South Australia

 

Robe

Robe is situated on Guichen Bay on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, 210 miles south east of Adelaide, South Australia, and 360 miles north west of Melbourne, Victoria.

It was officially founded in 1847, and named after the then Governor of South Australia, Major Frederick Holt Robe.

The Ormerod link with Robe arises through a George Ormerod, who was one of Robe's most prominent citizens in the Nineteenth Century.

Ormerod built several buildings that can still be found in Robe, including the Grey Masts Woolstore, Ormerod Cottages (which was once Robe's Barracks), and Moorakyne House (built in 1853).

George Ormerod's export company, Ormerod & Co., owned the jetties at Robe, as well as the store, and the Ant, which operated from Robe until she was wrecked in 1866.

Between 1855 and 1866 nearly 2 million worth of goods passed through Ormerod & Co.

Ormerod vigorously opposed the linking of Robe to the railway network - fearing that this would harm his shipping company - and the decision led to the demise of Robe as a commercial centre.

Prior to moving to Robe, Ormerod lived in Naracoorte, South Australia, having emigrated from England in the 1840s.

 

Naracoorte

Naracoorte is a large town 195 miles southeast of Adelaide.

The name Naracoorte is said to come from an Aboriginal word narra-coorta meaning 'wide pool', 'large waterhole' or 'running water'.

When Ormerod first moved to Naracoorte, in 1842, he is said to have lived in a reed hut on the banks of Naracoorte Creek. At that time the areas was known as Mosquito Plains, which gives some indication of the hardships that the early settlers would have had to endure.

Ormerod later built a stone cottage for himself and his family - which subsequently became Naracoorte's first bakery - and a large homestead - now the centre of Naracoorte Station Run - which he named Dartmoor. Dartmoor Homestead is now a bed and breakfast and conference centre.

Ormerod bought up large areas of land in the area of Naracoorte and hired shepherds to look after large flocks of sheep which he grazed on the land.

George Ormerod is still remembered in street names in Naracoorte, and a Lake Ormerod can be found just west of the town.