MY LOVE OF JETTIES, SOME OF MY JETTY WORK , GRANITE ISLAND JETTIES & A LIST OF S.A. JETTIES BUILT DURING THE 1800s OR EARLY 1900s
August 12, 2015|Posted in: Jetties
I think that I first became fascinated with jetties when I first started scuba diving in January 1978 after visiting Port Hughes jetty. I did my first sea dive at Port Noarlunga jetty in February 1978. Although I had visited several piers whilst I was in England, it was mainly through diving in South Australia that my love of jetties grew.
Diving led me to an interest in the history of local shipwrecks and jetties. My interest increased when I first became our Society’s newsletter editor in April 1981. I may have written articles about jetties any time after that, but the first one that comes to mind is one that I wrote about Port Noarlunga and its jetty. The article titled simply “Port Noarlunga” was published in our July 1984 newsletter (No.86). I also remember writing little pieces about the storm that destroyed the old Glenelg jetty in 1948. These led to an article titled “The Glenelg Jetty” which was published in two parts in our June & July 2002 newsletters (Nos.289 & 290).
It may have been sometime back then that I had started to compile a card system for details regarding dive site locations, jetties and other SA place names of interest. I would use the cards from my system for newsletter articles. As my card system grew, I dreamed of writing a book about SA jetties. It was only my busyness with our Society, newsletters and journals that prevented me from getting on with my jetty book project.
I managed to make a start writing about jetties, however, by about 2005. My dream about writing a book about jetties came crashing down that year though when Neville Collins published his book “The Jetties of South Australia – Past and Present”. Neville had succeeded where I had failed. His book may well have spurred me on in some way though. It had much of the information that I required for my work.
Neville came along to one of our Society meetings to talk about his book on jetties about that time. I even attended another talk on the same topic by him at the Semaphore Library.
My work writing about jetties may have taken a slight turn when it became more focused on jetties that had disappeared. My article titled “Some of SA’s Long Lost Jetties” was eventually published in three parts in our February, March & April 2006 newsletters (Nos.329-331).
(Somehow, the title became sub-titled “SA’s First Jetty” due to an editorial error.)
The article went from being about jetties that had disappeared, to being about jetties that had been rebuilt or replaced, to being about jetties that had simply been shortened because of storms. It concluded with discussing the slipway rail tracks close to the Port Hughes jetty. There was, however, a list of references at the end of the article. This list indicated that I had written about the Semaphore jetty in both 1992 & 1993.
In 2011, I was writing about the Second Valley jetty. An article titled “The Steps at Second Valley Jetty” was published in our August 2011 newsletter (No.384). Several articles about Second Valley and the jetty there appeared in our 2011 Journal (No.21).
The August 2011 newsletter also included my article titled “My Recent Visit to the SA Maritime Museum”. The newsletter included this old photo of the Granite Island causeway: –
I had taken a photo of the photograph at the Maritime Museum during my visit there. According to my article, “It was taken from the island, looking back towards the mainland. It shows the old Victoria Pier (with public baths) in the background.”
I made a start writing another article titled “Three Jetties Built at Granite Island”, but I never finished it. It went like this: –
“Three jetties have been built at Granite Island at Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula, as I reported in our November 1985 Newsletter (No.101). I was, however, a little confused when I said that the island’s first jetty was built in 1862 and that the causeway from the mainland to the island was completed in 1875. The causeway started off as the first jetty. It was built between 1862 and 1864. A pier was built at the end of this first jetty. It was named the Victoria Pier after Queen Victoria and it was opened on 4th August 1864, following the opening of the extension of the railway from Port Elliot to Victor Harbor on the same day. A large stone shed was erected at the end of the jetty to hold goods awaiting shipment. A tramway was also opened along the first jetty that same year. This tramway was heavily worked and the goods shed apparently bulged with wool bales awaiting shipment. People resumed their call for the first jetty to be extended to Granite Island so that ships could dock in deeper waters. The first jetty (causeway) was extended to Granite Island in 1875 and another jetty was built on the island. The causeway extension and new jetty cost £8950. The new jetty (described as “a timber-piled wharf”) was called the Working Jetty or Shipping Jetty. In 1878 work started on the Screwpile Jetty and the nearby breakwater on the island. Both the jetty and the breakwater were finished in 1882 at a cost of £122,171. So what became of the Victoria Pier and the Working (or Shipping) Jetty? I have only been able to find out that one of them was demolished in 1957. This was the year that the causeway had to be rebuilt and may give a clue as to which jetty was demolished then. The Screwpile Jetty was also reconditioned that same year (1957).”
In Part 2 of my article “Some Of SA’s Long Lost Jetties” I wrote: –
“The Old Victoria Pier at Victor Harbor
The first part of the causeway to Granite Island at Victor Harbor was built between 1862 and 1864. It was Victor’s first jetty. A pier was built at the end of this jetty. It was named the Victoria Pier after Queen Victoria and it was opened on 4th August 1864, following the opening of the extension of the railway from Port Elliot to Victor Harbor on the same day.
The Old Victor Harbor Swimming Baths
Swimming baths were constructed on either side of the jetty (causeway) because men and women had to bathe separately. A deeper swimming area was then built between the jetty and its spur (the Victoria Pier) in 1899. A larger area had to be made for swimming by 1905. The baths had a shark-proof fence built around them. The baths, however, fell into such a bad state of disrepair that they were not being used and were eventually demolished in 1955.
The Old Granite Island Jetty
Victor Harbor’s first jetty was extended to Granite Island in 1875 (to become the causeway) and another jetty was built on the island. The new jetty (described as “a timber-piled wharf”) was called the Working Jetty or Shipping Jetty. It ran in an easterly direction in continuation of the roadway (on the island) from the end of the causeway.
Site of the Working Jetty on Granite Island in 2005
(Taken by Steve Reynolds)
In 1878 work started on the Screwpile Jetty and the nearby breakwater on the island. Both the jetty and the breakwater were finished in 1882. So what became of the Victoria Pier and the Working (or Shipping) Jetty? I have only been able to find out that one of them was demolished in 1957. This was the year that the causeway had to be rebuilt and may give a clue as to which jetty was demolished then. The Screwpile Jetty was also reconditioned that same year (1957).”
“The Jetties of South Australia – Past and Present” by Neville Collins included an old photo of the Working Jetty on Granite Island. I also found this photo at the Maritime Museum of the Working Jetty: –
My friend (& dive buddy) Allan Horsfall has now provided me with several old postcards showing the old jetty. These are reproduced below: –
The two postcard images above show a full Working Jetty. The following two images, however, show a much reduced Working Jetty, with what appears to be a slipway attached to the jetty: –
The Working Jetty (with no ‘pier’ in background)
(Postcard courtesy of Allan Horsfall. This card was produced prior to August 1967)
Many thanks go to Allan Horsfall for providing these postcards which show how the Working Jetty must have changed over a number of years.
I took a series of photos showing the remains of the Working Jetty during a visit to Granite Island in 2005. Here is one of them: –
To finish off, here is a list that I prepared back on 1st April (true!) 2006: –
SA JETTIES BUILT DURING THE 1800s OR EARLY 1900s
By Steve Reynolds
As mentioned in Part 1 of my article titled “Some of SA’s Long Lost Jetties” (MLSSA Newsletter February 2006, No.329): –
Several jetties were built at Reeves Point on Kangaroo Island from 1836.
A stone pier was built at Marino about 1840.
Jetties built after that (in chronological order) were as follows: –
Port Augusta 1850s
Port Elliot 1852
Port Willunga 1853.
Port Willunga 1853
Port Noarlunga 1855
Second Valley 1855
Bluff, Victor Harbor 1856
Port Lincoln town jetty 1857
Harveys Return 1858
Kingston SE 1858-63
Myponga Beach 1860
Port MacDonnell 1861
Port Clinton 1863
Causeway & Victoria Pier, Victor Harbor 1864
Rapid Bay 1867
Port Pirie 1868
Moonta Bay 1870-2
Port Broughton 1873
Tumby Bay 1873/4
Working Jetty, Granite Island 1875
Point Turton 1876/7
Point McLeahy 1877
Port Vincent 1877
Port Minlacowie 1877
Port Victoria 1877/8
Althorpe Island 1878
Port Rickaby 1879
Louth Bay 1879
Penguin Island 1880
Venus Bay 1880
Mount Dutton Bay 1880
Port Germein 1880/1
Port Moorowie 1881
Lipson Cove (near Tumby Bay) 1882
Wool Bay 1882
Arno Bay 1882
Largs Bay 1882
Henley Beach 1883
Screwpile Jetty, Granite Island 1882
Beare Point, Kingscote 1886
Marion Bay 1889
Streaky Bay 1892
Fowlers Bay 1894-6
Port Julia 1895
Port Davis 1899
Muston early 1900s
South Neptune Island 1901/2
Sceale Bay 1905
North Shields 1906
Cape du Couedic 1907
American River 1908
Marum Island 1909?
Denial Bay 1909
Port Lehunte 1909-11
Laura Bay 1911
Vivonne Bay 1911
Port Neill 1911/2
Smoky Bay 1911/2
Port Hughes 1911-3
Port Kenny 1912/3
Stenhouse Bay 1913
Port Gibbon 1915
Emu Bay 1918
Klein Point 1918
Antechamber Bay 1922/3
Loveday Bay 1923
Cape Jervis 1938
The above list is intended only as a guide. Much more research is needed to discover the details. Many of the above mentioned sites had more than one jetty built there.
Photographs of the old jetties built at Granite Island could previously be viewed at the kiosk on the island. The Largs Bay kiosk still displays old photos of the Largs Bay jetty. Many old jetty photos can be found at Sea Witch Images in Lipson Street at Port Adelaide.
Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.