Axel Stenross Maritime Museum Aerial View

Axel Stenross Exhibits

From the late 1800s to the late 1930s the grain grown on Eyre Peninsula was transported to Europe by the ocean running Windjammers, tall ships with 3 or 4 masts and square rigged sails. Their sailing routes took advantage of the prevailing wind and tide patterns around the world, including the treacherous Cape Horn in South America and the howling Southern Ocean around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Many died on these voyages

In 1928 Axel and Frank purchased the Gulf Docking Slip located on the beach below where the Port Lincoln Hotel now stands. They built fishing boats and dinghies as well as operating the slip for local fishermen.

At their new location Axel employed a house keeper, Norma Hassell, who looked after the domestic side of the business. Eventually Axel and Norma married in 1958, and some upgrades were made to the living quarters. There the three of them lived in perfect harmony, until Frank died in 1975, Norma  in 1976, and Axel in 1980, aged 84 years.

From the mid 1800s well into the1900s there were few roads on Eyre Peninsula, and no quick way of transporting goods by land. Farms and settlements relied on trading ketches with shallow drafts for their supplies and communication with the wider world, and transport of their produce to markets. The ketches could come right in to shallow bays at high tide, and sit on the bottom in low tide for loading.