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Like its name (which is unambiguously descriptive although the town is 19 km from the border) Bordertown was a very conscious creation. In July, 1852 120 allotments were sold (the cost was 50 shillings for a quarter acre block) 'near Scott's wool shed and on the overland route from Adelaide to Mount Alexander' as part of a plan to establish a town/depot where the gold escorts could rest on their journey from the west Victorian goldfields to the port of Adelaide. The problem was that the only route at the time from Adelaide to Victoria was around the coast. Captain Alexander Tolmer surveyed a route through the 90 Mile Desert and it was on the basis of this survey that he suggested that a depot be established on the border. He was apparently very upset when, even though the town was not on the border, the authorities still decided to call it Bordertown. He thought it should be called Tolmer.

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