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Photographs supplied by Denis Binnion

The park and oval commemorate John Henry Reid (1860 - 1924) who discovered coal at Leigh Creek. The park was established in 1983 and the oval was named and the plaques unveiled on the 24th September 2011. 

John Henry Reid discovered the coal deposit when a dam for the railway was excavated near Copley in 1884.

With a government reward of $20,000 for the discoverer of a workable coal deposit, Reid had a close look at the dirt thrown from the dam and became convinced that it showed indications of coal. To prove it for himself Reid sank several shafts and found enough evidence to ask for outside help to continue the search for coal. First he tried to float a company but could not find anyone interested. Subsequently Reid went into a partnership with Samuel Gason and Drew Williams and a new start was made. They employed several experienced coalminers to sink more and deeper shafts. 

Years later Reid said, The coalfield will be developed and South Australia will depend on Leigh Creek coal for many years to come. Reid's claim was later disputed by Drew Williams who tried hard to prove that he was the original discoverer. In August 1891 Reid showed visitors from all over Australia around the mine.

John Henry Reid died in 1924, without ever having been granted the $20,000 reward. His grave is at West Terrace Cemetery, almost forgotten, with only a few people realising that he discovered the biggest and most profitable mine worked during the next hundred years, not only in the Northern Flinders Ranges, but also in the whole of South Australia. 

In September 1983 a new park, opened in Leigh Creek by Mrs Gregory grand-daughter of John Henry Reid, was named Reid Park.





Address:Black Oak Drive, Reid Park, Leigh Creek , 5731
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.594761
Long: 138.402372
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:September-1983
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Reid Park

This plaque commemorates the discovery of coal at Leigh Creek in about 1888 by John Henry Reid in whose honour this park is named

Plaque :

Reid Oval

This plaque commemorates the discovery of coal at Leigh Creek in about 1888 by John Henry Reid in whose honour this oval is named

24 September 2011



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