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Pioneer dwelling
Title : Pioneer dwelling Pioneer dwelling
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Creator : Kelly, Alex C., 1811-1877, artist
Source : B 29495
Date of creation : ca. 1843
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 189 x 273 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Sketch of a slab hut and an adjacent tent in a cleared area in the scrub, with some fencing, a wagon, haystack and figure also featured.

Depicting a typical pioneering rural scene in South Australia, this sketch by Kelly gives us an insight into the bleak landscape of early South Australia.

An extract from the diary of Mary Thomas (junior), daughter of early colonists and newspaper printers, Mary and Robert Thomas, gives an insight into early settler life and accommodations;

Aug., 1839: We are obliged to print the proclamations at Glenelg in a rush hut that had been built for a bedroom for the use of my sisters and myself. Mama, my sisters and myself came to live in Adelaide on the 1st of June, 1837. Our rush printing hut was just taken possession of by some natives, who had an encampment just above us. My father and brothers were generally in Adelaide about this time, but two gentlemen of the names of Skipper and Powys resided with us in the day time.... We once more took to living in a tent and continued to do so until September [1837], when we began to occupy some apartments adjoining the printing office, having lived in tents and reed huts from November 1836 till September 1837. Our first week in Australia was passed in a tent formed by a piece of canvas thrown across some poles, and the back filled in by green boughs. The second place we had was a large marquee - very comfortable - where we passed Christmas Day. The printing office was built of reeds (from the lagoons) and pine poles, tied together by yarn....PRG 1160/6

Alexander Charles Kelly was born at Leith, Scotland in 1811. He was awarded a medical degree by Edinburgh University in 1832. Kelly acted as a surgeon on the East India Company's ships in 1833. He emigrated to South Australia aboard the Baboo in 1840 and began a medical practice at Port Adelaide. A year later, he was appointed assistant surgeon at Adelaide Hospital.

He subsequently bought land at Morphett Vale in 1842 and named the property 'Trinity'. In 1845, Kelly began planting vines on his property, and became a partner in Tintara Vineyard Company in 1862. Kelly was married in 1854 to Annie Worthington (1826-1912). He sold his Trinity vineyard and began planting vines for Tintara at Willunga in 1863. Tintara went into voluntary liquidation in the 1870s. Kelly retired in 1876 and died in 1877.

Related names :

Kelly, Alex C., 1811-1877

Coverage year : ca. 1843
Period : 1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide city,Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :

Heritage of the city of Adelaide: an illustrated guide / editors: Susan Marsden, Paul Stark and Patricia Sumerling. Adelaide: Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990

Internet links :

SA Memory From the ground up: Architecture in South Australia

SA Memory, The Foundation of South Australia 1800-1851 Angmering house

SA memory, The Foundation of South Australia 1800-1851 Settler's Hut



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