Scott Creek Trivia:

With the more serious pages on this web site up and running, we have taken the time to give you a little "Scott Creek Trivia" - some are those queer sort of facts which used to inhabit "Ripley's believe or not" pages, others just scrimshaw from the past.

A Short history of Almanda Mine, or "Boom to bust" in just a few years

Hobart Mercury, 19th June, 1868

The Wheal Maria Mine, in which silver was discovered, as reported in yesterday's telegram, is to be called the Almanda Silver Mine, and is to be worked by a new company, about to be formed.

The Argus, Thursday, 27th August, 1868

We have been informed that the three freehold sections of Mrs. MacKeith, immediately adjoining the Almanda Mine, have been secured by an influential proprietary, who intend at once taking active measures towards developing the lode opened near the creek, and opening up the hill, which they are sanguine is a parallel lode to that of the famed Almanda. The two freehold properties contiguous to the Almanda, viz., MacKeith's and Mildwater's, are now likely to be subjected to a thorough search for the precious metal. A new venture, called Nevada, was offering on Monday, embracing the property in the vicinity of Mildwater's. The meeting of the proprietors of the Almanda alluded to in yesterday's Register, took place on Monday, when the assays were duly submitted...... The reported results of the assays of surface stones brought from the property, which is situated near the Almanda silver mine, was considered so favourable that it was determined to send Captain Bryant to further develop the property.

...For Almanda shares there were transactions at sixteen to eighteen pounds, and for the Potoni at one pound (premium).

The Argus, Wednesday, 14th October, 1868

A heavy lot of silver has been brought in from the Almanda mine. The late crushings have averaged 27oz. to the ton.

Hobart Mercury, Wednesday, 16th September, 1868

The Almanda Mine continues to yield well, and director hope to send 1,200 ounces of silver to London by the next mail steamer.

The Argus, Thursday, 26th November, 1868

The discovery of the Almanda Silver Mine in South Australia seems likely to be attended very early with some of those important consequences which were spoken of in this journal a few weeks ago as likely to follow the success of that company. We pointed out that they were losing enormous quantities of silver from the defectiveness of their apparatus and appliances; and we have since learned that by the introduction of Wheeler's pans-although these are better adapted for saving gold, and are far from being perfect machines for the use to which they have been applied at Almanda-the percentage of silver obtained per ton of stone has largely increased. The quantity originally obtained per ton has now been brought up to considerably over forty ounces, and gold in considerable quantities has since been found in the amalgam, although no trace of that mineral was obtainable in the first samples submitted to analysis.

We now learn, from Adelaide that the Potosi Company, which is situated at some two or three miles distance above the Almanda, have had some excellent crushings. On the other side, below the Almanda, a large section of ground has been taken up, and is known as the Makereth Silver Mine. It lies upon the creek known as Scott's, which, at a short distance further down, falls into the Onkaparinga river. This mine lies east from the Almanda, close to its boundary, and some couple of months ago some valuable silver lodes (which are also supposed to be argentiferous) were discovered in it. Another portion of the ground, extending to over seventeen acres, lying immediately west of the Almanda, and between it and the Potosi, has been taken up by the Ballarat and Almanda Silver-mining Company, who propose to work it with a capital of £20.000, in shares of £2 each. The ground is stated to have been proved very satisfactorily, and the project of working it with mixed South Australian and Victorian capital seems to have been well received both in Ballarat and "under the verandah."

The Argus, Thursday, Friday, 8th January, 1869 (advertisement)

Almanda Advertisement

Perth Gazette, 7th May, 1869

Over 2,000 ounces of silver has been brought down from the Almanda Mine. New and powerful machinery is being got ready and the prospects of the mine seems ver(y) favorable.

Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 13th July, 1869

The new machinery at the Almanda Mine is working well, and the results are reported satisfactory. The machinery at the Potoni (sic) Mine is about starting.

Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 12th January, 1870

The weather is very hot, the thermometer standing 109 in the shade. ...The Almanda mine has stopped working.

The South Australian Advertiser, Saturday, 2nd April, 1870

The Potosi Mine Company is to be wound up.

The Argus (Melbourne) Wednesday, 20th September, 1871

The Almanda Mine realises, at auction, fifty pounds.

Scott Creek Post Office

"Snakes" -report from the Advertiser, 7th November, 1902

"Scott's Creek Two snakes have been killed here during the last few days - a brown one in the school yard and a black one at the post-office. Each measured nearly 5 feet. The crops of strawberries promised to be good, but heat has badly scorched a lot of fruit, and made it unmarketable."

Pictured left, the Scott Creek Post Office in 1902, scene of the Black Snake Killing of 1902. Were snakes really so uncommon in Scott Creek by this time, or was there some one with no copy looking desperately for something to report? We'll never know.

Picture courtesy of the National Archives, Image no. : B5919, 1870

Earthquake- Scott's Creek, Adelaide Advertiser, September 22nd, 1902

A very distinct shock of earthquake was felt here at about a few minutes past 8 o'clock this evening. It appeared to travel in an easterly direction. The rumble was as distinct as thunder. A resident who was driving home described the sensation as much the same as driving over rough cobble stones. In houses the shock was most severely felt. Anything loose rattled violently, and small ornaments were thrown from the mantle-shelves, dresses, &c.

"Ice an Inch Thick" -report from the Advertiser, July 11th, 1903

Scott's Creek. At 1 pm yesterday, ice one inch thick was taken from a horse trough. Some damage to early potatoes
and lemon and orange trees has resulted from the frosts.


" Foxes at Scott Creek" -reports from the Advertiser

SCOTT'S CREEK, July 17th, 1903

Reports have been made of foxes having crossed the Onkaparinga into this district. Two or three have been seen in the neighborhood of the old Almanda mine, and Mr. Boehm, (manager of Mr. Wood's estate) reports that he found three lambs and two ewes dead, and with their tongues eaten out.


Foxes have at last reached this place. Recently two were shot at, but escaped, but on Sunday morning at Ironbank one was secured. Mr. Brown was suspicious that something had taken his fowls on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning, hearing a commotion, he went outside and found that his dogs had killed a fine fox. It is feared that if foxes once get a footing in these ranges their extermination will be simply impossible, as there is so much cover for them in the rough country.

"Snow and floods at Scott's Creek" the Advertiser 4th July, 1904

June 1st Scott's Creek -The past week has been the coldest and wettest experienced here for years. From Tuesday morning to Thursday night 3.39 inches of rain fell. On Wednesday evening a storm of cyclonic force, with heavy rains, but fortunately of short duration,swept up the valley. Its ravages were confined to a width of about a quarter of a mile.

It was most severely felt on Woodville estate, where Mr. Boehm reports trees 18 in. in diameter were up-rooted, while tremendous limbs were broken off other trees, resulting in the death of five lambs. The creek has been down a banker, and most of the low-lying land has been completely inundated. Much ground has been washed away, but not so much damage has been done as would have been the case had the ground been dug for planting. Snow fell all day on Thursday, but heavy rain and wet ground prevented it from lying about for any length of time.


Mackereth cottage and its windows

The opportunity to see Mackereth cottage as it was, with its windows open to the world are gone. The windows were of just two sizes, and other than this size difference, they all looked strangely identical.

The explanation for this is that work on Mackereth cottage began in 1838 when glaziers weren't common in the colony of South Australia, so the windows were imported fully made in the sailing ships of the day. They were only available in two sizes - the ones which you could once see in the cottage.

George Mackereth was not a builder by trade, so we imagine anything that helped him his home in such a difficult situation would have been very much appreciated.

Mackereth cottage window - phot Frank Copley

Kangaroo grass - photo John  Fleming

Kangaroo Grass and Edward John Eyre

The renowned explorer Edward John Eyre was born in England at Hornsea, on August 5th, 1815.

When he turned 17, he emigrated to New South Wales, where he set his mind to becoming the first person to drove cattle the eight hundred and fifty miles to South Australia, which at the time was in great financial distress. During his journey he lost six horses and he and his two companions nearly died from lack of water. However, he successfully brought the cattle here and left them at Scott Bottom afterwards to allow them to fatten up after the journey. Scott Bottom is a location just outside of the current park boundaries. In Eyre's time the flats around Scott Creek and
Cherry Gardens
were locally renowned for the quality and quantity of Kangaroo grass which grew there, and several people made their living by harvesting it for fodder.

The bad news for Eyre was that he had only became the second person to drove cattle to South Australia from New South Wales. He had been beaten by Joseph Haden and Charle Bonney, who had arrived a mere six weeks earlier.

Not being a man to allow such set backs hold him back, he returned to New South Wales immediately and began a new drive with sheep instead. This time he was successful and became the first man to drove sheep to from New South Wales to South Australia.

He became a famous explorer of Australia and finished his career as acting-governor of Jamaica, but spent the last 25 years of his life in Tavistock, England, where he died on November 30th, 1901.

Scott Creek Bridge

Early reports of Scott's Creek Bridge

Clarendon, Monday, August 2nd, 1858

Present: The Chairman and Messrs. Gibbins and Morphett.

Applications received from Messrs. Macrauth and Mildwater for the council to erect a bridge over Scott's Creek. The Clerk was directed to inspect the locality, and report next meeting of Council.

Clarendon, Monday, December 10th, 1860

Present: The Chairman and Messrs. Hamilton, Broadbent and Wright. Reported that Horner, contractor for bridge over Scott's Creek, was not erecting the same according to specification. Clerk to inspect the same.

We are left wondering what was wrong with the bridge at this stage.

I'm yet to find any pictures of it but I would suspect that the current bridge, which is really just two cement pipes, is unlikely to have much to do with the original one. The bridge over Cox Creek in Bridge Water was build about the same time, and is probably more like the original Scott's Creek Bridge.

As you will have seen during all this "trivia", there were innumerable spellings of the "Mackereth" family name.

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