All of the following are extracts from the book "Scott Creek : From Settlement to Conservation"
by Marie Steiner, which is available
from the Friends Of Scott Creek,
Creek was a major travelling route through the hills down to the plains
and coast for the Peramangk Aboriginal People. However, despite surface
exposures of ochre and quartz suitable for tool making, no evidence of
aboriginal use, nor of archaeological sites or artifacts, has yet been
How Scott Creek
got its name :
1847, a "Mr. Scott brought his flock of sheep and pitched a camp
...near the bottom of the creek, near where it empties into the Onkaparinga.
The people of Cherry Gardens would refer to that locality as Scott's Bottom,
and the stream as Scott's Creek."
is an often repeated story that, in 1850, the wheels of a bullock dray
broke off pieces of rock which were recognised as copper on the slopes
of a hill on section 1399. ... a mine, Wheal Maria, was established
and attempts made to mine for copper. A shaft was sunk
30 ft, "but not being immediately productive and the quantity of
ore small," it was abandoned within a few years.
by success elsewhere, some Kapunda shareholders established a company
in 1866 to develop this lode at Scott Creek and sent ore to the Port Adelaide
Smelting works, where it had been seen by William Ey. The Almanda
Silver Mining Association was formed in August, 1868. At the Almanda
Mine a treatment plant was erected with boiler houses, underground flue
and Ey's Tunnel, 60 metres long.
Creek "Silver rush" resulted in a number of mines, including
the Esmeralda, the Colorado, the Potosi - all short lived, and all just
outside park boundaries. One, however, the Almanda, the most significant,
was entirely within the park.
by the companies had stopped by 1870 -1871, the population rapidly declined,
and the terrible bush fire in the summer of 1876 that devastated the whole
country from Coromandel Valley to Echunga destroyed whatever remained.
The site of the
Almanda Mine can still be explored with care.
drive : the tunnel is 60 metres long and was driven in 1868 to join
with the Wheal Mary Anne Shaft above it.
a large part of the reserve was split into twenty acre "working
man's blocks." At
various times there has also been a jam factory, powder factory
and a pottery.
logging and clearing took place between 1940 and 1950; but with
all this past history, plus several devastating fires, Scott Creek
has retained a natural beauty. Only glimpses of its varied
history can be seen.
of the area known as Scott Creek Conservation Park was until recently privately
owned. The state government made the first purchase in the early
1970s, with the major acquisition being made in 1975.
was proclaimed a conservation park and came under the management
of the then National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1985.
photos on this page were taken by Les Peters