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Robe jetty
Title : Robe jetty Robe jetty
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Creator : Tolmer, A., artist
Source : B 10457/2
Date of creation : 1869
Format : Artwork
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

The second composite section (from left) of the panorama showing most of the Robe jetty: bales of wool are being loaded onto a small vessel, and the Governor, his party and the welcoming committee are walking along the jetty towards the town.

Robe was proclaimed a port in 1847 but the first jetty was not built until 1855 when a local merchant, George Ormerod built one at his own expense. A government jetty was also built in that year but was poorly constructed and in 1866 work began on a new jetty. This was completed in 1868. Wool, wood and wattle bark were the main exports during Robe's highest period of activity in the 1850s and 1860s with over one million pounds of wool being shipped from the port.

Robe during the 1850s also became the main landing point for Chinese men travelling to the Victorian gold fields. By doing so they could avoid the Victorian poll tax on all Chinese immigrants. They then walked overland to the gold fields.

The third jetty at Robe seen here was 310 metres long, later extended to 341 metres by 1885; at 256 metres the jetty was expanded to a double width and terminated in an 'L-head'. This jetty was demolished in 1951 after being replaced by a fourth jetty built during 1949/51 and intended for the fishing industry. This jetty is now little used for that purpose as the fishing boats use the anchorages supplied by Lake Butler.

Alexander Tolmer served in the South Australian Police Force from 1840 to 1853, becoming Commisioner in 1852 and then demoted to Inspector and Superintendent. He left the Police Force in 1856 and then followed a number of business opportunites before being appointed a Crown Lands Ranger in 1862.

Coverage year : 1869
Place : Robe
Region : South East
Further reading :

Bermingham, Kathleen Gateway to the South East Millicent, S.A.: South Eastern times, 1961

Bermingham, Kathleen, Eleven tales of Robe Robe, S. Aust.: Robe Institute Centenary Appeal Committee, c1968 pp. 13-5 The four Robe jetties

Sprengel, Wilf The ecstasy and the agony of Guichen Bay [Robe?, S. Aust.: W. Sprengel], 1986 (Naracoorte [S. Aust.] : Hansen Print)

Collins, Neville The jetties of South Australia: past and present Woodside, S.A.: Neville Collins, 2005

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



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