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Originally dominated by huge sand-hills and long sandy beaches, the Brighton area was occupied in the summers by the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains.

Kingston HouseIn 1838, Brighton District was surveyed by Colonel William Light. Wheat and vines became the main produce and the area developed a rural character. It also became a place of retreat -holiday houses were built by the wealthy and prominent citizens of the day.

With the advent of the railway and the car, settlement grew quickly and Brighton became a popular day trip destination as people flocked to the beach. Hotels and guesthouses opened up to accommodate them. In the 1920s, Jetty Road was the popular commercial strip, later to be overtaken by Brighton Road. With the rebuilding of the storm damaged Jetty, Jetty Road has once again become a popular destination for sipping coffee and viewing the beach.


Glenelg was South Australia's first mainland settlement and the State was officially proclaimed here at the "Old Gum Tree" on 28 December 1836. At the proclamation ceremony Hindmarsh named the area Glenelg in honour of Lord Glenelg, the Secretary of State for the colonies.

Aerial view of Glenelg 1969A few months earlier, Surveyor-General Colonel William Light had chosen the site as being suitable for the new settlement.

Sited just beyond the beach sand dunes, the settlement began to take shape. Glenelg became a thriving seaport town with many a tall-ship calling in its waters. Glenelg also became a popular seaside and holiday destination for the citizens of Adelaide. By foot, on horseback, on velocipedes and aboard buggies they came in their thousands to promenade at the water's edge and take in the healthy sea air. Later they came by train, tram or car. The wealthy built their mansions, others stayed at resort hotels, others just came for the day.

Today much of the heritage of old Glenelg still exists.

Soon after settlement the other coastal villages of Somerton, Brighton and Seacliff developed, each with a distinctive character.

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