Samuel Anderson was born in Scotland on 25 September 1803 into a wealthy family. He was educated at Kircudbright Academy and became a journalist in London. He wrote in support of emigration, particularly to the Swan River settlement, and in 1834 he put his words into action and migrated to Australia.
Once in Launceston he fitted out a vessel for a venture emulating the expeditions of Batman, Fawkner and Aitken. In 1835, just weeks after Fawkner's party reached Port Phillip, he and partner Robert Massie sailed to the eastern shores of Western Port Bay. They founded an agricultural settlement on Bass River, grew wheat, and established a flour mill, salt works and orchard.
Anderson was a keen explorer, and made a number of journeys in the area. In November of that year, Townsend surveyed the inlet naming it Andersons Inlet. He also identified and named Townsend Bluff, a prominent feature on the north shore. He also re-discovered veins of coal observed in 1826 by William Hovell, which he used for household purposes as well as forging and milling his flour. Nearby Wanthaggi later became one of the principal coal fields in Victoria.
In 1837 Anderson's brother Hugh joined him. Hugh had some knowledge of medicine and had migrated as a ship's surgeon. In 1841 he dressed a wound in the head of Truganini after the capture of Tasmanian Aborigines at Cape Patterson. He deliberately introduced thistles from the Burns monument at Dumfries, but they proved noxious.
In 1842 Anderson and Massie opened a commercial tidal flour mill using the tides at the junction of the Bass River and Ross Creek. The creek was dammed with a sluice gate which held the high tide, to be released when needed to the mill. Water from the dam flowed along a race to the undershot water wheel. The mill ceased operations some time in the 1850s.
Samuel Anderson died at San Remo in 1863. He was survived by his brother. The Anderson Peninsula was later named after him.
Australian Dictionary of Biography.
In the Artists' Footsteps Australian government website http://www.artistsfootsteps.com/html/vcc_westerncoal.htm
Fairfax Walkabout website http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/VICSanRemo.shtml
Morawa District Historical Society website http://www.wn.com.au/caladenia/TidemillsAustralia.html
Protect Andersons Inlet website http://www.protectandersonsinlet.org/About_Andersons_Inlet.html.