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Victor Harbor or Victor Harbour?
Title : Victor Harbor or Victor Harbour? Victor Harbor or Victor Harbour?
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Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Victor Harbor - 'Poltong' to the local Ramidjeri people -  was named 'The Point' by local whalers due to the shape of this piece of the coast. The State Library holds a copy of the diary of Captain Richard Crozier, who anchored in the lee of Granite Island at 5.30 p.m. on 26 April 1837, on his way back to Sydney and India. He named the place 'Victor Harbour' (note his original spelling) after his ship HMS Victor, and the Bluff 'Cape Victor.' He also noted the names given by the whalers to the islands - Granite, Wright's and Seal Rock.  

In the 1860s when port facilities were established, the name 'Port Victor' came into use. There was ongoing confusion with Port Victoria on the west coast, culminating in the barque Eugene Schneider running aground at Port Victoria in January 1921.   Later that year the State government gazetted all South Australian harbours with the spelling 'harbor' - including official reversion of the name to Victor Harbor. This is not an American spelling, but an archaic English spelling.   People who grew up at Victor could attend the Victor Harbour High School - opposite the Victor Harbor Council - and travel to Adelaide by train from the Victor Harbour Railway Station. In the 1980s the local newspaper (originally named Victor Harbour Times but by then re-named Victor Harbor Times) ran a name and shame campaign against all instances of non use of the 'official' spelling. Consequently the colourful (colorful?) inconsistencies ceased -apart from the name of the railway station.

The photograph shows the plaque commemorating the naming of Victor Harbor by Captain R. Crozier, 26 April 1837. The plaque was unveiled on Granite Island in 1937.


Region : Fleurieu Peninsula
Further reading :

Papers of Captain Richard Crozier, commander of H.M.S. Victor, : comprising ship's journal, 1837, and letter book

Bartlett, Jeanette. 180 years of Victor Harbor history in many pictures with some words, Victor Harbor, S. Aust. : J. Bartlett, 1982

Strempel, AA and Tolley, JC. The story of Victor Harbor, Victor Harbor, Reprinted by the Ambrose Press, 1970

Hamon, Rod. Encounter Bay and Victor Harbor : mysteries and tragedies, Henley Beach, S. Aust. : Seaview Press, 1999

Laube, Anthony. Settlers around the bay : the pioneering families of Encounter Bay and Victor Harbor, [Hindmarsh Valley, S.Aust.] : A. Laube, 1985

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