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8 March 1864 Adam Lindsay Gordon

 8 March 1864   Adam Lindsay Gordon

It was on 8 March 1864 that Adam Lindsay Gordon purchased his home 'Dingley Dell 'near Port McDonnell.

 Gordon, who was born in the Azores in 1833, arrived in South Australia in the Julia on 14 November 1853. He joined the mounted police and was stationed in the south-east at Penola and Mount Gambier for two years. Renowned as a great horseman, he rode in steeplechases on country racecourses and is said to have jumped his horse over a fence, and back, on a narrow section around the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier just where the ground falls away steeply.

After leaving the police force Gordon worked for a time as a horsebreaker and was persuaded to enter Parliament. But he was not a good politician and only stayed a short time. Following an accident while horse-breaking at Lake Hawdon Station near Robe, he was nursed back to health by Maggie Park, the niece of the proprietor, at the Caledonian Hotel. The young 18 year-old girl from Glasgow later married Gordon in Mount Gambier. They left South Australia in 1869 to live on a pastoral property in Victoria. 

Gordon used his experiences as a horseman in the bush to write poetry which was much-loved by Australians. Yet, he was a complicated and introverted man. One of his best poems, 'The Sick Stockrider', shows the inner depression which often gripped him, while it also shows his love of the bush. The depression finally brought him to despair and he shot himself on a beach near Brighton in Victoria on 24 June 1870.

'Dingley Dell' was bought by the SA Government in 1922 and is now a museum.

Lorraine S. Smith, 'Adam Lindsay Gordon',100 Famous Australian Lives,  Paul Hamlyn, Sydney, 1969, pp. 146-153.
Eric Gunton, Memorial in Stone , 1984.

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