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Port Victoria 1934
Title : Port Victoria 1934 Port Victoria 1934
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Source : Edwardes Collection volume 39, part 5, number 42
Date of creation : 1934
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :
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Ketches are gathered at the jetty, with the barques Priwall, Pamir and Viking in the distance at left. The four masted barques Pommern and Archibald Russell can be seen beyond the ketches. The township was proclaimed in 1876 and the first jetty completed in January 1878. The first ship to take any of the grain harvest back to Europe loaded at the port 13 months later. The jetty was extended in 1883 with an L-shaped extension which provided shelter for the small vessels which frequented the port. Port Victoria is not a deep water port and the large ships needed to anchor offshore and were loaded from ketches and other small craft.

The town grew rapidly and by the mid 1880s three grain agents had offices in the town. Port Victoria was one of the largest ports in the colony in the late 19th century and was also one of the main ports for the export of the Yorke Peninsula grain harvest.

The grain was bagged at the farm and brought down to the port by wagon and later truck. Here they were checked by the grain agent and stored in great stacks. Every bag was handled manually. One stack could hold up to 23,000 bags. From the stacks the bags were transferred to carts for transporting to the ketches moored at the end of the jetty. These then carried the grain to the ships offshore. As the ketches held approximately only 3,000 bags it would take many trips to fill the vast holds of the largest ships which could carry up to 50,000 bags.

The harbour dues in Port Victoria were low because there was no berthing at the jetty. The large ships stayed out in deep water and relied on the ketch trade to fill their holds. This was one of the reasons Port Victoria remained popular so long with the large sailing ships. In 1949 the last of these vessels loaded at the port: Pamir and Passat. Bulk handling facilities established in the late 1950s at Wallaroo and Ardrossan meant the end of Port Victoria as a shipping port.

Related names :

Pamir (ship)

Pommern (ship)

Archibald Russell (ship)

Coverage year : 1934
Period : 1927-1939
Place : Port Victoria
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

Cormack, Neil W. Port Victoria, 50 years on Port Victoria, S. Aust.: Windjammer 50 Committee, 1999

Parsons, Ronald. Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986

Thompson, Barry The grain races and the ports of the Spencer Gulf today in Sea Breezes: the worldwide magazine of ships and the sea volume 82, issue 745 January 2008 pp. 7-12

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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