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poLiCe sTaTion. Opposite the Gallery is the
police station which was opened in 1996, replacing the
station located on the now-vacant block in Commercial
8 Cooinda CLuB haLL and
resTauranT was built in the 1960s by the
Commonwealth Railways Institute, which was a very
strong social and sporting group at a time when the
railways was one of the town’s major employers, with
both administrative and maintenance functions centred
in the town.
CourTs CoMpLeX – the large complex at a
distance beyond the club is the new Courts Complex,
opened in 2007.
9 CoMMonWeaLTh hoTeL, formerly
known as the Railway Hotel, or the Railway Terminus
Hotel, was modified from two previous shops in 1880.
A well-known musically-inclined family, the Hackendorfs,
was connected with this hotel, and during the time that
they held the licence it was affectionately known as the
10 porT augusTa MeaT sTore
A butchers’ shop has been in this location since the
1890s, probably making it the oldest continuous
business in the main street, apart from the hotels. It
was purchased in 1903 by a member of the Fullerton
family, and remained in family hands until 2008 when it
was sold to Mr Surman. The head above the entrance
is a plaster cast of a long-horn bull which the 1927
11 sT augusTine’s ChurCh. The
foundation stone was laid on July 13th, 1868, and the
first Divine Service conducted in July 1870. The existing
church’s foundation was laid in January 1882, replacing
the original smaller structure. The bell was purchased in
1871. The hall at the rear of the church was completed
in 1878, and was originally the St Augustine’s High
School for Boys.
giBson sTreeT. The terrace houses to the left
were built in 1890. Along with other cottages along
Gibson Street, they are among our older residences.
12 guLF & ranges opToMeTrisTs
was originally a residence built in 1874 for Francis Bignell,
a well-known store-keeper who commenced a small
drapery in 1863. He joined Young in 1867, and Bignell
& Young were well known general store-keepers and
shipping agents over a wide area, becoming Young &
Gordon in 1881. Bignell only lived here for a matter of
months and the Young family then occupied this house,
until 1964. Bignell was also a partner in the ostrich farm
about 13 km from Port Augusta, which operated from
1883 until 1901, when the effects of drought brought
about its closure.
13 4 giBson sTreeT is one of the more
significant dwellings in Port Augusta. It was built in
1864 by Alexander Drysdale Tassie, the first British
settler in Port Augusta. When his pastoral interests
failed, ownership passed to his creditors in 1866. From
1917 until 2009 the house was home to a succession of
noted local GPs, the last being Dr John Thompson, who
acquired it in 1941.
14 5 ChapeL sTreeT. Bignell also owned this
property at some early time, but in 1874 it was acquired
by Dr William Markham, then practising in Port Augusta,
and the first medical superintendent of the Port Augusta
Hospital. The house was extensively altered and added
to in 1912. Allan McLellan, a branch manager of the
Adelaide Steamship Company, and his wife, lived here
from 1949 to 1991. Mr McLellan died in 1968, but is
well remembered for his keen interest in local history,
plus a vast array of other community activities.
15 uniTing ChurCh. This was the site
of the first church of any denomination operating
in Port Augusta: the Bible Christian Society, and the
original structure’s foundation stone was laid in 1867
by A.D. Tassie. The foundation stone for the existing
two-storied frontage was laid in 1885 by Thomas
Young. The Widow’s Walk, the iron structure at the
very top of the steeple, is the viewing platform said to
be used by the wives of sailors who went to look for
their husband’s ship approaching. The Wesleyans had
come to Port Augusta in 1878, and they united with the
Bible Christians in 1897 to form the Methodist Church.
In 1970 the Methodist, Congregational and some
Presbyterian Churches combined to form the Uniting
Church of Australia.
16 FLinders hoTeL, originally Mackay’s
Hotel and then Flinders Family Hotel. When built in
1878 by Alexander Mackay, it was said to be the largest
and most commodious hotel of its kind at that time in
South Australia. Mackay had built the first hotel in Port
Augusta in 1855, and this was his fourth, each one more
prosperous than the last. There were 12 hotels built in
Port Augusta between 1878 and 1883, but evidently this
was the finest!
17 TargeT CounTry, formerly Young &
Gordon. This historical building was erected in 1882
by Bignell & Young, who had been in business together
since 1867 as general store and shipping agents. It was
the largest building constructed outside of Adelaide.
In 1881 Bignell retired and the firm became Young &
Gordon. It was owned solely by the Young family after
1911, but continued to trade as Young & Gordon P/L
until they sold the property in 1987.
18 The Tassie was built in 2009, and was the
first hotel built in Port Augusta since 1883. It replaced
the Exchange Hotel, Great Northern Hotel and “The
Vault” which was originally the second location of the
19 aQuaTiC and ouTdoor
adVenTure CenTre is operated from the
old Yacht Club, which incorporated the much older
Customs House, built around 1873, itself replacing an
earlier wooden structure built in 1859. Moving towards
the wharf you will see the new Yacht Club beyond,
which was built in 1999, mostly on reclaimed land.
The WharF reminds us of when Port Augusta
was indeed a thriving port – this ended in the early
1970s, when the last Japanese ships carrying copper
concentrate visited the port.
20 sWiMMers’ MeMoriaL. This
walled Memorial Garden was built by the Swimming
Club, to honour its members who had made the
supreme sacrifice in WWII. As part of the foreshore
re-development, the garden was up-graded and a re-
dedication memorial service was held in February 2004.
21 MiLL JeTTy. This is the sole remaining jetty
of the eight which were erected between 1854 and
1879, prior to the wharf being built in the mid-1880s.
It belonged to the flour mill which was built by Dunn
& Co in 1880, supposedly fire-proof, but ultimately
destroyed by fire in 1926.
22 greaT WesTern Bridge was opened
in 1927. Prior to this, the only way to the other side of
the gulf was by ferry, or around the top of the gulf, a 13
km detour via Yorkey Crossing. In 1944 it was widened
to carry the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline, which brought
an assured water supply for the first time. This bridge is
now only used for recreational purposes, and the new
Port Augusta Bridge was opened in 1972, with a major
re-alignment of the main highway through town.
23 The oLd Barge was originally built in the
1880s, on the Murray, but was then used to carry ore
from Whyalla to Port Pirie. The E&WS brought it from
Port Pirie for use in the widening of the bridge in 1944,
and also some extension work on the wharf. It was
abandoned after the work was completed, because, it is
said, it would not fit back under the bridge.
24 seaVieW house was constructed in 1881
at a cost of £4,500 by the Bank of S.A . The Union Bank
took it over in 1892, but closed its doors in 1894. In
later years it became the Seaview Hostel, a boarding
house for Commonwealth Railways employees, but now
houses the Department of Primary Industry.
25 posT oFFiCe. There had been a telegraph
service to Adelaide, run by James Fabian Phillips, as early
as 1856, but it probably operated from the Customs
House, where Hiram Mildred looked after the postal
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