A Cape Town District Six Museum tagged image from photographer – denisbin as published on Flickr.
Kadina Yorke Peninsula. Sacred Heart Catholic Church opened 1866 and closed 1937 when a new church was built. It then became the parish hall.
Image by denisbin
The town was laid out in 1860 by the government to provide a settlement for the Wallaroo mines of Walter Watson Hughes. Blocks were auctioned in 1861. The town took its name from the corruption of a local Aboriginal word meaning “lizard plain” Kaddyinna. By 1863 the town had a court house, police station, Post Office and telegraph station. At that time it took three or four days to travel to Adelaide but this was reduced to 12 hours when the road was completed in 1865. Near to the mines Cornish village settlements sprang up, often on leased Crown land until 1871 when the area was surveyed and the freehold sold to settlers. These villages included Matta Flat, Jerusalem, Jericho and Wallaroo Mines. Most of the buildings in these villages have now disappeared since the closure of the mine in 1923. Stone from some of the mine structures was used to build the Catholic Church in Kadina which opened in 1936. It is an especially fine building with limestone. The well laid out township of Kadina was destined to become the major commercial centre for the Copper Triangle once the railway from Adelaide arrived there in 1878.
John Fennescey: Mysterious Benefactor from Kadina. John Fennescey (1866-1948) was born in Wallaroo to a poor Irish immigrant family as one of six boys. His father eventually got a wheat property just south of Moonta where John grew up. He and all his brothers acquired their own wheat and barley farms in the districts near Wallaroo and Kadina. John worked hard, had good years in terms of crops and made money. He married a Maitland girl in 1904. John’s wife Mary got him to invest in mortgages and urban property. He bought the properties of his five brothers. In the 1920s John and Mary sold all their properties at peak market prices before the Great Depression of 1929. They retired to Glenelg and they had had no children. They then started donating funds to the Catholic Church, usually secretly. They helped finance the completion of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral; they gave £18,000 to Calvary Hospital for a maternity wing; they gave £30,000 to the Cathedral to purchase the land between it and Victoria Square. They gave the land at Rostrevor for a Catholic seminary; they helped the Carmelite nuns at Glen Osmond; they purchased a new bishop’s house at Menindie for the Bishop; they financed the building of the Catholic Education Office adjacent to the Cathedral; they helped fund Brooklyn Park orphanage and Aquinas College at the University of Adelaide. Both John and Mary Fennescey were buried at the Catholic section of the Kadina cemetery. In their wills they left a further £50,000 to the Bishop for educational and charity work.
Kadina Cemetery. The cemetery for Kadina was established in 1867. The unique feature of the cemetery is the large and impressive mortuary building in the middle. It was designed for horse pulled hearses to be able to stop and rest in the middle for the unloading of the coffin. Side rooms were for use by cemetery authorities. It is constructed in limestone with brick quoins, now painted and the date above the mortuary building arch is 1876.
Kadina Historical Walk.
1. Queen Victoria Park and Rotunda 1879. Queen Victoria’s 60th jubilee was celebrated here in 1897. This was the site for bandstand concerts, public speeches and gatherings.
2. Royal Exchange Hotel 1874. A fine example of a two storey country hotel overlooking the town square. Young Prince George, later George V stayed here on his visit to SA in 1880 when he was in the British Navy.
3 Ascot Theatre 1921. This early motion picture theatre (for silent movies) was designed in classical rather than Art Deco style. Note the symmetry of the façade, the pilasters (flat pillars) with small scrolls (volutes) on their tops, the pediment across the top of the building and the wonderful semicircular fanlight above the entrance doors. It has Art Nouveau stained glassed windows. It was built just before the mines faded and the economy of Kadina slumped.
4. Former Bank, now Currency Museum 1874. 19th century banks were designed to be solid and look impressive so as to inspire confidence for people to deposit money. This is a good example. It has fancy chimneys, a “blind” window above the main entrance to maintain symmetry and fine keystones above the door. It started life as SA Banking Company premises in 1874 and later it became the Union Bank. The bank used to handle over £5,000 weekly for the Wallaroo Mines. More recently in 1987 it became the ANZ Bank and now it is a museum. If you look back across the road from here you will see the old Kadina Railway Station which is now a private residence. It dates from around 1878.
5. Truscott House 1922. This amazing structure was built for the AMP Society in 1922 just before the mines closed. It is an example of a stripped classical building in dull cement render. It is similar in design to Old Parliament House in Canberra. It has remnants of classical columns across the front. Note the amazing sized front doors under the colonnade or veranda. Check out the carved wooden heads and scroll work in the doors- a typical feature of stripped classical buildings. It is probably the only example of this style of architecture in country SA. Goldsborough Mort eventually took over Truscott House and you might be able to discern their name on the side wall. Mr Truscott operated a grocery store on this site before the AMP built here. It has had many uses in the last 30 years.
6. Wombat Hotel 1860. This is the oldest building in Kadina. It began as a boarding house for miners but soon became a hotel (1862) to quench their thirsts. At that time it was the largest building in Kadina. It takes it name from the story of copper being discovered in a wombat hole near Kadina.
7. Former hairdressing Salon 1906.This Federation style commercial building features lots of wood, especially on the upper balcony. It also features some classical design elements such as a roof pediment with scrolls and other ornamentation on the symmetrical façade. The second floor was added in 1913.
8. Roman Catholic Church 1936. This impressive Gothic church was made from limestone from Elders Engine house at Wallaroo Mines. It is a good example of re-using facing stones just like the Egyptians did with the pyramids! Buttresses between the front doors are an unusual feature.
9. Former Savings Bank of South Australia 1908. This great building would be described by an architect as Federation Freestyle. It has mixed materials- sandstone at the bottom; limestone above that; plaster work and extensive use of wood for decoration. It has mixed architectural styles- Art Nouveau arched windows, wooden features and stained glass above the main doors; Tudor Gothic brick work with an oriel window ( which juts out from the upper floor) and chimneys in Gothic style; Classical style semi circular pediment along the roof line and main doors etc. It was built at the height of the mining period. It was designed by Port Pirie architect J.F. Jenkins and constructed by a Kadina builder.
10. Town Hall 1880, 1883 and 1903. This our departure point for Adelaide. The position overlooking Victoria Square befits its status in the town as a Town Hall but it actually began life as an Institute. The main building is 1880 with the upper floor added in 1883. It is in Classical style with triangular pediments, balustrade and symmetry. The clock tower with a French mansard style roof with wrought iron on the top was donated by a former resident Mr D Squibb in 1903. The building was acquired by the Corporation of Kadina from the institute movement in 1889.
11. Masonic Hall 1883. This hall is a good example of a Classical Revival style building and it is still in use by the Freemasons. It used to have perfect symmetry across the façade until the adjoining building was added to it. Note the fine pediment above the main entrance with a nice semicircular fan light. The doors are flanked with classical pilasters. For contrast the adjacent windows have a half rounded pediment above them. Masons favoured buildings that looked a bit like a Greek temple.
12. Anglican Church 1911. The church was finished in 1910 and officially dedicated by the Bishop of Adelaide, Dr Nutter in 1911. It replaced an earlier church built in 1865 which was demolished to make way for this one.
13. Bews Fountain 1892. Local politician David Bews worked hard to get reticulated water for Moonta, Wallaroo and Kadina and he is memorialised in all towns. Kadina has a small fountain to honour him. Beetaloo reservoir when it was built in 1890 was the largest reservoir in the southern hemisphere. It was eventually linked to Bundaleer reservoir near Jamestown and Baroota reservoir near Port Germein.
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