Mount Gambier 175 Digital Timeline

Mount Gambier 175 Digital Timeline

The ‘Mount Gambier 175 Digital Timeline’ is a working collection of photographs and documentation of significant buildings, people, events and statistics charting the history of our city. This timeline was unveiled at The Mount Gambier Library on the 10th May 2022. This resource was launched to mark the 175th anniversary of the sale of the first Government land grant for 77 acres in section 1103 in the Hundred of Blanche in the Country of Grey. This land would later be surveyed for the township of Mount Gambier. While acknowledging this anniversary, The City of Mount Gambier acknowledges the Boandik Peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land and water our city sits upon today. We respect and recognise the deep feelings of attachment and the spiritual relationship our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have with the land and water. Our history stretches beyond the parameters of the last 175 years, and this project is a mere snippet of all that has come before us. We hope that this resource can encourage the historical curiosity and exploration for its participants, whether it be 5 years or 50,000 years into the past.

0000-03-01 00:00:00

Acknowledgement of Country

The City of Mount Gambier acknowledges the Boandik Peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land and water our city sits upon today.

0000-04-07 22:00:00

Mar the Cockatoo - The Boandik Dreaming Story of how the Boandik people obtained Fire

Aunty Michelle shares the Mar story as handed down in her family.

0000-07-15 19:00:00

The Boandik Dreaming Story- Craitbul Story

Craitbul Story by Aunty Michelle

0000-11-15 16:00:00

Thugi - The legend of the Devil in the Cave

This video is one of the Boandik people’s Dreaming stories. This legend shows that movement over lands of different language groups did occur. It also shows that groups fiercely protected family, their own people and land.

1846-01-03 14:00:00

First Police Station

A slab hut next to the Cave Garden was used as the first Police Station in the area beginning in 1846.

1847-05-10 00:00:00

First Land Grant Approved

The grant of section 1103 in the Hundred of Blanche, County of Grey. 77 Acres issued to Evelyn Sturt on the 10th May 1847.

1847-09-18 19:00:00

John Byng's Mount Gambier Hotel

The license for John Byng’s Mount Gambier Hotel was granted on September 18th 1847 (the third license granted in the South- East.)

1854-05-15 23:00:00


Hastings Cunningham purchases land from Sturt and enganges William Murray a licenced surveyor to create 123 allotments, streets and a public reserve on a portion of the 77 acres surrounding a sinkhole.

1856-04-28 07:00:00

Second Police Station

In April 1856, the contract for construction of the second Police Station in Mount Gambier was complete, on the current site on Bay Road.

1856-08-01 00:00:00

Farmers Inn/ Federal Hotel

The original single storied hotel, The Farmers Inn opened on 5th August 1856.

1857-04-02 23:00:00

Original Telegraph Office

The original Telegraph Office was established in 1857. The four-room building was built east of the main corner in Commercial Street.

1858-01-01 09:00:00

First Butchers Shop

Operated by Johann Schinckel and Wiliam Milton and situated on the corner of Watson Tce and Bay Road (current day Elders building.)

1858-06-14 19:00:00

The National School

In 1856 Hastings Cunningham donated a parcel of land on Sturt Street for a purpose built school.

1860-03-19 02:00:00

South Australian Hotel

Opened in March 1860 by Robert Long, The South Australian Hotel was the third hotel in the town to receive a license.

1860-05-01 03:00:00

National Bank

The National Bank was the first bank to open in Mount Gambier, temporarily occupying a small office in Krummel Street from the 1st May 1860.

1861-04-26 08:00:00

The Border Watch

The first edition of The Border Watch was published on 26th April 1861 making it the first and now longest running newspaper in Mount Gambier.

1862-12-17 07:00:00

Mount Gambier Hotel

The first hotel licence in Mount Gambier was granted to the Mount Gambier Hotel in 1847. At this time the hotel was operating under the ownership of John Byng in a weatherboard building in Watson Terrace.

1863-06-04 00:00:00

District Council of Mount Gambier

On the February 20th 1863, residents of Mount Gambier sent a petition to the State Governor Sir Dominic Daly, requesting the formation of a local Council.

1864-01-11 09:00:00

Meischel Park- Old German Cemetery

This cemetery was used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia from 1864 to 1907 and is located on the corner of Warren and Griffith Streets Mount Gambier.

1864-03-03 10:00:00

Mac's Hotel

In March 1864, Mr. John MacDonald was reported to be converting his home into a public house.

1864-07-01 00:00:00

Gordons Leap

In July, 1864, Adam Lindsay Gordon made his famed leap on horseback over an old post and rail guard fence onto a narrow ledge overlooking the Blue Lake and jumped back again onto the roadway.

1864-09-01 00:00:00

The Globe/Flanagans

Previously a butcher shop of August Pringle, The Globe Inn opened on the 17th September 1864 for licensee Duncan Livingston.

1864-12-22 00:00:00

Council Splits

The Government Gazette of December 20 1864 announced the District Council of Mount Gambier would split to form two new Councils.

1865-01-03 01:00:00

First Courthouse

In January 1865, the first Court House was opened after work for the building had commenced in 1864.

1865-03-22 18:00:00

Post and Telegraph Office

The two storied Telegraph building was constructed in 1865 on land donated by Alexander Mitchell (proprietor of the Gambier Hotel.)

1865-12-10 19:00:00

Anglican Christ Church

The Anglican Christ Church was consecrated on the 10th December 1865 in front of a crowd of 600 people.

1866-04-04 14:00:00

Mount Gambier Gaol

Situated in Margaret Street, the first Mount Gambier Gaol was opened on the 4th of April 1866.

1867-01-18 12:00:00

First Post Office

On January 1, 1867, the Post Office opened and started operations occupying the former Telegraph Offices.

1867-04-18 18:00:00

Commercial Roller Flour Mills

In April 1867, Thomas Henry Williams opened his first of many mills in Mount Gambier.

1868-01-06 00:00:00

Institute Library

The foundation stone for the single storied Institute Library was laid by John Riddoch MP on January 6th 1868.

1868-05-17 15:00:00

The Commercial Hotel

In 1868, The Commercial Hotel opened as a single-story building.

1868-08-01 00:00:00

Lake Terrace Cemetery

The Lake Terrace Cemetery, or the New Cemetery as it was originally known, was first planned in 1861 with a competition held to design its layout. The winning design was submitted by Mr R.H Gardiner.

1868-12-03 12:00:00

The Shakespeare

The Shakespeare hotel was a single story building with just 14 rooms and a cellar.

1869-01-29 08:00:00

Mount Gambier Hospital

Building commenced in 1867 and was completed in 1869 to accommodate 20 males and 20 females.

1871-12-10 09:00:00

St Andrews Church

The current Mount Gambier Uniting Church building was erected for the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

1876-05-25 00:00:00

Town Council of Mount Gambier

Creation of the Town Council of Mount Gambier.

1878-01-21 00:00:00

Mount Gambier Government Public School

Opened 21st January 1878 by Chief Secretary, Hon. W Morgan.

1878-09-02 05:00:00

G. D Wyatt- Mayor

Mayor of Mount Gambier 1878- 1879

1879-02-22 23:00:00

Robert Anderson- Mayor

Mayor of Mount Gambier 1879- 1881

1879-08-28 17:00:00

First Railway Station

Costing £1,320, the original limestone Railway Station building was built in 1879.

1881-09-04 12:00:00

Town Hall

The Foundation Stone for the Town Hall was laid by Mayoress Mrs T.H. Williams on the 14th of September 1881, with the building completed nine months later in 1882.

1882-02-22 21:00:00

S. T Webb- Mayor

Mayor of Mount Gambier 1882- 1883

1883-08-07 19:00:00

Town Hall Clock

On the 7th August 1883, 80 of the towns leading businessmen stood in the street and then went to drink champagne to toast the installation of the Town Hall Clock.

1883-08-22 13:00:00

A. F Laurie- Mayor

Mayor of Mount Gambier 1883- 1884

1884-01-30 00:00:00

Jens Town Hall Hotel

Designed by prominent architect Thomas Hall, the Hotels’ foundation stone was laid on 25th July 1883.

1884-06-18 23:00:00

Gardiner Fountain

The Gardiner Fountain was first unveiled to the community on the 18th of June 1884.

1884-10-23 16:00:00

Blue Lake Pumping Station

In June 1880 a poll of local ratepayers decided by 248 votes to 202 that Mount Gambier should have a water scheme. The earliest preference was for water from the Valley Lake, then a little later, Lake Edward near Glencoe was recommended

1885-04-04 12:00:00

Mount Gambier Roller Flour Mills

The Mount Gambier Roller Flour Mills were built in 1885 by Thomas Henry Williams. A design was accepted from William Webber, and was to be built within three to four months.

1885-04-19 17:00:00

St Paul's Roman Catholic Church

St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church was opened in Penola Road on 1885, being dedicated on the 19th April the same year.

1885-05-07 16:00:00

Former Commercial Bank/Radio Station

The new two storied Commercial Banking chamber and residence was opened on the corner of Commercial and Grey Streets on the 7th May 1885.

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