| Find Clare
Settlement at Clare began when Edward Burton Gleeson took up the Inchiquin run in 1840.
The Bungaree station was established in the region by George Hawker and his brothers a year after Gleeson arrived in the area. The Hawker's station became an independent community of its own, including the homestead, the Gothic-style St Michael's Church (dedicated in 1864) and a school. Sections of the stone buildings on the property, around 12 kilometres north of Clare, today date back to 1842 and the sandstone buildings were all constructed by the conclusion of the 1860s.
Gleeson laid out and founded a township in 1842. The village was known variously as 'The Twins' (after a pair of gum trees by the creek), Inchiquin and Gleeson's Village early in its development before Gleeson named it Clare, after his native county in Ireland, in 1846.
Clare's development was aided by the discovery of copper at Burra in 1845 and the district began to supply its produce to the increasing Burra mining population.
Clare's first town hall (still standing) was built in the 1840s.
|Clare Library and Courthouse
The original Wolta Wolta homestead was constructed by pastoralist John Hope in 1846. Additions were made to the original single room dwelling in 1869-70, reflecting the increase in the fortunes of Wolta Wolta at this time. The Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983 badly damaged the building but it was subsequently restored.
Clare's first hotel was opened by Irishman David Kenny in 1848.
The first St Michael's Catholic Church in Clare was completed in 1849 and was only the third Catholic church in the South Australian colony. The simple, Gothic Revival-style St Barnabas Anglican Church was constructed in 1851.
A police station and courthouse was constructed in 1850. The building was also used as the seat of local government after the Clare District Council was formed in 1853. The building, however, was too far from the town's main street to maintain law and order and operated as a casualty hospital from 1888 to 1922. The building is now home to a museum.
Clare was an important coaching and telegraph communications centre in the 1860s. In the 1870s the town benefited from the opening up of land for wheat growing in the north. By the 1880s, however, the soils in the Clare Valley were exhausted due to intensive farming, the railway bypassed the town and there was a general downturn in the South Australian economy, all of which halted Clare's growth.
Vineyards and orchards were planted by the end of the 1800s and by the early 1900s the foundations had been laid for Clare's modern wine industry.
Clare, 136 kilometres from Adelaide, is the today main service centre for the Clare Valley, which is now recognised as one of Australia's premier wine regions.