after 29 years as a councillor, being chairman for 3 periods

1948
~ Start of forming and sealing of main road from Pt Pirie to Port Augusta
~ Mambray Creek and Alligator Gorge opened for tourist trade

1949
~ Completion of main road from Port Pirie to Port Augusta

1950
~ Re-forming of beach committee with Mr E.C. Alford as chair and Mr Arnold Miller as secretary

1953
~ Terrific storm caused severe damage to the jetty, and a high tide inundated the township

1954
~ The first Port Augusta - Magill powerline passed through the district

1955
~ Caravan Park opened at Port Germein

1957
~ In January, filming of part of the motion picture, 'Robbery Under Arms,' took place in the main street next to the Hotel
~ In July, daily bus collected and delivered mail directly at the post office rather than leaving it at Ottaways' Garage
~ Jetty handed over to district council by Harbours Board.

1958
~ Jetty finally repaired after the storm of 1953

1959
~ Electricity to Port Germein township for Christmas; House of Assembly Member for Stuart, Mr L.G. Riches M.P switched on the lights.

1960
~ In February, official switching on of street lighting
~ Change over from manual to automatic telephone service
~ Opening of additions to the Institute as World War 2 Memorial, on October 29
~ TV came to Port Germein

1961
~ Back to Baroota and Port Germein School Celebrations

1964
~ The historical and unique Beach Palais is demolished for £150 for scrap and at last the council has got rid of a place which was always a trial to them and which did not feature in any history or on timelines of the town. No publicity seems to have preceded the sale which was handled by the council

1978
~ Back to Port Germein celebrations

1985
~ TV series 'A Thousand Skies' filmed at Port Germein

1986
~ February 16th, 150 Jubilee Grain Trade Re-enactment held

1991
~ On 23 January in the early hours of the morning, Port Germein was battered by a mini cyclone with winds to 100 kph. The supper room of the institute was unroofed as was the western half of the main hall-the roof ended up by the school. The main street was covered in debris and the town was without electricty for about a week, so many poles were knocked over.

2000
~ In October Port Germein became world famous because the shadow from a tree formed an image of Jesus on a fence

2009
~ Discussion of a merger with the Port Pirie Council and a move from the Melrose based council

2010
~ Harold Webb, long time resident of Baroota and Port Germein died on November 11, 2010. He and wife Joyce Webb donated the land for the caravan park on the foreshore and worked tirelessly for its inception. They also donated blocks of land behind the tennis courts to the town.

2011
~ Mrs Joyce Webb nee Williams died on June 1st, 2011. A long time resident of Baroota and Port Germein, Mrs Webb was a very active member of the community for many years, She was president of the school Mothers' Club, a member of the CWA and helped establish the bowling club in Port Germein. It was her dream to see the buildings from the TV series 'A Thousand Skies' used as a local museum and she donated much of her family memorabilia to the collection. She was not only an organiser but worked hard herself in practical ways like making curtains for the institute stage or costumes for re-enactments of days past.
~ The top of the lighthouse, located at the start of the jetty, is restored

2012
~ Dalton Mcphee died 16-1-2012 in Adelaide. Born in Port Germein and educated at PGPS he was a son of Harbourmaster Lachlan McPhee and grandson of Sarah and Lachlan McPhee snr, also the Harbourmaster. A plaque for Dalton was placed in Port Germein Cemetery and the ashes of his parents, Lachlan and Elsie McPhee nee Havers were also moved to the Port Germein Cemetery together with his sister's ashes.

2013
~ The Old Pier Hotel opened for trading as a cafe during the year, but closed down again.
~ On Friday, December 13, 2013, Port Germein Primary School closed after 132 years.

2014
~Foreshore renovations to goods shed and lighthouse. Short length of railway line installed.

2015
~Continued upgrading of foreshore and placing of harbourmaster's pole in goods shed.
~Shop closes down after some years of being on sale, there sadly being no buyers.
~70th anniversary of Port Germein CWA in September.

2016
~Hotel closes and is up for lease. Opens for limited trading during the year.
~New post office and shop opens in portable accommodation at old post office on foreshore.
~Orange food van begins trading on foreshore.
~Sunday markets in goods shed.
~Jetty badly damaged in storm on May 9, but was promptly repaired.
~Jetty damaged even more severely in a storm on September 9, but repairs promised.

2017
~Jetty repaired over a number of months.
~Village cafe opens.
~Post shop and cafe moves to old Prests/TS Marshall shop in main street.
~Death of Harm Folkers, 11-8-2017. A longtime resident of Port Germein, with wife Tinky he ran the Port Germein Art Gallery. He was an educator, artist of note, a planter and cultivator of trees and a builder.


Please email details re Port Germein and members of its community for addition to the timeline. Line html re-constructed 22-1-2013