Vlaming Head Lighthouse Lone Grave

Vlaming Head

 

Vlaming Head is physically very isolated and difficult to reach. At the time of its construction, the nearest port was some 200 miles away and the closest beach for landing supplies was over 3 miles from the proposed site. Provision of fresh water for the labourers and later the lighthouse keepers, was a major obstacle that needed to be overcome and which overshadowed the whole history of the lighthouse. Supplies during construction were shipped from Fremantle to Ashburton Roads (Onslow) by steamer and back to North West Cape by schooner where they were landed on the beach. To solve the problem of getting supplies from the beach to the lighthouse a small horsedrawn tramway was built. Mail and other supplies were brought overland from Onslow by camel — although, during World War 1 at least– the mail was delivered once a month from Carnarvon by an Aboriginal mailman. Water for the labourers was provided by a salt water condenser; but the water quality was not good.

In his report on the state of lighthouses – Commander Brewis was to report that illness due to dysentery had considerably delayed construction. Indeed the only death at the site occurred when F J Reddy died of the condition on 27th May 1912. at the age of 26 after an illness lasting seven days and is buried to the north east of the lighthouse keepers quarters. Large underground tanks were built for the lighthouse keepers and their families, drawing on the artesian water in the area, but the condenser remained in the event of an emergency. When the tank failed water was carted from Yardie Creek Homestead.

 

 

 

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