State Library of South Australia logo Foundation Documents 1800-1851
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

S.A. Northern Pioneers: James Chambers
Title : S.A. Northern Pioneers: James Chambers S.A. Northern Pioneers: James Chambers
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Mora Studio
Source : B 6912/C5
Date of creation : ca. 1870
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 50 x 33 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Portrait of James Chambers from Stuart's Creek from the S.A. Northern Pioneers' composite, 1850-1859 (shown in position on B 6912/1).

James Chambers was born at Ponder's End, London and arrived in South Australia on the Coromandel (ship) in 1837. He started out by organising transport for fellow immigrants from Port Adelaide to the centre of Adelaide. Later he was the contractor for nearly all the inland mail services for South Australia as well as being the proprietor of the largest livery business in Adelaide. He also was involved in organising gold cartage from the Victorian gold diggings to Adelaide.

His brother, John arrived in 1838 and initially had 1200 acres at Cherry Gardens where he ran a dairy and farmed sheep before moving to Richmond Park (near modern day Plympton). James Chambers bred horses, cattle and sheep on his properties, bringing quality stock out from England after a return visit there in 1854. By the early 1850s the brothers were established in the Flinders Ranges with Moolooloo and Oratunga stations. They also operated a copper mine at Oratunga. The Chambers brothers had John McDouall Stuart survey their leases and also used him to explore for new pastoral lands north west of Port Augusta. Together with William Finke they sponsored Stuart's major expeditions to cross the continent from south to north. Stuart always preferred to use the Chambers' tough bush bred horses on his expeditions. In 1858 he discovered the watercourse which he named Chambers Creek: this was subsequently re-named Stuart's Creek, and Stuart took up a lease along it, but subsequently sold this to the Chambers.

James Chambers died 7 August 1862 age 49 at his North Adelaide property Carclew.

Related names :

Chambers, John, 1838-1889

Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866

Period : 1852-1883
Place : Stuart Creek, Moolooloo, Wirrealpa and Cobdogla
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

Cockburn, R Pastoral pioneers of South Australia 2 v. (207; 263 p.) Adelaide : Publishers Limited, 1925-1927 ("Reprinted from the Adelaide Stock and Station Journal.") vol. 1 pp. 90-91

Kerr, Margaret Colonial dynasty: the Chambers family of South Australia Adelaide: Rigby, 1980

Gee, Philip A history of pastoralism in the Lake Eyre South drainage basin Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, 2000

Mincham, Hans The story of the Flinders Ranges Adelaide: Rigby, 1965

Internet links :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on