State Library of South Australia logo Wooden walls and iron sides
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Boats moored at American River
Title : Boats moored at American River Boats moored at American River
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Wenmouth, Bernice M.; photographer
Source : The Wenmouth Collection : Kangaroo Island
Date of creation : ca. 1970
Format : Photograph
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 :

Boats moored at American River on Kangaroo Island. Dinghies on the beach.

Matthew Flinders discovered Pelican Lagoon in 1802, and the adjacent tidal channel was used a year later by American whalers who gave the channel its name: American River. The men built a schooner, Independence, from the local timber thereby being the first to build a ship in what would become South Australia. The first produce shipped from the harbour was sealskins and whale oil. Later salt would become an important export through the harbour, as was gypsum until the mid-1980s. A fish cannery operated briefly in the late 19th century from nearby Ballast Head and Muston Wharf.

Fishing, including crayfishing have been a mainstay of the area over the years.

Now a popular tourist area, fishing charters operate from the harbour. The pelicans for which the adjacent lagoon is named, frequent the jetty and beaches in anticipation of the fishermen's catch.

Coverage year : 1970
Place : American River
Region : Kangaroo Island
Further reading :

Nunn, Jean, This southern land: a social history of Kangaroo Island 1800-1890 Hawthorndene, S. Aust.: Investigator Press, 1989

Cumpston, J. S. KangarooIsland, 1800-1836 [Canberra, The Author, 24 Holmes Crescent, Campbell, A.C.T., 2601, 1970]

Alexander, Sandy, KangarooIsland: a brief chronological history, pre 1800-1997 Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, SA: S. Alexander, 1997

Internet links :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on