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S.A. Northern Pioneers: C. Swinden
Title : S.A. Northern Pioneers: C. Swinden S.A. Northern Pioneers: C. Swinden
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Creator : Mora Studio, photographer
Source : B 6912/L1
Date of creation : ca. 1870
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 50 x 33 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Portrait of C. Swindon from Callioota from the S.A. Northern Pioneers' composite, 1850-1859 (shown in position on B 6912/3).

Charles Swinden was born c. 1827. Calioota was just one of Swinden's extensive pastoral holdings. He also held in partnership Saltia on the western plains near Port Augusta, Bartagunyah near Melrose and Pinda. Beda on the west side of Lake Torrens was also his along with Pernatty and land along the Elizabeth, stocking the latter with 5000 sheep in 1859.

This area around Lake Torrens had only been discovered during the late 1850s by a number of explorers including John McDouall Stuart and Benjamin Babbage. Charles Swinden can be included among these explorers.

Along with Murdoch Campbell and D Thompson he explored west of Lake Torrens and found good pastoral lands. The men were lightly equipped with riding horses and several pack horses which gave them speed and ease of movement but did limit the length of time they could remain out exploring. They left on 31 March 1857 from Saltia station (one of Swinden's own), crossed beyond the top of Spencer Gulf and after an initial encounter with the salt water of Beda Creek and several other billabongs reached Pernatty Creek, about 75 miles north-west of Port Augusta. Pernatty contained excellent water and Swinden gave it the Aboriginal name. From Pernatty they found Yarraberry waterhole, the Yallatta waterhole on Elizabeth Creek and Perrialta waterhole among others. Swinden considered the land similar to that at Bundaleer and Booboorowie Stations, salt bush country but with good grass and other herbage between. He also considered the waterholes they found to be superior to those on the Light, Wakefield and Broughton Rivers. The expedition returned 9 August, but Swinden was confident that they had found good pastoral lands, which with the sinking of several wells could be easily reached from the east. Putting his faith in his assessment of the land he took out leases in the area.

For a number of years this region was named on maps of South Australia as 'Swinden's country'.

Swinden also had land around Riverton and Saddleworth which he had inherited from his uncle, James Masters. In late 1865/66 Swinden, accompanied by a young Aboriginal guide, explored the Andamooka area and collected specimens studded with gold. Returning home to Riverton he died before he could reveal the location of the gold.

Charles Swinden is buried at the Riverton Cemetery.

Related names :

Swinden, Charles, 1827-1865

Masters, James

Period : 1836-1851,1852-1883
Place : Riverton, Lake Torrens
Region : Mid North,Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

Cockburn, R Pastoral pioneers of South Australia 2 v. Adelaide: Publishers Limited, 1925-1927 ("Reprinted from the Adelaide Stock and Station Journal.") vol. 1 pp. 112-13

Richardson, Norman A. The pioneers of the north-west of South Australia, 1856 to 1914 [Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1969] page 1

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