cape jaffa Cape Jaffa Caravan Park

History of Cape Jaffa

cape jaffa lighthouseCape Jaffa dates back to 3rd. April 1802 when Captain Nicholas Baudin discovered and named it Cape Bernouilli. Captain Matthew Flinders wrongly identified the charts and called it Cape Jaffa after the town in near Jerusalem and by 1850 this was officially CAPE JAFFA.

The 'Cape' was also known as Kings camp, named after W.F.King the works superintend for the construction of the lighthouse. Virgin scrub was cleared for a camp and a jetty built in 1868 in preparation for the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse which was to be built on the Margaret Brock Reef [named after the 'Margaret Brock' wrecked on the reef 20th Nov. 1852]. It was completed and opened 24th Jan. 1872. Cottages were also built on the shore and the ruins still remain.

The Lighthouse was replaced by a solar powered beacon in 1972, the national trust shifted the lighthouse to Kingston's foreshore and is opened to the public. One of the main industries in those early day was to harvest Wattle Bark and this continued until the 1950's. The bark, which was used for tanning hides, was first shipped from the 'Cape' but later taken by German wagons to Kingston and railed to the Mount Barker tannery. Another industry to develop was the Cane Grass (used for making brooms) giving local land owners extra money in the early part of the century until after the second world war.

The Cape Jaffa School was opened on the 23rd Jan 1935. This came about by the local community pulling together collecting the lime stone and burning it to save expenses With the help of the local M.P. Mr Petherick and Mr Alan Fidge the builder from Robe, the school became a reality. The school closed in 1951 and the building still stands on the corner of Limestone coast road and Holmes road. Cape Jaffa was one of three places in Australia where a German U/Boat 862 was sited during World War 2. Shots were fired on the 9th Dec. 1944 at a passing Merchant ship, and the people of the coastal towns did not know that a navel engagement had taken place at their own backdoor.

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