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Adam Lindsay Gordon
Adam Lindsay Gordon

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The obelisk records that poet Adam Lindsay Gordon lived in the area and jumped a fence and landed on a narrow ledge for a bet.

In 1853 Gordon settled in South Australia, in the Mount Gambier district and took a position with the South Australian Police force. He quickly gained a reputation as a sportsman, a boxer and an excellent, though often reckless horseman. He competed in and won many district races despite the fact that he was extremely near sighted and more often than not, had to trust to his mount to judge a jump whilst he hung on for his very life.

In July 1864 Gordon came third in the Border Watch Handicap Steeplechase, the most famous Mount Gambier horse race. The day after, he made his famous leap on his horse, Red Lancer, over a high fence between Leg of Mutton Lake and the Blue Lake. He landed on a small 1.8 metre ledge with a 60 metre drop into the Blue Lake below.

The foundation stone of the proposed obelisk at Mt. Gambler in memory of the late poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon, was laid on Friday by Mr John Riddoch, of Yallum Park, Penola, who was an intimate friend of Gordon. The site of the obelisk has been admirably selected. It is near the spot where the poet took a fearsome jump with his horse, Red Rover, but on a rocky ledge on the banks of Leg of Mutton Lake, confronting the Blue Lake, the road running between the two lakes. When erected the obelisk will be discernible for many a mile around. It is to be 20 feet in height, and being erected on a site 20 feet above the road level it has thus a fair eminence. The design of the obelisk is very handsome. The lower part of the base will be constructed of grey dolomite, and the upper part of pink dolomite, while the shaft is cut out of solid granite. The idea of erecting a monument to Gordon's memory was conceived by his Worship the Mayor of Mount Gambier (Mr William Thurston), and Mr Thomas Williams, of Moorak, Mount Gambier. Subscriptions have come from Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, the Western District of Victoria, and all parts of the south-east.
Geelong Advertiser (Vic), 11 July 1887.


Address:Riddoch Highway, Mount Gambier, 5290
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.843576
Long: 140.772773
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 8th July, 1887
Front Inscription

Adam Lindsay Gordon

Back Inscription

This obelisk was erected as a memorial to the famous Australian poet.

From near this spot in July, 1864 Gordon made his famed leap on horseback over an old post and rail guard fence onto a narrow ledge overlooking the Blue Lake and jumped back again onto the roadway.

The foundation stone on the Gordon Memorial Obelisk was laid on 8th July, 1887


Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au