Early 20th Century boatsheds

Between Victoria Drive and the river is a collection of four buildings that are all either former or current boat sheds. Each of them has been here for at least a hundred years.

A photo of a Torrens rowing regatta, taken in 1918 shows the four boat sheds side by side in exactly the same positions – but some of them looked a little different in 1918.

The one closest to the Adelaide Bridge is Jolleys Boat House, but it's been many decades since this building last housed any boats. Although it's the second-oldest of these four buildings, it has been, for many years, a restaurant.

Next to Jolleys is the red Torrens Rowing Club. The original one burned down 1936 and was replaced.

The next one along to the east is the boatshed of Adelaide High School. It too was burned down, in 1962, and then replaced.

The fourth in line is Lounders Boat house – now a cafe

Lounders boatshed cafe is among the oldest buildings on the Torrens Lake. It was built in 1913 and is the only one specifically built for the construction and repair of rowing boats.

Many thousands of men and women currently living in South Australia and elsewhere learned to row and competed in boats built in this former boatshed,

For much of this shed's existence, many of the Torrens recreational paddleboats as well as the ‘Popeye’ launches were managed and maintained here.

The first of the eight ‘Popeye' launches which have plied the lake since 1937 - was designed and built in Lounders boatshed. After its life as a boatshed was finished it has now had, only since 2017, a new life as a cafe. If you were coming back to Adelaide after a few years away you wouldn't recognise it because for most of its history it was painted green – just an unremarkable green shed.

Some of its remarkable history is acknowledged in an interpretive sign now incorporated into the building

Our next stop is just a little further along the river-front, at a small white building.



Spoken Description - Early 20th Century boatsheds
Creator: Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association
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