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24 June 1887 Patawalonga gates

 24 June 1887   Patawalonga gates

On 24 June 1887 the gates on the boat shelter on the Patawalonga Creek at Glenelg washed away.

The boat harbour scheme was moved early in the 1880s and although there was some opposition a poll of ratepayers voted for it to go ahead. The Glenelg Council proceeded with work which included a seawall, lock gates, upper weir, and wharves. The cost was estimated at £12,000. By June 1886 the work was completed. The Mayor reported:

It has been shown that with reasonable care a large body of water can be retained, pleasant to the eye, a treasure to boatmen, and conducive to the improvement of property and adding attractiveness to the town.

However, the gates were not a success. Built to open outward, controlled by chains on drums operated by a windlass, they never properly closed or opened. A large volume of water came down the Patawalonga Creek on 22, 23, and 24 June 1887 and, although the sluice gates were open, not enough water could be let out until eventually the gates gave way. It took the Glenelg Council 28 years to pay off the debt incurred.

The Advertiser, 10 October 1931, p. 16.

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