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28 September 1900 Whyalla

 28 September 1900 Whyalla

On 28 September 1900 the Honourable John Lewis MLC, (father of Sir Essington Lewis), presented a petition to the Legislative Council for leave to introduce a Bill for construction of a railway from iron Knob to Hummock Hill and jetties at False Bay for BHP who leased the iron ore deposits in the area. The railway was built and the first train ran on 28 August 1901. Ore was taken by barges, pulled by tugs, across the gulf to Port Pirie. The first quarter mile jetty was completed by 1902. The men working at Hummock Hill lived in bag humpies, tents, or wood and iron buildings near the jetty. Wool was also brought from pastoral leases to the bay and shipped to Port Adelaide by ketch. There was a bullock track through the bush to Port Augusta but it was a trip of more than 10 hours with a fast team with 10 vermin gates to open and close and many tall sandhills to negotiate. The place was terribly isolated but from this grew Whyalla, Aboriginal for a place of water, and the name was changed from Hummock Hill in 1920.

Newspaper Cuttings Book Volume 3, p.18. Whyalla Historical Society Paper, March 1949.

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