remains of Davidson Whaling Station
In 1857 Alexander Walker Davidson built a whaling station on the shores of Kiah Inlet about six kilometres south of Eden in Twofold Bay. He also built "Kiah House" using timber from the wrecked ship 'Laurence Frost' which had been run ashore and abandoned nearby. Kiah House was burned down during bush fires in 1926. The cottage, Loch Garrah which now stands was built in 1896 by Alexander's grandson, 'Fearless' George Davidson and lived in by the family until 1945 when they moved to Eden.
With equipment purchased from Benjamin Boyd's earlier whaling business, Alexander established the most notable and longest running of the shore-based whaling enterprises of Twofold Bay, with four generations of his family continuing whaling until 1929. In 1930 the death of Old Tom the last of the famous pod of Killer Whales that had assisted the Davidson whalers bought to an end the Davidson whaling business and shore based whaling in Australia.
Although up to 30 whaling boats were launched from the area in its hey-day, the Davidson's were the only ones alerted by the Killer Whales. This may have been because a large proportion of the Davidson's crews were Aboriginal and the local Thawa tribe had a long established co-operative relationship with the Orcas, whom they called "Beowas" and revered as reincarnated warriors reborn to the sea from the dreamtime.
At the try-works, located below Loch Garrah, the whale carcase was dragged ashore and a capstan used to turn the carcase while large strips of blubber where pulled off with a winch and dragged to the try pots.
|back to IN OUR BACKYARD|