A dynasty built on jam and biscuits
An early colonist to South Australia, Alexander Murray Snr arrived in Adelaide in 1840, with his wife Jane and two young children, together with his brother-in-law James Craig and his family. Initially, they began farming at Morphett Vale on land purchased before emigrating from Scotland. Four years later, Alexander bought initially 10 acres of land alongside the River Sturt at Coromandel Valley. On this property, which he named ‘Craiglee’, he planted a variety of fruit trees which would provide the initial fruit for his planned jam and biscuit factory, which John Weymouth began building from local stone quarried nearby. This factory grew to a four-storey building, and progressed from horse-operated machinery to steam power and mechanisation. Between 1850 and 1860 the factory produced more than 70 tons of biscuits a year, four times the quantity consumed in Adelaide, employing up to 40 people from the local community and exporting to other Australian colonies as well as to other British colonies.
In 1882-3, Alex. Murray & Sons Jam and Biscuit Factory produced 350 tons of jam and was turning out more than 80 varieties of biscuits, including dog biscuits, and received many awards from local and international exhibitions.
ISBN: 978-0-6483159-5-7 (2021)
By Glynis Conlon
Soft cover – 162 pages