When Ardrossan folk talk of the sea they look to the land… and amidst the agricultural machinery in the Ardrossan Historical Museum you will see why.
Ardrossan Historical Museum is located in the powerhouse of the former factory of Clarence H. Smith who patented, developed and manufactured the Stump Jump Plough. This plough has legendary status in South Australia’s history and is at the heart of the Ardrossan Museum’s displays. The factory which started in 1880 and closed in 1934 went on to make many other types of farm machinery.
A small room contains relics from the sailing ship Zanoni, which sank off Ardrossan on her maiden voyage in 1867, now declared an historic site.
A display on the ‘Mosquito Fleet’, the many ketches serving Ardrossan right up to the 1950s, shows the dependence of the area on the sea trade for shipping grain, dolomite and salt. The original Harbour Masters Office from the jetty is renovated as an old time store.
There is also a whale jawbone on display, preserved for the museum follow the mass stranding off Parara Beach in 2014.
Many other photographs, books and artefacts also portray the history of Ardrossan, a very busy seaside town.