The aim of this site has been to gather together pieces of information about the Settlement of South Australia, the Mid North and the Southern Flinders Ranges, previously scattered across the internet, into one website, showing:

How white people arrived on the 'vacant' tree and scrub covered land, and how the South Australian government, having become a government, legislated to divide up and either sell or lease the land to the settlers. This has required a history of the settlement of all of South Australia.

How the affect of rainfall limited the spread of settlement

How power, water, roads and railways followed the settlers into the Mid North

The ebb and flow of the towns:

Back in the 1800's the growth of a town was, at first, influenced by its geographic position and the necessity for providing grocers, saddlers, engineers, flour mills, etc  to a large agricultural labour force, dependant for transport on very slow horse or bullock carts and for planting crops with a horse and plough.

The provision of railways for the transport of corn, schoolchildren and people to the regional centres then benefited some towns at the expense of others - Orroroo against Appila, for example.

All this changed following the replacement of trains, horse-drawn wagons and ploughs by trucks, cars and tractors

This mechanisation of agriculture inevitably lead to the decline in the farm labour force and consequent reduction in the rural population on which the businesses of the towns depended. In addition, the size and capital cost of the machinery, while enabling one man to farm thousands of acres, required greater and greater farming profits to pay for it and the more successful farms accumulated land at the expense of their neighbours. Families who had  owned and farmed land for generations left the land, further reducing the population.

Some, but not all, of those towns that had previously benefited most from the railways, also benefited from sealed roads and their position on tourist routes, and expanded to supply the smaller but now mobile population and tourists at the expense of less successful towns. Jamestown, surrounded by successfully watered agricultural land, thrived but Hammond, a great deal further north, way outside of Goyder's Line, at the end of a dirt road, did not.

Several towns, like Dawson, north-east of Peterborough, which was once a thriving centre, nearly vanished altogether, and some, like Johnburgh and Hammond remain only as ghost towns.

Historical information about all these towns is easily available elsewhere on the internet. The information supplied here shows what these towns are like now, and what facilities they can offer now.

It will be obvious that the site is still a work in progress. A lot more information will be added in the future.

Orroroo

Wirrabara

Port Germein

Crystal Brook

Hammond