History and Settlement
The earliest people in the Carpenter Rocks area were the aboriginal communities from the Booandik tribe. They were scattered in small groups along the coast where they had access to an abundance of food and water. Due to disease and land dispossession the last full blooded Booandik died in 1904.
Lieutenant James Grant, when on board the HMS Lady Nelson, was the first known British person to view land known today as south eastern South Australia. On 3 December 1800, he sighted what at first he thought was four unconnected islands, but on a closer look realized they were two mountains and two capes. One of these he named Cape Banks, just west of today's township, after English Botanist - Joseph Banks. On 4 April 1802 the French explorer Nicholas Baudin aboard the ship Geographe noticed the area and made the observation:
|“||Along the beach we could make out a continuous line of rocks which stretched a little way out to sea and over which the breakers pounded with extraordinary force. This was the cause of the incessant noise which we could hear.||”|
The name, according to Geoffrey Manning and Rodney Cockburn "Place Names of South Australia", "The Rocks", were named "Les Carpentiers" after a Dutch navigator, by Nicholas Baudin, meaning "The Carpenters", alluding to their indented and serrated nature, which reminded Baudin of a carpenters saw.
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