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O’Sullivan Beach  |  European History and Heritage

In 1840, Ignatius O’Sullivan arrived in South Australia from County Kerry, Ireland, on board the vessel Mary Dugdale. Within a short time, O’Sullivan had purchased land to the west of Morphett Vale and eventually he held at least three sections, 620 (or 622), 621 and 582, naming the property ‘Bellevue’. He cleared his land with working horses and concentrated on cereal production and mixed farming.

By the time of the Australian gold rushes, in the early 1850s, Ignatius’ son, Thomas, had already begun work on the farm. Thomas went to the goldfields in 1852 and after some success there returned to Morphett Vale. Like other contemporaries he used his earnings from gold to purchase land in the north of South Australia and he moved to Booborowie.

Ignatius died in 1871 and Thomas returned to farm at Morphett Vale and increased the area of the farm to 229 hectares.

The O’Sullivans were renowned for their farming expertise and for their contribution to local and civic affairs.

O’Sullivan Beach, recounts Geoff Manning, was first named in 1926 when a group of developers – F.E. Wakelin, W.A. Hill, D.B. Neck and F.L. Lillecrap – subdivided Section 616 and part section 603 Hundred of Noarlunga.

Thomas O’Sullivan at Bellevue date unknown
Photograph courtesy of the Local Studies collection – City of Onkaparinga’s libraries