Town of Port Gawler, State Library of South Australia.

The Town of Port Gawler: An 1840s Land Scandal

The stories that make us. This large hand-coloured map, a new addition to the State Library of South Australia’s collection, has an extraordinary tale to tell. Generously presented by the Friends of the State Library, the proposed ‘Town of Port Gawler’ was created by surveyor P.L. Snell Chancey in 1840, showing neat parcels of land, a town square, market, and cemetery laid out near the Port Gawler River. But the town was never built. Behind this map is the scandalous story of brotherly betrayal, colonial price gouging and legal intrigue which gripped colonial Adelaide, over land traditionally owned by the Kaurna people. See the map on display in the Mortlock Chamber of the State Library during History Festival. 

Presented by State Library of South Australia