Lefevre’s Peninsula was named in May 1837 but Portonians soon abbreviated the name to ‘the Semaphore’. The name ‘Semaphore’ was not used until the 1850s and was usually ’the Semaphore’ reflecting its derivation from either the signal station flagstaff on the beachfront or the Semaphore Hotel (1851), which was intended to have its own flagstaff with semaphore signal arms attached.
Semaphore began as a service point for shipping. From the mid 1860s it took on additional roles as a residential suburb for Port Adelaide and a seaside resort for metropolitan Adelaide and towns near the country railway lines. In the absence of a comprehensive history this chronology is designed as a ready reference to the construction of some (of) the area’s landmarks and the establishment of its institutions.
- 1849 Area surveyed for sale by the Government
- 1851 Semaphore Hotel opened on the south corner of Blackler Street & the Esplanade
- 1856 Telegraph line extended to Semaphore from Port Adelaide
- 1859 Port Bridge (site of Jervois) opened
- 1860 Jetty completed
- 1862 Road from jetty to Port Bridge completed
- 1864 District Council of Glanville formed
- 1864 Peninsula Literary Institute formed. (into recess 1880)
- 1866 Jetty Hotel (became Federal Hotel c 1901) opened.
- 1867 Semaphore Hotel on Semaphore Road opened
- 1867 Wesleyan Church, Semaphore Road opened
- 1872 District Council of Lefevre’s Peninsula formed
- 1875 Timeball Tower operational
An extract from an article by Brian Samuels that appeared in the Portonian in June 1987.