History Archives


Smith’s Creek – Smithfield – South Australia

Smith Creek was a small running stream of clear water originating from a spring in the foothills that passed through John Smith’s land, from where its name derived. Stemming from One Tree Hill, the creek runs down the side of Uley Road, passed over Main North Road and continues alongside Curtis Road. The creek gave the surrounding area importance and […]

Adamson Flour Mill

Elizabeth Grove Uniting Church

Elizabeth Grove Uniting Church – South Australia

Formerly Elizabeth Grove Methodist Church (until 1977) 114 Harvey Rd & Fairfield Rd, Elizabeth Grove. The Church was the first public building erected in the Elizabeth. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Thomas Playford, Premier of South Australia on 27 November 1956, just eleven days after Elizabeth’s inauguration. The building was designed as a combined church and hall, providing […]


Australia’s Railway Dog – Bob

Bob hitch-hiked across the South Australian railway system in the late 1800s. There have been a lot of iconic characters in South Australian history. But perhaps none as universally adored as Bob the railway dog, known for his wagging tail, cheerful bark and love of trains. Bob was born in 1885 and originally destined for a life of exterminating rabbits […]

In 2009, Bob was immortalised with a statue on Main Street, Peterborough

Adelaide Arcade

Haunted – Adelaide Arcade

Adelaide Arcade (South Australia) Built in 1885, Adelaide Arcade was Australia’s first retail centre to have electric lighting. But as (Adelaide Lord Mayor) Martin Haese explains, in 1887, the Arcade’s resident caretaker Francis Cluney, investigating a flickering light, slipped and fell into the arcade’s generator, to this day, it’s not clear if it was an accident, or murder. It is […]


Elizabeth Vale Street Names – South Australia

During the stages of planning the Lyell McEwin Hospital the Housing Trust sought advice and help in planning, organising and staffing from Matron Banwell, as Matron of Salisbury Hospital, and Mr John Joel who became the first Administrator of the Hospital, along with Drs John Rice and Frank Trembath, both of whom practiced in Salisbury. The Trust looked further afield […]


Kettering Road Water Tower

Kettering Road Water Tower – Elizabeth, South Australia

A six level water tower of reinforced concrete once was clearly visible around Elizabeth (South Australia), before trees and buildings have hindered its view. It is located behind General Motors Holden on Kettering Road along the Adelaide to Gawler railway line. The Tower was built before Elizabeth was constructed and is linked to the explosives and filling factory near Salisbury. […]


The HMAS Protector Naval Gun

The Department of Navy presented a late 19th Century four inch Naval gun from the HMAS Protector to the City of Elizabeth (South Australia) in 1962. At this time the Navy, in conjunction with the RSL, were distributing wartime memorabilia to communities around Australia, for safe keeping. HISTORY of HMAS Protector: The gunboat Protector was ordered in 1883 and built […]

HMAS Protector Naval gun, Windsor Green near old John Martins, Elizabeth South Australia 5112

early GMH Holden emblem.

How Holdens Came to Elizabeth, South Australia

In late 1955, Sir Tom Playford managed to persuade the President of General Motors that any new Holden factory should be sited at Elizabeth, South Australia.  Housing Trust, General Manager, Alex Ramsay, was told to escort the GM President to Elizabeth and sell him whatever land he liked.  Playford told Mr Ramsay that ‘any reasonable request would be met.’  ‘If […]


Smithfield plans

Smithfield, South Australia

Smithfield (South Australia) is located in an area that was once known as the Gawler Plains. It lies on the north bank of Smith’s Creek between the Gawler River in the north and Little Para River in the south. Well into the twentieth century Smithfield was an agricultural district noted for its cereal crops, particularly wheat and hay, and livestock. […]


First Football Club at Elizabeth

Extracted from an oral history interview with Bren Gillen in 1996. The first club (Elizabeth, South Australia) was the football club, which the main chairman and organiser was a chap called Tom Croxton, and Charlie Pyatt, our local league footballer he was the coach and they got a team going. I became a player and also the second secretary – Jim […]


Elizabeth Council Coat of Arms

The Elizabeth Coat of Arms (Elizabeth, South Australia) is steeped in symbolism linking the present day Elizabethan era with the Elizabethan era of old, which has built up the British Empire. In the centre of the coat of arms is an Elizabethan ship sailing toward the Southern Cross thus symbolising adventure and faith in the future which had led pioneers […]

Elizabeth crest