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Pelican Cottage is situated on the shores of Pelican Lagoon, a sanctuary zone of the Encounter Marine Park, South Australia.


There is an abundance of wildlife, predominantly seabirds, shorebirds and terrestrial birds. The lagoon is home to dolphins, seals, birds of prey and a diversity of marine species. Pelican Lagoon has been a protected area since 1950’s when it was declared an Aquatic Reserve.


Ron and Mary-Alice Swan have owned the house for 20 years and have developed a garden to encourage terrestrial birds to enjoy drinking, resting and bathing in the bird baths.


The cottage was originally owned by Harold More Cooper (1886-1970), wireless operator, archaeologist and historian who researched and investigated significant aboriginal sites on Kangaroo Island during the 1920’s.


He located ancient camp-sites and collecting hundreds of implements, products of an early culture which N. B. Tindale named 'Kartan'. Several of the twenty papers that Cooper published in the Records of the South Australian Museum, the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia and other journals were devoted to Kartan implements which he continued to find on the mainland. Appointed assistant-ethnologist at the South Australian Museum in 1941, Cooper was praised by Tindale, the curator of anthropology, for his painstaking work which ensured that the tools were recognized as 'the handiwork of the first Australians'. In addition to archaeological items, Cooper brought back numerous specimens, among them new species of land snails and insects (two of the former and three of the latter were named after him). His recreations were sailing and deep-sea fishing, and he secured many rare fishes, including two new species. Harold did not have any children and he left the cottage to Mr Reginald Peak who used the cottage during his holidays on Kangaroo Island. Ron purchased the cottage from Reginald Peak in 1994.


Muston locality was named after the Muston family who initiated the salt mining industry, where salt was mined from lakes on the south coast 14 kms from Muston near Flour Cask Bay. The remnants of the old jetty where the railway line terminated can be seen 400 m east of the cottage. Take a walk and discover the old jetty you may see many birds and perhaps a dolphin. The remnants of the train line can be seen in the overgrown coastal Mallee.

Harold More Cooper
Harold More Cooper
Image: South Australian Museum
Ron & Mary-Alice Swan
Ron & Mary-Alice Swan
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