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Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole

Ewen Reserve commemorates the Ewen family who were pioneers of the whaling industry.

Alexander Ewen, a ship’s carpenter, was born in Midmar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1827. He sailed to Australia aboard the Daphne and arrived at Encounter Bay about 1848. Alexander was employed at the Bluff whaling station, established in 1836.  by this time, the whaling industry was not as intensive as it once had been, and was pursued only in the winter season.  He worked on building projects such as the Port  Elliot jetty and The Bluff jetty.

On 26 May 1855, Alexander Ewen married Mary Parsons, daughter of John and Mary Parsons. Mary was born in Suffolk, England in 1837, and arrived in South Australia on the William Stewart in 1853. They set up home in a ‘pug’ house near The Bluff, where six children were born, and one died.   Alexander then built a house of bricks used as ballast aboard one of the many ships that called at the Bay, at ‘Alex’s corner’ in 1867, now Ewen Reserve. Another eight children were born there.

From 1871, Alexander Ewen was Headsman at the whale fishery after the industry had nearly died out in the 1860s. He was still Headsman (the last) some time later when the last whale was caught. Two whalers who joined with him in the venture were Harry Lush and James Long.



Address:Armstrong & George Main Roads, Ewen Reserve, Victor Harbor, 5211
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.556562
Long: 138.600796
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 22nd November, 1971
Front Inscription

Ewen Reserve

Named in honour of a pioneering whaling family

Proclaimed 22 - 11 - 71

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au