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Published February 8th 2017
The early days of this seaside resort
Victor Harbor was named by Captain Richard Crozier, Commander of the HMS Victor in April 1837, and was declared a legal port by Governor John Hindmarsh in June 1838. Soon thereafter, the town grew as sailors and visitors began to take up residence in what was initially known as Port Victor.
To commemorate the history of Victor Harbor, the Victor Harbor branch of the National Trust of SA in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor and the City of Victor Harbor have installed some 24 commemorative information markers around the township providing a vintage photo and a story of a historically significant building or location, and have combined these together in to what is known as the Victor Harbor Historic Markers Discovery Trail.
The trail starts at the Soldiers Memorial Gardens where Norfolk Island pine trees were planted in 1924 in memory of local men who lost their lives in the first world war. The trail then continues for around 3 kilometres taking walkers past the iconic buildings of yesteryear including the Customs House, Goods Shed, Hotel Crown, Victor Harbor House, Wool Stores and the various buildings that facilitated the interaction between railway and maritime transportation.
Meanwhile, a couple of streets back, the Anglican and Newland Memorial Churches dominate the streetscape which includes a number of smaller, but no less significant buildings including the first Public School, the Town Hall and the Institute. Ocean and Coral Streets were also two of the first streets developed, and the intersection of those streets is home to the former grocery store on Bell's Corner, with the Grosvenor Hotel standing tall on the other corner.
Each location on the trail is marked with a distinctive steel information board which contains a photo from the past, plus also a small story on the location being viewed. In many cases, the historic marker is placed in the same location that the original photographer would have stood many years ago to take the original photo.
Further information on the Discovery Trail, including a brochure, is available from the Information Centre near the Horse Drawn Trams to Granite Island. Alternatively, take the kids with you, and just walk through the streets of Victor Harbor and see if you can find all 24 markers – they are pretty easy to find !