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.
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
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.
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.