Port Adelaide River, in South Australia, was originally a tidal creek that was dredged to form a port capable of taking medium-sized shipping. The river flows out to the Gulf St Vincent. The river area adjacent to the city is called the Inner Harbor. A berthing facility was later formed at the mouth of the river to facilitate heavy container shipping and large vessels, called the Outer Harbor.
Port Adelaide centre was established in 1840 as the major port for the colony of South Australia. Facilities for handling and administering cargo and shipping expanded in the vicinity of the early wharves. In 1854 a substantial building of bluestone rubble with brick trim was constructed for Elder and Company (later Elder-Smith).
Port Adelaide Corporation was established in 1856. Ferguson Bond Store was built the following year, and in 1859 the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank was founded. A Police Station was built in 1860 and warehouses constructed in St Vincent Street in 1865.
The Port Adelaide Institute, built 1874-76 was a centre for adult education and other cultural and social activities in Port Adelaide for over a hundred years and represents a major cultural milestone in Port Adelaide's development.
The substantial Port Adelaide Customs House, built in 1877-79 , was the third customs house to be built on this site. It reflected South Australia's economic growth and the commercial importance of Port Adelaide in the 1870s. The addition of large wool stores in the 1880s confirmed the economic strength of the port. The Port was now well-developed, with shops, offices, warehouses, public buildings, hotels, housing and formed streets. In 1887 the Port Adelaide Corporation issued a medal commemorating Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 at Adelaide Exhibition Jubilee International (NU 34830).
In 1900 Semaphore Corporation, founded in 1883 from parts of the District Councils of Glanville and Le Fevre's Peninsula, amalgamated with the Port Adelaide Corporation.
The motor launch Killarney (originally the ferry Success) was built circa 1910 for the Port Adelaide Corporation. The wooden hulled vessel was intended to carry residents and workers across the Port River, but it was considered too expensive to run and was laid up at Birkenhead for a number of years, eventually becoming a standby vessel on the ferry service.
The operations of the Port Adelaide Corporation included quarrying, recalled in records dated to 1910.
The former Port Adelaide Corporation is now part of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield. Established in 1996, the City of Port Adelaide Enfield is one of the largest metropolitan Councils within South Australia.
Semaphore, SA, website http://www.semaphoresa.com.au/semaphore/html-historic/chronology.htm
Department for Environment and Heritage, SA, website http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/heritage/ships_graveyards/pdfs/killarney.pdf
Port Adelaide Historical Society website http://users.olis.net.au/penta/
Australian Heritage Commission database http://www.ahc.gov.au.