Place Names of South Australia - B
Blair Athol - Blanchetown
Mary Ann Cameron was born in 1864 in Perth, Scotland which is about 50 km from the village of Blair Athol; in ancient times it was recorded as 'Blair-Athole', a reference to the pre-historic Earldom of Athole; the Gaelic blar means a 'plain', 'field' or 'battlefield'; thus, 'the field of Athol'.
She came to South Australia in the City of Adelaide in 1867 with her aunt and uncle, John and Ann Brewster, and took up residence at Kapunda. Later, on 10 March 1886, she married William Walter Warren 'at the house of R. Brewster, Kapunda' and, in October of the same year, purchased a house situated at what is now 11 Hewitt Avenue, Rose Park; she called it 'Blair Athol'. In January 1905 she purchased part of section 355, Hundred of Yatala from the executors of the late Thomas Magarey and changed the name of the family home on that property to 'Blair Athol House'. Her husband was closely associated with the horse racing industry and 'Aurifer', 'the winner of the 1913 Caulfield Cup, came from the stud of W.W. Warren, Blair Athol, Enfield'.
The Adelaide suburb now carrying the name was created by Alwyn G. Warren, stud manager and Cedric B. Warren, clerk, in 1915 on sections 354-55, Hundred of Yatala.
"Wild Flowers Near the City" on Mr Thomas Magarey's property are described in the Register,
29 September 1903, page 8f.
A photograph of Mr W.W. Warren's "mansion", Blair Athol House, is in The Critic,
27 March 1912,
12 June 1915, page 4; also see
23 October 1915, page 14,
17 July 1915, page 15d,
19 June 1919, page 4.
Also see Place Names - Enfield.
The school opened in 1934; see The News,
2 January 1934, page 3h:
A new eight-roomed school, built to accommodate 450 children will be opened on January 30 1934.... Mr. A.C. Cattle, formerly head teacher of the Kadina School, will be in charge...
A photograph of the school band is in the Chronicle,
16 July 1936, page 31.
In the 11th century a manor house in County Durham was named Blaichestun, (tun being Old English for 'farm'). In 1615 Blakiston Hall, as it was then called, and surrounding land, was purchased by Alexander Davison, a Newcastle merchant and his descendant, Francis Davison, emigrated to South Australia in the Cleveland in 1839. Using land orders obtained in England he purchased two eighty-acre sections in the Mount Barker district which he named Blakiston. The name was applied to a subdivision of part section 4424, Hundred of Macclesfield by Thomas O'Donoghue in 1862. He leased the 'Blakiston Arms' Hotel from James Shakes of Nairne in 1852.
Information on St James' School is in the South Australian,
6 November 1849, page 4a.
The church's jubilee is reported in the Observer,
11 May 1907, page 45a.
A horse race meeting is reported in the Register,
1 January 1851, page 3e,
11 February 1854, page 6e:
A race meeting took place on 26 December 1850 and the first race was for a very elegant saddle, the manufacture of Mr. Hooper of Mount Barker. The day's sports being finished a portion of the company adjourned to the Blakiston Arms to dinner. Mr. Shakes took the chair which he shortly vacated in favor of Mr. O'Donoghue, who did the honours with great spirit. We believe Mr. Kingston, the publican, intends to get up another day's racing...
A public market is reported in the Observer,
15 April 1854, page 7e.
Also see Adelaide - Markets.
Its school opened circa 1859 and closed in 1870.
The town and district are described in the Register,
6 July 1892 (supp.), page 1a.
9 July 1892, page 10a.
"Blakiston the Beautiful" is in the Observer,
7 May 1921, page 11e.
Information on the butter and cheese factory is in the Register,
10 December 1892 (supp.), page 2d,
10 March 1893, page 6h,
18 September 1894, page 7a,
2 June 1904, page 8e,
5 December 1905, page 7h;
22 June 1904, page 7f;
"Dissatisfied Shareholders" on
26 June 1909, page 16d;
its closure is reported on
10 July 1909, page 13e.
Also see South Australia Industries - Rural, Primary and Secondary - Dairying.
A field naturalists excursion is reported in the Register,
6 November 1894, page 3g.
Blakiston - Obituaries
An obituary of Guilford E. Gray, brewer, is in the Observer,
30 June 1906, page 38c,
of Rev J.W. Gower on 24 April 1915, page 44a.
An obituary of Miss Sarah E. Gray is in the Register,
11 September 1912, page 10h,
of Alfred von Sanden on 3 October 1913, page 8a,
of Mark Gray on 20 May 1926, page 11e.
The name "Blanche", with various prefixes and suffixes, appears sixteen times on the map of South Australia, and all of them relate to the Christian name of Governor MacDonnell's wife.
It is described in the Register,
27 August 1883, page 6b,
26 April 1888, page 6a,
4 June 1891, page 6c.
Sketches are in the Pictorial Australian in
April 1888, page 61,
November 1889, page 168:
This beautiful spring, which is one of the wonders of the north-west, is approached across a plain and a casual observer would, at first sight, not suppose that water would be forced to such a height at the top of a hill which contains the reservoir. Climbing to a height of nearly 150 feet up the side of the mount, a circular sheet of water 60 feet in diameter is seen which bubbles and froths at the centre of
the spring as if some internal commotion was going on, while from the edge a little stream ripples and gurgles pleasantly as it wends its way to the plain below...
BlanchetownAlso see Murray River.
The town was surveyed in 1855 and first offered for sale on 27 August 1857.
In 1855 Governor MacDonnell was in the area and "directed a convenient and beautifully situated rising ground about 5 miles north of Moorundee to be laid out as a township. It is his Excellency's intention to remove there the quarters of the Native Police and of the Protector of Aborigines, as the houses now inhabited by them are annually subject to inundations" - see Register, 12 July 1855, page 2f.
Because of ready access to the river from the high cliffs above, and as proposals were being considered for a rail connection between Gawler and the River Murray, Blanchetown was selected as a river port in 1856. Although the rail connection did not eventuate, a road was built from Blanchetown through Truro and Freeling to connect with an existing road at Gawler. This route was used by the mail coach service which ran between Adelaide and Sydney via Wentworth and in 1869 a private punt crossing was provided at Blanchetown. A Government ferry service came into operation in 1879.
In 1910, the SA Government authorised construction of a lock and weir across the river at Blanchetown and work commenced in 1913. In order to rationalise the use of waters of the river, the 'River Murray Agreement, 1914', was signed by the States of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales and the Commonwealth Government. The agreement was ratified by the River Murray Waters Act, 1915, under which construction of Lock 1 at Blanchetown proceeded. The foundation stone was laid on 5 June 1915 and completed and opened on 5 April 1922. It was reported that an enterprising publican secured the hotel prior to the commencement of the Lock and, within a few years, retired with a fortune of £10, 000.
A history of the town and photographs are in the Chronicle,
28 July 1932, pages 33 and 40,
24 June 1937, page 50a.
The town and district are described in the Register,
27 March 1856, page 2f-h,
11 April 1887, page 6a.
A sketch is in the Adelaide Illustrated Post,
1 December 1869, page 1.
A proposed custom-house is discussed in the Register,
12 December 1856, page 2e; also see
16 December 1869, page 3g.
"An Old-Time River Port" is in the Register,
12 April 1904, page 6e.
A horse race meeting is reported in the Register,
13 November 1860, page 3h,
17 May 1872, page 3e; also see
8 June 1869, page 3b,
11 June 1870, page 4a,
6 July 1895, page 14f.
A horse race meeting is reported in the Observer,
3 May 1873, page 9g.
Also see South Australia - Sport - Horse Racing.
A petition for the retention of the town as a River Murray port is in Parliamentary Paper 112/1872:
[Residents] have observed with alarm and regret that the government [has] suggested making Mannum the first and last port on the Murray...
3 and 6 June 1872, pages 5c and 5b.
"Blanchetown and the River Trade" is in the Register,
22 and 25 January 1866, pages 3d and 2f,
20 and 27 January 1866, pages 4g and 4a.
Also see Murray River.
The school opened in 1868. An Arbor Day is reported in the Chronicle,
14 August 1897, page 37a.
Public works are discussed in the Observer,
21 March 1868, page 13d.
Problems encountered with the coach service to Truro are traversed in the Chronicle,
8 August 1868, page 7a:
I don't know what the ideas are with our mail contractors of passengers' comforts, but if they blend with the state of the coaches running here they are a disgrace to a civil community. In inclement weather passengers are subject to wet and mud without intermission for 32 miles... The vehicles are well horsed and run in admirable time; further than this they are everything for a passenger to dread....
A description of a mail coach trip from Blanchetown to Wentworth is in the Register,
5 September 1872, page 5e.
Also see South Australia - Transport - Horse Coaches.
Information on the punt is in the Register,
24 January 1878, page 6c and
13 February 1878, page 5e.
A storm is reported in the Observer,
16 February 1878, page 12b.
A novel method to catch fish is described in the Express,
22 May 1886, page 3d.
Its fishing industry is discussed in the Observer,
27 February 1892, page 38d,
4 May 1892, page 7a.
Also see Place Names - Murray River - Fishing.
Information on working men's blocks is in the Observer,
26 February 1887, page 39b.
The Register of 26 March 1888 at page 7g has a report of a "peculiar greenish substance" in the river:
Some twenty years ago a gent in the neighbourhood collected a similar substance... which he dried, then added oil and turpentine and then used it for paint...
(Also see 13 April 1888, pages 5b and 6f and Place Names Alexandrina, Lake. and Murray River.)
it includes an Aboriginal tale.
The golden wedding of Mr & Mrs William Teasdale is reported in the Register,
27 July 1889, page 5a.
An obituary of William Crabb is in the Register,
16 May 1905, page 4g.
"The Blanchetown Lock" is in the Observer,
13 February 1915, page 34a; also see
4 and 7 June 1915, pages 6g and 7a.
"To the Lock and Back" is in the Register,
30 May 1916, page 5b.
For information on the Lock see Murray River and
2 August 1917, page 4e,
19 April 1918, page 6h,
23 August 1921, page 4f,
5 and 7 April 1922, pages 7h and 7f.
Photographs are in the Chronicle,
12 June 1915, pages 13-14,
12 June 1915, page 27,
1 November 1919, page 24.
A photograph of the unveiling of a memorial stone is in the Chronicle,
25 April 1925, page 35.
Also see South Australia - World War I - Memorial to the Fallen.