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

First home of the Adamson family
Title : First home of the Adamson family First home of the Adamson family
Add To My SA Memory
Source : B 52786
Date of creation : ca. 1839
Format : Artwork
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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 :

The first home of the Adamson family at Gilberton. The Adamsons were early assisted migrants who arrived in South Australia in 1839 and settled near Walkerville Terrace.

This artwork provides a glimpse into early pioneering life in South Australia. Temporary dwelling structures such as these tents were typical living conditions of the time.

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

Related names :

Adamson, David Beveridge, 1823-1891

Coverage year : 1839
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Gilberton
Further reading :

Colwell, M and Alan Naylor. Adelaide: an illustrated history, [Joslin, S. Aust.]: McP, 1981

Kwan, Elizabeth. Living in South Australia: a social history, Netley, S. Aust.: South Australian Government Printer, 1987

Pitt, G. Index to pioneers arriving in South Australia from overseas ports, July 1836 to December 1845 Archives Department, 1935

Page, Michael F. Sculptors in space: South Australian architects 1836-1986 [Adelaide, S. Aust.]: Royal Australian Institute of Architects (South Australian Chapter), 1986

Bagot, W. H. Some nineteenth century Adelaide architects Adelaide: Pioneers' Association of South Australia, 1958

Morgan, E. J. R. Early Adelaide architecture 1836 to 1886 Melbourne, New York, Oxford University Press [1969]

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

Robertson, E. Graeme Adelaide lace Adelaide: Rigby, 1973

House styles 1850 onwards [Adelaide: The Dept., 197-?]

Pikusa, Stefan The Adelaide house 1836 to 1901: the evolution of principal dwelling types Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield, 1986

Internet links :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on