How the Streets got Their Names – Elizabeth

How are street names chosen?  Some are named after a connection that people had in the area with place names from other countries.

As the mother town of Elizabeth (South Australia), the town of Salisbury, was laid out by John Harvey, a man who held land on Elizabeth soil, the Housing Trust followed his example of naming the town of Salisbury and some of its streets after his wife’s birthplace.


Ann Harvey came from the village of Trowbridge in the County of Wiltshire of which Salisbury was the main town.

The Housing Trust officials obtained the names of all the streets in Wiltshire, England, and when they had all been used, they began using names from the neighbouring town of Dorset.

Allington, Barrinton, Gadley, Dilton,and Hale are but a few of such names.
Within its boundaries lie Fremont Park and the Fremont High School.

Fremont is the American sister city of Elizabeth.

Some are to do with history

In the centre of Elizabeth, Elizabeth Way circles the Town Centre, and the streets within its boundary were named after great men of the first Elizabethan era, such as Drake, Frobisher, Grenville, Hawkins and Sydney.

As Elizabeth is named after the Queen of England other  Royal Family such as Philip Highway, Prince Charles Walk, Princess Ann Walk and streets named for Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were used.

Early pioneer of the area

Previous farmers and landowners who sold their land to the Housing Trust will be remembered by the streets named for them.  Ayling, Burdett, Chivell, Fatchen, Guerin, Gunther, Haynes, Hecker, Jarvis, Judd, Linger, Mahood, Nitschke, Secombe and Smithen are some of the names seen around Elizabeth.

One of the most famous of these names above is Carl Linger who will always be remembered in South Australia for having written the ‘Song of Australia’, and each year his memory is honoured by the laying of a wreath on his grave on Australia Day.

Nitschke Street was named after the well-known sportsman, grazier, stud farm owner and race horse breeder.  His stud farm was in the Elizabeth South Industrial Area bordered by Philip Highway and Hogarth Road, which became one of the first factory sites in Elizabeth.

Another group of people the streets were named for were the Original Crown Grantees.  The names of Bishop Short, Dr Trimmer, John Ridley and the family names of Swan, Walsh and Wiley are seen around Elizabeth.

John Ridley had several land holdings in South Australia. He was the inventor of the stripper and harvester and held land in many wheat growing areas where he experimented on crops.

Early land owners dating back to 1847-1857 included the Roman Catholic Bishop Murphy, Police Commissioner Peterswald (the street was incorrectly named Peterswool) and the name of Sandford who pioneered the Australian Steel Industry.

The Judd brothers Richard and Edward owned the land in the center of Elizabeth bordering Philip Highway, and the Main North Road. They also owned the Olive Grove in Elizabeth east, which has been developed into a park, leaving the Olive Grove as it was originally planted, with olive trees brought out to Australia by the early settlers.

Kevin Judd also farmed land in the area where the great General Motor Holdens Ltd complex now stands.

Judd Road which now passes their old homestead is named for the Judd brothers, who sold their homestead and land to the Housing Trust for the development of Elizabeth.

As there were very few trees or buildings in the area of the new town, owing to the fact that it was mostly farming crop land, the Housing Trust kept every standing tree and every homestead where possible, and made use of them.  Hence the lovely old gum trees adorning the medium density units on the corner of Philip Highway and Judd Road were once part of the Judd Family homestead yard.

The Guerin family continued farming their land right up until the town began to close in around them.  They began farming their land in 1908 with 342 acres bordering the Main North Road, in what is now the Elizabeth Vale and Grove neighbourhoods, which was passed on to the brothers Tom and Mark Guerin when their father passed away.

Tom lived with his wife Ella and family in the old homestead until its demolition.  They took with them some of the original stone from which the homestead was built about 100 years ago, and had it built into the patio of their new home in Collingbourne Drive as a reminder of their past family history.

Guerin Road in Elizabeth Vale runs through the land which was once farmed by the Guerin family.

In 1847, eleven years after the foundation of the colony of South Australia, one of the first Crown Grant land sales was recorded of land which is now in the precincts of the Elizabeth boundaries.  It was bought by John Harvey, a young Scotsman who came to the new colony on the ship Superb in October 1839.  He was a young man with foresight and a true spirit of pioneering.

He settled in Gawler, north of Adelaide in 1843 and drove the mail between Gawler and Adelaide for about twelve months.

The energetic and hard working Harvey will be remembered as the founder of the town of Salisbury.  He laid out the town and after surveying he named it after his wife’s birthplace in Wiltshire, England, and the streets after members of his family.

His wife, Ann, was the daughter of William and Emma Pitman, a cousin of Sir Isaac Pitman, the man who devised and introduced shorthand to the business world.

John Harvey was an industrious young man, farmer, builder and politician as well as being a family minded man.  The inspiration that is born in pioneers to organise and build for the future was evident in him.

With the early land owners there were Butterfield, Chivell, Coglin, Hawk, Ifould, Innes, McLean, Ranger, Richardson, Tolmer and Wilson most of whom were early Munno Para East Councillors.

Numerous streets were named after early farmers and settlers, a blacksmith named Bartlett and a veterinarian named Bloomfield, two school teachers Connell and Leonard, Skewes a store keeper and Walpole a local hotel keeper, Chesterman a wheelwright, Parkinson a vigneron and Peachey a surveyor.

The school teacher Leonard worked to help establish the Congregational Church in South Australia and Garlick a stalwart Baptist is also remembered as one of the founders of the Baptist Church in South Australia.

People who helped build Elizabeth

Kettering was one of the early Presidents of GMH whose mighty complex came to be the backbone of industry in Elizabeth and in the state of South Australia.

Another venue for names came from those who assisted in the planning of the Lyell McEwin Hospital.  The Housing Trust saw fit to honour these people by naming streets within the vicinity of the hospital after them, such as Matron Banwell and Mr John Joel the first Administrator of the hospital and many others (see Lyell McEwin Hospital).

Mavros Road, in Elizabeth Downs was named after a “New Australian” who was accidently killed while carrying out his duty of employment for the CSIRO, testing soil.  The incident badly shook the housing industry in Elizabeth at that time, and the street name now stands as his epitaph.

Aboriginal names

A further section of streets were given aboriginal names such as Chowilla, Currawong, Dimboola, Karinga and so on.

Botanical names

A separate housing development in the south west corner of Elizabeth Vale was give botanical names such as Hybiscus, Rhus, Prunis, and Abelia to name the streets in this section.

The Battle of Midway

Naming streets become a big problem in a project the size of the city of Elizabeth, so new themes were continually being explored to come up with street names.

One such theme was “The Battle of Midway”, and streets in the Elizabeth East neighbourhood were named after Admirals, aircraft carriers, ships, submarines and men who fought in the battle.

Every war has its tales of ups and downs, just as in the Elizabethan era when Sir Francis Drake outwitted and out-sailed the overwhelming strength of the Spanish Armada.  Had he lost the battle at sea, the Spaniards may well have overpowered Britain.

The Battle of Midway was the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II.  Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet.

War heroes

Honour rolls are seldom looked at except on commemoration days, so the Housing Trust saw fit to name some of the streets in Elizabeth after the South Australian Victoria Cross winners of the 1st and 2nd World Wars and the Vietnam War.

The names of Badcoe, Blackburn, Derrick, Hawker, Inwood, Jenson, Kibby and Leake all have their own little honour board in Elizabeth as a memory of their valour.

Elizabeth (South Australia)

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