Scott Creek History : The Mines
The Almanda Mine Engine House


The enginehouse at Almanda Mine was built in 1869 as part of the ore treatment plant.
Two Cornish boilers were situated on the left, where a flue hole can be seen in the wall. The steam engine
stood on top of the wall on the right. A fly wheel occupied the space seen immediately behind the sign.


All of the following are extracts from the book "Scott Creek : From Settlement to Conservation" by Marie Steiner,  which is available from the Friends Of Scott Creek by contacting John Thompson at thomo@senet.com.au or Marie Steiner at charp@senet.com.au

Prehistory :
Scott Creek was a major travelling route through the hills down to the plains and coast for the Peramangk Aboriginal People. However, despite surface exposures of ochre and quartz suitable for tool making, no evidence of aboriginal use, nor of archaeological sites or artifacts, has yet been found.

How Scott Creek got its name :
Around 1847, a "Mr. Scott brought his flock of sheep and pitched a camp ...near the bottom of the creek, near where it empties into the Onkaparinga.  The people of Cherry Gardens would refer to that locality as Scott's Bottom, and the stream as Scott's Creek."

The Mines
It is an often repeated story that, in 1850, the wheels of a bullock dray broke off pieces of rock which were recognised as copper on the slopes of a hill on section 1399.  ... a mine, Wheal Maria, was established and attempts made to mine for copper.  A shaft was sunk

to 30 ft, "but not being immediately productive and the quantity of ore small," it was abandoned within a few years.

Inspired by success elsewhere, some Kapunda shareholders established a company in 1866 to develop this lode at Scott Creek and sent ore to the Port Adelaide Smelting works, where it had been seen by William Ey.  The Almanda Silver Mining Association was formed in August, 1868.  At the Almanda Mine a treatment plant was erected with boiler houses, underground flue and Ey's Tunnel, 60 metres long.

The Scott Creek "Silver rush" resulted in a number of mines, including the Esmeralda, the Colorado, the Potosi - all short lived, and all just outside park boundaries.  One, however, the Almanda, the most significant, was entirely within the park.

Mining activities by the companies had stopped by 1870 -1871, the population rapidly declined, and the terrible bush fire in the summer of 1876 that devastated the whole country from Coromandel Valley to Echunga destroyed whatever remained.

The site of the Almanda Mine can still be explored with care.

 
The Chimney, Almanda Mine


The Almanda Mine Chimney
was built in 1869 and was connected to the boilerhouse by an underground stone-lined flue. Its purpose was to create a more powerful updraft.

Ey's drive or tunnel

Ey's drive : the tunnel is 60 metres long and was driven in 1868 to join with the Wheal Mary Anne Shaft above it.

Other Industry
In 1880, a large part of the reserve was split into twenty acre "working man's blocks." At various times there has also been a jam factory, powder factory and a pottery. 

Heavy logging and clearing took place between 1940 and 1950; but with all this past history, plus several devastating fires, Scott Creek has retained a natural beauty.  Only glimpses of its varied history can be seen.

The Conservation Park
Most of the area known as Scott Creek Conservation Park was until recently privately owned. The state government made the first purchase in the early 1970s, with the major acquisition being made in 1975.

It was proclaimed a conservation park and came under the management of the then National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1985. 

The photos on this page were taken by Les Peters

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