Home

Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association (KIPA)
celebrating the birthplace of South Australia.

KIPA was established in 1983 and aims to promote Kangaroo Island's magnificent history today.

We very much welcome your interest. Perhaps you'd like to become a member?

Enjoy exploring the historic Kangaroo Island, and enjoy exploring this site!
(Use the navigation tabs above, or on the left side panel, or "Search this site" box above.)


Frenchman's Rock interpretive sign

We are pleased to announce the receipt of a $4,000 grant from the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme.  This grant is being used to replace the large interpretive sign at the State Heritage listed ‘Frenchman’s Rock’ site. The existing sign is badly degraded.  The new sign will be a 3mm thick marine-grade stainless steel sign mounted on a galvanised and powder-coated frame, similar in size and shape to the original.  The new sign should stand up to the elements far better than the original, with an expected life well in excess of 20 years. 
The Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Department of Communications and the Arts. 



Cape Borda Telegraph Station stands near Cape Borda Lighthouse on Kangaroo Island which was built in 1858 and is the only square stone lighthouse in South Australia. It was built to guide sailing ships coming out of the Roaring Forties trade winds and directing them through Investigator Straits towards Adelaide. A man, his two children and a horse and carriage can be seen outside the telegraph station. 
Photo dated approximately 1910 courtesy State Library South Australia B-8423. 
The image has been cropped and enhanced for clarity.



Kingscote Pioneers Cemetery
The Kingscote Pioneers Cemetery was neglected as early as 1848 after most settlers had moved to the mainland.
" ... we landed on Kangaroo Island — the most important of the group, and almost the only one which I had never visited. Kingscote is prettily situated, yet the first impression on entering it is of a painful nature.  Old buildings in ruin are sometimes sublime — often interesting — never disagreeable objects. They have bowed to the ordinary influences of time, and the most painful feeling they can excite is pensiveness, or a reflective melancholy. But new buildings falling into decay do violence to the ordinary operations of nature and time, and are therefore repulsive to the beholder. Many neat cottages are still standing, though unoccupied; and some good stone houses, defaced by premature dilapidations, show that the town was once inhabited by civilized beings. The chief mansion of the almost deserted settlement we did not behold, for the materials had just been removed from the island for use elsewhere. Five families constitute the town population. Twenty-five white people and two black lubras are all that the island can at present render to the South Australian census. A few browsing goats do their utmost to alleviate the dreariness of the scene. The graveyard—if a patch of earth without a fence may be so denominated— becomes unduly pathetic in the solitude. It contains from thirty to forty graves. Most of these are quite undistinguished— and why should they he otherwise ? Others have wooden slabs with painted inscriptions still clinging to their proper localities, but with a very frail clutch. Others, again, of these wooden immortalities, are transferred from grave to grave by browsing cattle, listless mortals, strong winds, or any other accident, as if death were verily laughing at our puny efforts to withstand oblivion."
PORT LINCOLN AND KANGAROO ISLAND. (1848, May 24). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 3.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48728812



Recently added
  • District Councils : showing elected officers for Kingscote and Dudley councils over the years.
  • Time Line : an index of the events that affected K.I.
  • The Land Commission pay KI a visit 1888, a scurrilous account by a  reporter accompanying public servants visiting K.I. He paints an unflattering picture of complaining farmers and their struggles on "primitive" K.I.  George Bates  is described as a "better preserved fossil "existing "in a half-mummified condition". Almost the whole article is contemptuous and arrogant, but he does praise Mr. John Buick's orchard and his wife - "a comely old dame, who bore Nature's own impress of high-class womanliness."
  • Register articles 1908 focussing on the activities and achievements of the people and farms of Kangaroo Island in 1908 (15 articles )
  • Letter from Theresa Chauncey who arrived on the John Renwick in 1837
  • The Old Mulberry Tree - a transcription by KIPA member David Ellis, from an article written by Mr Dene Cordes OAM that appeared in The Islander newspaper on 27/4/1983
  • Unveiling of the new plaque commemorating Thomas Hudson Beare and family held at Beare Avenue Reserve Netley. See report.
  • Memories of K.I. nearly 40 years ago by Rev. A. D. Bennett, Methodist missionary on K.I. 1884
  • Rev. Tom Ward's watercolours 1896-98
  • From Kingscote to Middle River in a whaleboat 1863 by Henry Frederick Bates (1846-1936 ) describes the story of a mercy mission by boat from Kingscote to provide assistance to Henry and Elizabeth Snelling, whose family at Middle River was desperate for provisions and medicine. 
  • Obstreperous Kangaroo Island An article dealing with a series of drunken incidents which occurred at Kingscote between September 1836 and January 1837. [By Alfred A. Lendon M.D.]
  • Building the canopy for Frenchman's Rock - preserving 1802 graffiti.
  • George Milner Stephen is appointed to the post of Colonial Secretary. An interesting newspaper account on what was happening in the colony in 1838, including the text of the paternalistic address to the aborigines by Governor Gawler.
  • Extracts from the diaries of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders and their encounter at Encounter Bay in 1802. 
  • Families now including the descendants of  : SHERIDAN, John (c.1848-1940) and HOUGHTON, Ellen (c.1856-1925); JOHNSON, Charles (c.1810-1895)  and TUOHEY, Mary Ann (1837-1915); GASMIER, Frederick (1842-1928) and BONHAM, Mary Ann (1844-1915);  OLDS, James (1860-1926) and HOCKING, Mary (1861-1941); AYRIS, Henry (1854-1936) and JONES, Hannah (1856-1891); AIRY, William (1838-1894) and McDONALD, Wilhelmina (Minnie) aka WILLIAMS (1853-1919).