Celebrating South Australia


3 December 1900 Centenary Tower

3 December 1900       Centenary Tower

On 3 December 1900 the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Samuel Way Chief Justice of South Australia, laid the foundation stone of the Centenary Tower in Mount Gambier to commemorate the naming of the mount by Lieutenant Grant, RN commander of HMS Lady Nelson on 3 December 1800. Lieutenant Grant was on an exploration voyage and because the Lady Nelson, had a sliding keel he was able to get in close to the shore. On this voyage in December 1800 he named Cape Northumberland, Cape Banks, Mount Shank and Mount Gambier after Admiral Lord Gambier. The tower stands high on a hill overlooking the Valley and Blue Lakes and the town which grew at the foot of the extinct volcano. Gambierton, as it was first known, was founded in 1854 by Hastings Cunningham and by 1861 the south-east area had nearly 5500 settlers, most involved in the pastoral industry. Mount Gambier prospered to become the main town of the South-East district and the second largest outside Adelaide after Port Pirie.

Eric Gunton, Memories in Stone, 1984, p.15