Yorke Peninsula, South Australia - Lime burning

Lime burning
Lime burning was another business which came into prominence during the late 1890s

With so much suitable stone available to build homes, commercial buildings, etc, it was natural that limestone was used not only to build the homes but also burnt to make into mortar. Although limestone was used this way by the early pastoralists to construct their own homes and buildings, it was only during later years that lime burning developed into a commercial enterprise, employing people to burn the lime in specially constructed lime kilns, and paying local farmers to deliver the rocks.

Kilns were built at Edithburgh, Coobowie, Wool Bay, Stansbury and Port Vincent. Some were also built on several farmer's properties, notably near Weaver’s Lagoon, Hayward Park and at Paddy’s Well, with a total capacity between all kilns of some 31,000 bags of burnt lime per year.

Lime kilns were profitable for many years. I can still recall the Paddy’s Well Kilns working in the early 1960s when I was a kid going to school, although by then the burning process was oil-fired and electric power was used for lighting and operating the crushing plant, etc. The old kilns were dismantled about ten years ago, after not been used since about 1970. All that is left is a roadside sign and lime residue scattered nearby.