The December 1936 edition of the National Geographic Magazine, recently obtained by this blog, contains several well illustrated articles dealing with the Australia way of life , especially the importance of wool to the nation .
Of particular note is an aerial photograph [above] of Anlaby Station , north of Adelaide , home of the wealthy and influential Dutton family , who hosted royalty and many prominent people, including Lady Spencer, Princess Diana's paternal grandmother .
Anlaby is mentioned in connection with the fact that a fifth of the nation's wealth was carried on the back of sheep . The author wrote that the merino was the "uncrowned King of Australia, " supplying between a quarter and a third of the world's wool . Above the mantelpiece of one sheep station study , like an ancestral portrait , was " old David," an Australian merino ram bought for more than " US25,000 ! "
This sounds as if he was referring to Anlaby , as it was the oldest merino and Clydesdale stud in South Australia , shearing more than 70,000 sheep a year , the homestead employing 14 gardeners in 1904 . Then there was the steam yacht . A member of the clan, Francis Dutton , shared in the copper find at Kapunda which added to the family coffers; he became the SA Premier and the SA Agent- General in London, where he died in 1877.
Known as "Squire Dutton, " Henry Hampden Dutton made the first car crossing from Adelaide to Darwin in 1908 with Murray Aunger . He died, aged 53, in his bed at Anlaby, the large house filled with antiques, books , paintings , in 1932.
Over the years , the Dutton empire shrank along with its fortunes until there was a closing down auction of contents during the time of author and poet Geoffrey Dutton . At the sale was the now Magnetic Island researcher and postcard enthusiast Gary Davies who bought some ephemera and a footscraper , the latter now outside the entrance to his stately home, the grounds of which include part of the Magnetic Island old jetty next to a man-made billabong , the venue for well attended jazz festivals in the past . During the auction , he recalled the top of the Anlaby fountain , which had played before many prominent visitors, including local and overseas literary identities, fell off , symbolising the end of a dynasty and a golden era .