E 767500 - N 6042800
The Hog Bay whaling station is
located approximately 1.5 kilometres east of the township of Penneshaw
on Kangaroo Island.
Topographic map showing area of Hog Bay Whaling Station
The whaling fishery at Hog bay was
established in April 1841 by a shipbuilder from Port Adelaide named Daniel
Simpson. The station was in use between 1841 and 1844, and employed twenty
men and two catch boats at the site and yielded 45 tuns of oil in 1841.
"South Australia, May 14. We
are glad to be able to announce that the whaling season has commenced most
favourably. At Mr Simpson's fishery at Hog Bay, Kangaroo ISland, three
fish have been taken. The oil of one of them is now in the port for sale,
having being brought up in the Sophia Jane on Wednesday last. The
first fish was caught on 26 April" (South
Australian Register, 3 June 1841).
"Mr Simpson's fishery at Hog
Bay has commenced auspiciously. Already four fish have been taken...The
oil has been tried down and is now selling in Adelaide at 32 per ton. Mr
Simpson cutters are engaged in bringing up the oil as fast as it can be
Australian Register, 4 June 1841).
It is speculated that Mr Daniel
Simpson who owned the Hog Bay station used a site once operated by Reed
and Hart who worked a whale fishery before official settlement began and
therefore wasn't included in historical documents. It is believed that
this station was operated around 1832.
After the death of Mr Simpson, the
station was purchased by Mr Haynes in 1842 who operated the station until
"In 1842 the Hig Bay station
was taken by John Haynes who continued to operate it until 1844, in July
1842, a party from the Hog Bay fishery were about 9 miles offshore when
a whale overturned their boat. As they swam for shore a second boat from
the fishery rescued them. During the 1842 season 30 men were employed at
Hog Bay but only two whales yielding 20 tuns of oil and two thirds of a
tun of bone were taken. During 1843 Haynes continued to work from Hog BAy
with every little success, and in 1844 continued that operation with one
based at Cape Jervis. The season was disastrous, and Haynes disappeared
at sea in October 1844. Many ships searched for his boat the Sophia
Jane and eventually found it on the Coorong, 60 miles past the Murray
Mouth, but there was no trace of Haynes and his men" (Nunn,
1989, p 85).
The exact location of the Hog Bay
whale fishery is still unknown, however Kostoglou and McCarthy (1991) have
suggested that it might be 1.5 kilometres east of Penneshaw (Kostoglou
and McCarthy, 1991, p 36). This estimation was based on the extract from
the South Australian, 28 January 1842:
'There is a point known as Alex
Lookout some miles to the east of Hog Bay. The point, which is a small
hump on a ridge running down to sea, commands a clear view of Backstairs
Passage in both directions, from Antechamber Bay to Hog Bay. A flagstaff
at the Lookout, which could be seen from Hog Bay was used to signal the
presence and the direction of the whales" (South Australian, 28 January
No archaeological evidence has yet
been located. Theoretically the fishery could have been located on any
of the beaches around Penneshaw and the observation post is likely to have
been situated at "Alex Lookoutí. It is believed that there are no
remains at the site as they were probably destroyed in building what is
noe the Penneshaw township.
Kostoglou, P. and McCarthy, J. 1991.
Whaling and Sealing Sites in South Australia, Australian Institute
for Maritime Archaeology, Special Publication No:6, pg 36-37.
Nelson, N. 1997. Right place,
Wrong time - The Archaeology of Bay Whaling, Kangaroo ISland, South Australia,
1840-1845. Unpublished Honours Thesis, Flinders University of South
By Rebecca O'Reilly
Return to South Australian Whaling