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Historical Timeline

Prospect - name chosen for the beautiful prospect the locality presented, well-timbered, with waving gums and shady trees.


The Kaurna people lived in small bands across the Adelaide Plains, including the Prospect area, prior to the European settlement.


1836
Establishment of formal government in the Province of South Australia.

1838/39
First grants of land began in Prospect, Fitzroy and Medindie Gardens.

1840's
Prospect Village was one of a number of villages within a few miles of Adelaide. Population mainly involved in agriculture (wheat), dairy farms, lime kilns and timber milling. Lack of water supply and roads were obstacles to early growth. Many deep wells put down. Originally only two main roads - Main North Rd and Lower Main North Rd (later Churchill Rd ). By degrees Prospect Road built, extended, then widened.

1843
Windmill Hotel licensed - served passing traffic to the town of Gawler, and, carts and bullock wagons bringing ore from Burra and Kapunda.

1851
The Irish Harp Inn (now the site of the Reepham Hotel) opened.

1852
Act to appoint District Councils passed.

1853
District Council of Yatala constituted under the Municipal Act.

1853
Ground at North Road consecrated as burial ground. Chapel built in 1905. Among those buried there are Daisy Bates and Sirs Ross & Keith Smith.

1855
Walkerville proclaimed a separate council, Prospect remaining part of the Yatala District Council.

1856
SA Railways opened workshops in Islington providing employment opportunities for Prospect.

St Helens House1860's
Many well-to-do families built fine homes in Prospect, amongst them St Helens, built by James Harrington (shown left). Water now being supplied from Thorndon Park Reservoir - prior to this it was carted from River Torrens.

1870
Wingfield House in Alpha Road built by Alfred Barker; in the grounds was a well, used for watering stage-coach horses before arriving in Adelaide.

1872
Prospect won its petition to become a new Council district.

1875
First Post Office established in John William's Blacksmith Shop & Store on corner of Main North Road & Nottage Terrace.

1881
Nailsworth Public School built - first government school in the district. Building now houses the Prospect Library and the former headmaster's residence next door is the Prospect Gallery Studio.

Tram on Prospect Road1883
Prospect , Nailsworth and Enfield Tramway Co. formed - intended to put an end to Prospect's isolation from Adelaide. Initially they used double - decker, horse drawn trams. Original Tram Barn now the Council's Johns Road Depot.

1883
St. Cuthberts Church built in Clifton Street, was the first church built in Prospect.

1895
District Hall (Town Hall) built at cost of 848. Population of Prospect now 5,000.

1895
Late 1880's - early 1900's, as Prospect developed there was a decline in land under cultivation; migration to the Victorian goldfields took many of the menfolk. Trams, railway and eventually buses meant people could work in the city and live in Prospect, now more suburban.

Prospect Oval Entrance1898
Prospect Oval opened by State Premier, Mr Kingston. First grandstand built 1922.

1900
Electric lights connected and sewerage established.

1925
A.S. Horne Pty Ltd established.

1926
Heavy rains flooded western end of Prospect forcing Council to seek better drainage solutions.

Police Station and Courthouse1930
Yatala Labour Prison breakout by four prisoners resulted in car chase by police and shoot out on Main North Road. Prisoners escaped into Nailsworth School grounds where 2 policemen were injured before their recapture.

1933
Prospect became a municipality; celebrated by an inaugural banquet in Town Hall.

Prospect Crest1934
Council adopts an official Coat of Arms to represent the progress from open fields to a City of prosperity:
* Wheat depicting early days of agriculture
* Wings symbolic of progress
* Cornucopia for prosperity

1934
R.M.Williams Pty. Ltd established.

1935
Prospect declared a City.

1935
Prospect City Band began as a boys band.

Chapel - North Road Cemetery1936
Centenary of the State - population of Prospect 20,000.

1939
British Tube Mills started business on Churchill Road.

1947
Prospect Council divided district into 4 zones
- residential, shopping, minor trade & factory.

1947
Late 1940s - 50s - Post-war migration.

1951
Northern Community Hospital established on Main North Road.

1954
Royal visit with Queen Elizabeth traversing the city 6 times during her SA stay - she was very enthusiastically received by residents.

1958
Tram service replaced by diesel buses.

1963
New Council Offices opened by SA Governor, Sir Edric Bastyan.

1972
Max Lamshed, published Prospect 1872-1972 100 years of Local Government.

1972
Centenary celebrations held in St Helens Park.

1974
ABC Building in Collinswood opened by Prime Minister Mr E G Whitlam.

1976
St Helens House demolished.

1978
Prospect Mural Group formed by local residents.

1980
Prospect Public Library opened in former Nailsworth Primary School building.

1981
First Prospect Fair.

1982
First Community Arts Exhibition.

1982
Recollections published - documenting personal histories of long standing residents.

1986
* South Australia celebrated Jubilee 150.
* Stobie Pole Project commenced.
* Heritage Collection opened.
* Town Hall upgraded.

1987
Prospect Arts Path begun.

1988
Prospect Art Gallery built and opened with 5th Prospect Community Exhibition.

1988/89
Heritage Survey conducted to identify significant buildings/areas in Prospect.

1989
Councils of Prospect, Walkerville & St. Peters collaborated in the SWAP Library Network.

1991/92
Built Imagination Project.

1993
* Ern Sconce Rotary Park opened.
*Reading Room at Prospect Library opened.

1995
* Power lines on Prospect Road undergrounded.
* First Twilight concerts.

1997
Northern Community Hospital closed.

1999
* Whittle Reserve skateboard facility opened.
* First Prospect Portrait Prize.

2001
Prospect Road upgraded.

2002
First Upmarket Fair.

2003
New roadworks on Torrens Road between Fitzroy Terrace and Churchill Road completed.

2004
Civic Centre restoration opened by the Mayor of Prospect Kristina Barnett.

2006
Newly refurbished Civic Centre destroyed in arson attack. Staff working out of the Town Hall until the Civic Centre is rebuilt.

2007
Civic Centre rebuilt and staff relocate back into Civic Centre

For more information visit Local History collection based at Prospect Library, 1 Thomas Street, Nailsworth. Telephone 8342 8170.

Related Links
Civic Centre, 128 Prospect Road, Prospect SA 5082 Australia
Telephone: 08 8269 5355 |Email
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