Article #4 - Dated Thursday 24 April 1947

Marines Explore Bush in 1837

"The watchman rushed in and gave the alarm that a number of blacks were coming down the hill uttering their war cries. The marines had their muskets loaded, and were drawn up ready to receive the advancing foe."

The next expedition into the bush was in the same year (1837) when Mr. J. N. Fisher and the Surveyor General (Colonel Light) started to reach Encounter Bay overland.  Mr. Stephen Hack was with them to render assistance as an incipient bush man.  A corporal's guard of marines was obtained from the Buffalo to act against any hostile natives whom they might encounter.  Tents, etc., were conveyed in a government bullock dray.  There was a horse dray and saddle horses for officials who had also their own servants and some other men.  The first day they made the Messrs Hack's sheep station near the coast, distant about 12 miles from Glenelg in a direct course.  It was now discovered that the outfit was too ponderous for the cattle and Mr. Hack was sent back to secure the services of Mr. John Chambers to bring out drays and some additional requirements, and to convey the marines with their outfit back to the ship.  Mr. Chambers arrived with his drays at the encampment at sundown; the bullocks which had been put on good feed, were placed under the charge of a night watchman fully armed who was to be relieved in the usual manner.  All hands having turned in for their first sleep, the watchman rushed in and gave the alarm that a number of blacks were coming down the hill uttering their war cries.  The marines had their muskets loaded and were drawn up ready to receive the advancing foe.  Colonel Light charged the men to be steady and not to fire at random, but only at the word of command, and to take good aim.  But the yells reported by the watchman turned out to be those of dingoes, which in the early days were in the habit of forming into packs of considerable numbers and serenading the first settlers.  The marines returned to Glenelg and the exploring party pushed southwards and after passing the spot where Aldinga is now, made the foot of the ranges where the town of Willunga is situated.  Here they decided to return to the settlement and thus ended this early explorative trip inland, so records that early pioneer, Mr. John Wrathall Bull, whose "Early Experiences of Life in South Australia” contains some of the most interesting anecdotes of the colonial life in the first few years of this State

Reaping Machine and John Wrathall Bull

He it was whose model of a reaping machine, which was subsequently exploited by Mr. John Ridley, earned an encomium from Parliament in the year 1882 when the Bray Ministry passed a vote for the sum of £250 on Mr. Bull's behalf, as a reward for the improvements he had introduced in harvesting machinery.  But Mr. Bull was besides being the author of a most enlightening volume on the early days of the Colony and the man in whose brain the idea of the reaping machine first matured, but an early colonist who went far afield into the Mount Lofty ranges and had hair-breadth escapes from the bushranging desperadoes who frequented the areas where there were but a few scattered stations in the Hills, and a poor police force.  While he resided in Adelaide, he also had a cattle station in the mount Barker district and Bull's Creek perpetuates his moving there.

John Dunn

But another name immediately comes to mind when Mount Barker is mentioned and that is the name of Dunn, who by the way, as did William Bevis Randell, hailed from the county of Devonshire. John Dunn, of a small farmer, was born in 1802 in the parish of Bondleigh, Devon, and with little schooling he, at the age of ten years, was employed as a farm servant at sixpence a week.  Later he was engaged in a flour mill and became manager of a steam mill at Bedeford, Devonshire, at fifteen shillings per week, and before he was 35 years of age he had a flour mill of his own, and was farming on his own account.

Among the early colonists for South Australia were three of John Dunn's brothers, and the reports he received from them relative to the prospects in South Australia were of such a character that he decided to emigrate himself.  With a young family to think of, and with little prospect for their future prosperity in the country of their birth, he thought their chances were greater in the great South Land and so he and his household set sail for Adelaide in May, 1840.  On arrival he took some employment while getting his bearings, but early took tip land at Hay Valley, and farmed it.  After his first harvest he erected a windmill (the first in the young colony), but he soon decided that steam was more certain than the wind and he ordered an engine from England.  He became associated about this time with John Ridley who had put into actual use the idea of a reaping machine, the model of which had been invented by John W. Bull.  The first reaping machine operated was not entirely satisfactory, and Mr. Dunn was one of several whose experience enabled them to make certain alterations until the machine was effective.

With the arrival of the engine from England, it was not long before the steam flour mill was in operation.  Back even in the forties of last century the Mount Barker district became famous for its wheat, and the flour mill of Mr. Dunn's turned out an excellent product.  Other flour mills started in various parts of the colony, the whole enterprise giving employment to some hundreds of men.  Combined with the flour industry wheat buying for export was entered upon and fifty years after Mr. Dunn sailed from the Old Country, wheat and flour to the extent of some 75,000 tons were exported to ports in Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, New Caledonia and the Pacific Islands.  In 1852 Mr. Dunn took his son and relatives into partnership and after a long, arduous and successful connection with the business, he retired from actual work in 1889.  Mr. Dunn was elected to the first Parliament in 1857 and sat as a Member in the House of Assembly till 1868, obtaining a seat in the Legislative Council the following year, which he retained till 1877.  He lived to the ripe old age of 93, his death occurring at Mount Barker in October, 1894.  During his life he made many gifts to the town whose advancement he had had so much at heart.  Besides his life long patronage of religion and philanthropic institutions his beneficence was shown and remains to his memory in a recreation ground for the people (Dunn Park), cottages for the poor, and a Methodist church which cost £4000.  The jubilee of his firm, and his eightieth and ninetieth birth days were the occasions of public demonstrations in Mount Barker and set the hallmark upon the honor, admiration and esteem in which he was held by all.  His son, John Dunn Jnr., who arrived with his father in the colony when ten years of age, was closely associated in the big business of which his parent had so firmly laid the foundations, and extended the activities of the famous firm.  He had been with his parent as a worthy assistant from the time John Dunn erected the first windmill at Hay Valley in which work the son had assisted.  An ardent Methodist he took on Mission work and went to Fiji, but his health breaking down, he returned to Australia, and shortly after was responsible for the erection of the large mill at Port Adelaide, and subsequently father and son combined to make the firm of Dunn and Co. known far and wide.  John Dunn Jnr. was elected to the District of Barossa and in 1880 be came a Member of the Legislative Council, retiring later on.  He, even as his venerable parent, was a staunch Methodist and gave liberally to the church funds, and on one occasion contributed £1800 towards the liquidation of a debt on the Kent Town church.  His death occurred unexpectedly at Port Augusta on Feb. 6th, 1892.

Other Mount Barker Names

Other well known early names of the Mount Barker district are those of Monks (the late John Monks came to the colony in 1839, and was the original settler at Shady Grove), Bell (the late Allan Bell arrived in South Australia in 1839 and later took up land on the Bald Hills), Atkinson (the late John J. Atkinson came to South Australia in 1840 and engaged in farming, Thomas (the late Benjamin Thomas came to the State in the fifties from South Wales), Calaby (the late Thomas Calaby came to the colony in 1839), Daniel (the late Benjamin Daniel came to the Province in 1851).

Mount Barker

In 1865, or eighty years ago, and but 29 years after the Colony was founded.  Mount Barker was known as a postal township in the district of Mount Barker, hd. Macclesfield and under the control of the Mount Barker district council.  Situated on the main East line of road from Adelaide to Mount Torrens, 3 miles West of Mount Barker, and near the head of the Mount Barker creek in an agricultural district celebrated for the fine wheat it produces.  Samples of wheat grown in this district by Mr. Inaddell gained the prize medal at the Exhibition, London, of 1851, and specimens were exhibited in the Melbourne Exhibition of 1866 by Messrs. Waddell, Bell, Venning, Frame and Hackett.  Mr. Frame also exhibited a fine specimen of oats.  Mr. J. Ramsay exhibited an improved reaping and thrashing machine.  There are two flour mills in the town (Dunn & Co's, and Wedd's), the flour from the first of which gained a prize medal at the London Exhibition of 1862.  On the Mount Barker mineral reserve, nine miles from the township, are several copper mines.  The nearest places are Nairne, Littlehampton and Hahndorf.  Communication is by Romswell's daily coach.  The resident magistrates are J. Parker, F. May, T. Lambert, J. Dunn and G. F. Dashwood.  The soil is generally of post pliocene tertiary drift, consisting of large fragments of schist, sandstone and quartz, but slightly waterworn.  The whole district of Mount Barker may be said to consist of hills and valleys, the hills being formed of either granite, gneiss, mica, slate and quartz rock, clay slate or conglomerate of sandstone, quartz and iron.  Orange, apple, pear, cherry fig, strawberry, gooseberry and other European fruits do well.  Present representatives in the Legislative Assembly are James Rankine and John Dunn Esqs.  The number of Legislative electors for 1865 was: Council, 1027; Assembly, 1884.

That was 80 odd years ago.


Article #5 - Dated Thursday 1 May 1947

Amid hurricane gales and raging seas one hundred and seven years ago, a sailing brig of 250 tons battled with the elements throughout Tuesday and Wednesday the 23rd and 24th June, 1840.

So dreadful was the violence of the storm that the mountainous seas washed away portions of the larboard bulwarks and overturned the galley of the little vessel.  Only those who have experienced the storms, of which the approaches to Melbourne and Adelaide are subject are able to envisage the stress and anxiety of those who were aboard that sailing craft, which was seeking the entrance of St. Vincent's Gulf.  The boat in question was the New Holland.  She was from London, via the Cape of Good Hope, and she was bringing her owner, William Smallpeice Whitington, and his wife to the Great South Land.  Aboard the vessel were a variety of livestock, birds, plants, and merchandise.  A number of the animals and bird-life succumbed on the voyage and during the storm above referred to some of the smaller ones were washed over board.  An inspection when the storm had somewhat subsided disclosed that "The sea had come in the storeroom, and our and Fowlers' berths considerably."

Fowler, Whitington, Brakenridge, Lorimer Families and Woodside District

The quotation is an excerpt from the log book of William Smallpeice Whitington.  The mention of Mr. Fowler's name is the main reason for the nature of this introduction to the present article for he was the only passenger aboard the New Holland, and it is with him that the writer desires mostly to deal in the early portion of a review of the early pioneers of Woodside.  The log book of the late Wm. S. Whitington may, as these articles proceed, be more fully perused for a separate description of the voyage of the New Holland which left England on February 18th, 1840, arriving at Adelaide on July 10th, 1840.  But for the moment our attention will be centred upon the early history of Woodside and those towns in the beautiful Onkaparinga district which in the pioneer days were so closely associated with Mount Barker and Gumeracha.

The Mr. Fowler mentioned in the excerpt from the log book referred to, was John Roger Gresley Fowler, who was but 19 years of age when he made the voyage.  Mr. William S. Whitington took up land in the Mount Barker and Balhannah district, and Mr. Fowler also settled there, and in 1845 married Elizabeth Brakenridge.  The story of the Brakenridges is of much interest in a review of the early history of this portion of the State and a biography of the son of Mr. J. R. G. Fowler (Mr. Charles William Fowler) is here recorded.

In the year 1839 John Brakenridge was a small farmer (Crofter) near the seaport of Campbelltown in the Firth of the River Clyde, on the estate of the Duke of Argyle, Scotland.  From the Mull of Kintyre the coast of Ireland can be seen on a fine day, and the continuous roar of the North Channel heard.  If you look at the map of Scotland you will be able to form some idea of this bleak and exposed part, where the name of Brakenridge can be seen on the tomb stones in the local cemetery for many generations back, spelt in several ways.  The name of his farm was "Kilonan."  His family then consisted of his wife (Mary), 3 sons—John 19, Andrew I8, Thomas 9; and four daughters—Mary Ann 17, Elizabeth 15, Jane 13, and Isabella 10.  The son John went as a sailor to the West Indies and died of fever on his first voyage.  The family left for South Australia in 1839, sailing from Greenock in a windjammer, the Lady Bute (400 tons).  After a tedious voyage of about 6 months, via the Cape of Good Hope, they arrived at Holdfast Bay (now Glenelg), the ship dropping anchor some distance from the shore.  The passengers were then conveyed in the ships boats and finally landed on the beach, the men wading ashore, and the women and children pick-a-back.  Their belongings were dumped on the sandhills.  There was already a settlement on the creek (Patawalonga) called St. Leonard's; also at a place named Black Forest—3 or 4 miles inland.  Here a permanent camp was made.  Later in the same year John Brakenridge, his eldest son, and two elder daughters were conveyed by bullock drays over the Mt. Lofty range to the locality where the Oakbank township is now existent.  Here they erected a reed hut on the banks of the River Onkaparinga.  By the end of 1839 the rest of the family came up.  Fortunately there were no savage animals in Australia—only kangaroos, wallabies, wild dogs and various smaller animals such as opossums, etc.  Of course, there were numbers of aborigines but these were mostly friendly.  The South Australian Land Company had selected a large area of country in the district and stocked it with sheep.  The early settlers were employed shepherding, among them John Brakenridge, his son Andrew assisting him.  The sheep having to he moved frequently to fresh feeding grounds some distance from the hut, brush yards had to be constructed to protect the sheep against wild dogs.  The shepherd had to sleep nearby, and as they knew nothing about hammocks, and saplings were not growing handy, watch boxes were constructed of split stringybark trees after the style of a small house with a hip roof on four legs and with two handles at each end, to enable the boxes to be shifted when necessary.  The boxes were 6ft. long, 2ft. wide and in all about 3ft. high with an opening sufficient for a man to creep into bed.

In 1840 a young man, John Roger Gresley Fowler, arrived in the district from Somerset, England.  He was only 19 years old and the only one of his family to migrate.  Master Fowler soon made the acquaintance of the Brakenridge family, especially the daughters.  The same year another young man arrived in the Colony.  He came from Paisley-on-Glasgow, Scotland.  His name was Alexander Lorimer.  He also was the only member of his people that ventured to come to Australia, and he, too, found his way to Onkaparinga with a family named Murdoch, and also made the acquaintance of the Brakenridges.  About 1841 John Brakenridge selected two 80-acre sections of land near what is now the township of Charleston, and built a home, naming it Kilonan after the home in far-away Scotland.  Here he and his son Andrew planted an orchard and garden which for years was the best in the district.  Mr. Fowler also selected a section near what is now the township of Mt. Torrens (about 4 miles from Kilonan).  He built a house and called the farm "Vilners," after his parents' home in England.  Alex Lorimer remained with the Murdochs who had taken up a large area of land about 4 miles South of what is now the township of Woodside.  In 1845 Mr. Fowler married Elizabeth Brakenridge.  They were married in Trinity Church, North Terrace, Adelaide, by the Rev. (later Dean) James Farrell.  Mr. Lorimer and Miss Jane Brakenridge witnessed the marriage certificate, after which they returned to Kilonan where the wedding was celebrated by a party attended by many of the early pioneers among whom was a young man, Donald Ferguson (the manager of Mr. John Baker, sheep farmer) who shortly after married Mary Ann Brakenridge.  In 1847 the father, John Brakenridge, died, and was buried in a cemetery at Gumeracha, a township which had been newly-formed about 4 miles north of Kilonan.  About this time the son, Andrew, married Margaret Mclntyre.  In 1852 Mr. Fowler died and was buried at Gumeracha, leaving a widow and two children, Charles William (6 years) and Martha (5 years).  In the meantime Mrs. Brakenridge senr. and her two daughters Jane and Isabella, and son Thomas, went to live at Mt. Barker.  There Jane married a Mr. Henry Hooper.  In 1853 Mrs. Fowler having let Vilners. went to live at Mt. Barker, and after residing there for four years she married Mr. Lorimer (the best man at her former wedding) who had built a fine residence near Woodside and named it Elderslie.  That was about 1856.  Here he resided for about 15 years, during which time he paid a visit to Scotland to see his old mother.  He went in a sailing ship, the Yatala, (1000 tons) via Cape Town, but, sad to relate, his mother had died one week before he reached London.  He went to Piasley and stayed about 2 months with his single brother, Jim, and his two single sisters, Jessie and Elizabeth, and returned to Adelaide in the same ship which made the passage In 63 days, a record run.

In 1871 Mr. Lorimer purchased "Bella Vista," a 14 acre estate in Goodwood, near Adelaide, with vine yard, cellars, and a fine residence, having let Elderslie.  The family then consisted of four daughters — Mary, Jane, Bessie and Jessie; one step daughter, Martha, one son Alex, and one step-son, Charlie.  The son at that time was in the employ of the Bank of Adelaide.  Mr. Lorimer died suddenly in his office in Adelaide, in 1875.  Mrs. Lorimer, having sold "Bella Viata" returned with her family (with exception of the two boys) to Elderslie, and while there Bessie married J. A. Kennedy, head teacher of the Woodside school.  The mother and the daughters Martha, Mary and Jane, died at Elderslie.  Jessie married Frank H. D. Peacock, a neighboring farmer.  They subsequently sold their farm and retired to Woodside, and for a short period to Adelaide where Jessie died.  The son, Alex, died in Adelaide, and Bessie Kennedy in London.  Andrew Brakenridge had five sons and one daughter.  Thomas, who married Mary Inglis, had no family.  Mary Ann had we sons, Jane had three sons by her first husband (her second husband was William S. Lillecrapp.  All the above-named children lived to be grown up.  At the time these records refer to only two of the second generation of the Brakenridge family were living: Mrs. Addison (formerly Maggie Brakenridge) and Charles William Fowler, who was then in his 88th year, and was the first of the generation.  Mrs. John Brakenridge (the grand-mother) survived the death of her husband 40 years, dying at the advanced age of 95 in 1887 at the home of her daughter, Mary Ann, at Tungkillo, and was buried in the Inverbrackie cemetery, near Woodside.  The unmarried daughter, Isabella, died at Mount Barker in 1862 aged 33 years, and was buried at Inverbrackie where all of the Elderslie family are interred except Bessie.

Charles William Fowler, after a life crowded with incident and having celebrated the 90th anniversary of his birthday on January 31, 1936, he passed away at Mount Barker on March 18th of that year.  The salubrious climate of the Mount Barker and adjacent settlement areas seems to have ensured longevity to quite a number of the old pioneers, and Chas. Wm. Fowler was a striking example.  He had been associated with the Mt. Barker and Onkaparinga districts all his life, practically.  Beyond a fractured arm he had been free from illness until some weeks prior to his demise.  In 1856 he went to a school at Inverbrackie, kept by Mr. Ferguson, but in 1858 this little educational institution closed in consequence of the death of Mr. Ferguson, and young Fowler attended Mr. Howard's school at Woodside. finalising his scholastic training at 14 years of age.  For a decade he assisted his stepfather, Mr. Lorimer in working the vineyard and orchard, and during that period visited England, Scotland and France, returning later to Melbourne.  After some years in Adelaide as a commission agent he went as purser and storekeeper for a gold-mining company in the Northern Territory, at Pine Creek, but only remained there for some six months owing to the unfavorable prospects.  He resumed his business in Adelaide. In 1884 he married the eldest daughter of Mr. W. P. Hughes, of Woodside, and in 1888 took up his residence at Woodside and was appointed clerk of the district council of Onkaparinga.  He occupied that office for 33 years.  During that period he held the following positions: Secretary of the Onkaparinga Butter and Cheese Co. during its 19 years existence; honorary sec, of Woodside institute, 18 years; returning officer for the electoral district of Murray, 20 years.  He was connected with and held office in the Oddfellows lodge for some 50 or 60 years; also in the Presbyterian church of which he had been a member since his youth.  His wife, having predeceased him in 1916, he left Woodside with his only surviving child, Miss M. G. Fowler, to reside in Mt. Barker.  With a remarkably clear memory he could, up to his first and only illness to which he succumbed, recall and relate innumerable anecdotes of historical interest and in such interesting discourse the names of many whose lives were closely associated with the early days of the colony, and Mt. Barker and Onkaparinga districts in particular.  Many there are who still have old memories awakened when they read such names as Handle, Paltridge, Cornelius, Bell, Dumas, Neate, Ferguson, Bollin, Barker, McKenzie and Dare.  The last named became a great preacher and orator as Dr. Dare.

But from the memory of Mr. Chas. Wat. Fowler could be gleaned a vast store of important historical data that should find a fitting repository in the archives of the State.  We are for the moment concentrating more on Woodside and its environs.  We have seen how the S.A. Land Co., purchased large tract of land in the Onkaparinga and Mount Barker district, but in such area Woodside was not included.  Its actual birth is attributed to James Johnson, who with Mr. Hutchens planned the town.  That was way back in 1850, and the township area was Section 5030.  James Johnston cut the Sections up into township allotments and named the settlement Woodside after a village in Scotland.  Mr. Johnston subsequently became known throughout the State as the brewery proprietor and owner of many licensed houses.  A mile and a half from Wood side is Inverbrackie, which is the older settlement and was in the late thirties of last century a scattered settlement of Scotchmen.  When the main road from Adelaide to the Reedy Creek mine ran through Inverbrackie a settler named Payne turned his residence into an hotel.  Soon a church was decided upon, and the Rev. J. McBean came to officiate at Inverbrackie.  But all is now of the past save for the ivy covered ruins of the "kirk".

The oldest identity in Woodside nowadays is Mr. Andrew Smillie Hughes, with whose sister the surviving members of the Fowler family (Miss M. G. Fowler) now resides in Commercial road, Mt. Barker.  Incidentally a great grand-daughter of William Smallpeice Whitington, who is a nursing sister was stationed temporarily at the Woodside Hospital and she had a chat about the old times with Mr. Hughes.  He informed her of Miss Fowler's present address and contact by phone resulted in Sister Mary Whitington receiving a most interesting letter from Miss Fowler, the opening paragraph of which reads: "The years bring strange coincidences in their train.  In early 1840 a young Englishman got in contact with the owner of a ship.  Arrangements were made for the said Englishman's passage to South Australia.  By the way, he was the sole passenger, so I expect there was some bit of arranging.  One hundred and seven years later a great grand-daughter of the owner of the ship gets in contact with the grand-daughter (and sole descendant) of the passenger!"  It is a very informative and interesting letter, and is indited in a beautiful handwriting that would put to shame many of those of this present era of advanced education.  Miss Fowler writes inter-alia of her father's mother who, when left a widow for the second time with a young family to fend for, carried on a vineyard about two and a half miles from Woodside, which place is now owned by the military authorities.  Hardy & Sons took the grapes, making various wines in a large cellar on the place.  This building along side the English-looking house built by her second husband, Mr. Alexander Lorimer in 1856, stands solid to day, the slate roofs of both buildings, being replaced by galvanised iron.  Mr. Lorimer was the first chairman appointed at the forming of the District Council of Woodside.  Mrs. Lorimer was a very fine type of woman, and was delighted when "Women's Suffrage" became law.  I can well remember her saying "The least of my employees at the age of 21, provided he is a man. has a stake in the governing of the land.  I, a land-owner, have not!"  She could talk well upon politics—those of the Old Land as well as here in Australia, keeping up a great interest in the Royal Family.  As a child I sometimes thought the family at "Elderslie" were quarrelling but when I grew older I knew it was family debating—and vitally interesting it was.  When a young Scotch girl, keeping house for her brothers in a reed hut near Oakbank, she often had to use her quick wits dealing with aborigines who called at the hut for flour, etc.  How strange these folks must have appeared to young girls from an Argyleshire farm.  She and her sisters would ride horseback to Hahndorf, buy a young pig each, carrying the pig in a sack attached to the side-saddle.  Once one girl, thinking her pig was dead, got down and opened the bag to investigate—and the pig escaped.  My mother's parents (Mr. Andrew Hughes' parents also) arrived at Nairne in 1839 and eventually lived for many years near Woodside.  My grandfather was an original tenant of the South Aust. Co., later buying the farm lands.  He, with other pioneering folk taking up farming, at first used to take the produce to Adelaide per bullock wagon, in some cases walking with basket on arm and going in at long intervals for mail (precious mail from England or Scotland) to Adelaide.

Miss Fowler, of course, mentions that pioneer family, the Lauterbach's.  Johann Carl Freidrich Lauterbach was born near Freistadt in Silesia. Germany, in the year 1824 and arrived in the ship George Washington at the age of 20 years.  He followed agricultural pursuits for over 50 years about 1 mile North of Woodside.  He was for a time connected with the South Aust. Land Co.  For a long period he was managing director of the Lobethal Woollen Mills, and served as member of the district council, occupying the position of chairman for 17 years.  He was a J.P. and a member of the school board of advice.  He married Johanna Louisa Neumann, who came to the Colony in 1837 when 14 years of age and showed her metal in the struggle of the early days.  She could even handle the shears and was known to have shorn 70 sheep a day.

Between Balhannah and Mount Torrrens, a drive of less than 12 miles, following the Onkaparinga amid pleasant scenery, there are three other towns, so that the series of five form an almost continuous chain of settlements, each of them being within a few minutes reach of the next.  Woodside is the middle link of this chain and is the Post-town of the district named after the river.  The district covers 81 square miles and comprises within its borders almost every source of natural wealth.  It is auriferous, mineral, pastoral, agricultural and horticultural.  Dairy farming is among its most important industries, and honey also is included in its exports.  Potatoes and clover seed are grown, and the cheese and butter factory deals with the produce of the dairies.  Large quantities of wattle bark are stripped.  In 1909 the latest report of the Government Geologist stated that the value of the machinery on the "Bird in Hand" gold mine was estimated at £17,071, and the gold raised at £26,408.  At the Brind Mine nuggets weighing from 4 to 16oz. each, were found, while from the New Era mine, 21 miles from Woodside (now owned by Mr. J. R. Pfeiffer) 14,000 tons of stone was raised and crushed and yielded £18,000 worth of gold.

The Bird in Hand mine was in 1926 purchased by the Comonwealth Govt, to be used as a source of water supply for the Defence Dept. mob. store and camp.  A pumping plant was installed by the Commonwealth Works and Railway Dept., and when pumping commenced the water level was 110 feet below the surface.  The water level was decreased 16 feet, and there after continuous pumping for some days at the rate of 1000 gallons per hour (96,000 per day) failed to lower it further.  The Mines Dept. stated they had no records of the amount of water removed when the mine was working but it was one of the "wet test" mines in the State.

In further articles in this series additional particulars of the Onkaparinga towns will be published; also the additional review will include familiar names not yet mentioned.


Article #6 - Dated Thursday 8 May 1947

Chinese with their Pigtails Caused not a Little Excitement

In a recent article of this series, we dwelt at considerable length with the Brakenridge and Fowler families, and before passing on to a review of other early pioneers and their historically interesting memoirs, we can not do better than mention some of the outstanding recollections of the late Mr. C. W. Fowler, who held so many positions closely connected with the early days of Woodside.  Among the happenings upon which Mr. Fowler would dilate were those at the time of the great gold rush of the fifties of last century, when men in their thousands to the diggings were wending their way.  Among these were large numbers of Chinese, and there being no poll tax of £10 per head in South Australia as there was in Victoria in which the alluvial gold mines had been discovered, hundreds of the Celestials landed at Port Adelaide and made their way overland to Victoria.  Two shiploads came to Mount Barker to camp for the night, and caused not a little excitement in the town, coming down Gawler Street with their long pigtails trailing, their luggage across their shoulders, and their jog trot gait accentuating their foreign origin.  From Mount Barker they made Wellington to cross the River Murray on their way to the goldfields.

Mount Barker District

In 1850 there were no roads to Mount Barker, only tracks, and the first mail conveyance from Adelaide was a spring-cart with two horses and an outrigger, which was driven by driver Dix and took many hours to make the journey.  Later five horse coaches took over from the primitive beginning described, and there was a guard at the hack of the coach in a red coat and with a coach horn to blow when necessary.  The guard's name was Armstrong, who later became the grandfather of Mrs. Humphries, of Mount Barker and Mrs. Saxon, of Littlehampton.  There were five hotels in Mount Barker in those early days — the Mount Barker Hotel, kept by Charles Low; the Oakfield (later the site of the Rest Home), the licensee being Lachlan McFarlane; Gray's Inn; Gloag's Hotel (later known as the Crown); and another hostelry which later became the home of Dr. Chalmers, Mt. Barker's first medico.

From 1850 to 1860 Mount Barker was considered as a police headquarters, it being the only town at which four or more policemen were stationed.  Sergeants Searcy and Rollison were two of those who had charge of the station at this time.  When Sergeant Nixon was at Mount Barker a Queensland native, who had committed a murder and evaded capture for many months, was discovered on Baker's station near Tungkillo.  He was discovered with some difficulty as he hid under the water in a lagoon, breathing through a reed.  He was brought to Mount Barker and thence to Adelaide by Sergeant Nixon but en-route to Adelaide he grabbed Nixon's sword and slashed him across the face with the weapon inflicting severe injury.  The native was after trial hanged.

Electing Members of Parliament

Mr. Fowler was wont to recall a trip on the Murray in the seventies in the steamer Jupiter (Captain King) going almost as far as Bourke, the river being in flood and the boat being able to make a straighter course than if following the natural serpentine winding of the stream.  Another of his recollections was the system of electing members of Parliament in those old days.  Payment of members was non-existent.  There was no such political group as the Labor Party, and the present organised system of voting was of the future.  It was open voting.  The polling booth was usually an hotel, and free beer was handed out during the speeches of rival candidates and others so disposed to take the floor.  The elector eventually recorded his vote at a table with the urgers of the contending candidates looking over his shoulder and still shrieking the virtues of their individual employers in his ear, to be surely followed by abuse from one of them when the vote was recorded.  It was not unknown for an elector to be knocked over the head with a lump of wood by the agent of the candidate the elector had turned down.  And such conduct as was to be expected eventually brought in secret voting, which Mr. Fowler lived to see inaugurated and to preside for many years as Returning Officer of the electoral district of which Woodside was portion.

Woodside District

In the history of most towns it will be found that about the first meeting place is an hotel, generally followed by the erection of a church.  In the case of Woodside the first hotel occupied the site of the existent Woodside hotel, the licencee having been transferred from the old inn at Inverbrackie.  In 1853 John Dean secured the lease of it for five years at £2 per week, and sold it a year later to Robert Wilkie for £300.  Mrs. Wilkie sold it two years later to James Johnson for £200, who in the same year disposed of it to a coffee-house keeper named Hans Ferk for £2.300.  After the pub a store was built by J. and R. Hunter, who conducted it until it was taken over by G. F. Lauterbach forty-odd years ago.

It was at Woodside that the late Mr. Justice Bundey began his prominent association with the affairs of this State.  Woodside in those pioneer days was an important police centre, three mounted police being stationed there.  Mr. Bundey was first employed as a clerk in the Local Court, and then articled to Mr. Gower.  He then went into partnership with Captain Dashwood.  Mr. Bundey was an ambitious man, and the Bundey Government was later responsible for many Acts which altered the trend of events in South Australia.  At least one of them was his advocacy of the present site of the Murray Bridge.  There were those at the time who fought hard for the bridge to be erected at Wellington, and they went so far as to have a road surveyed and in greater part constructed to shorten the distance to Wellington, the length of route being held to be a major consideration in the debates.  But Mr. Bundey won the day.  The road referred to is now known as Chunsey's Line, Mr. Chunsey being the surveyor of the route.  Heaps of metal lay for generations beside the constructed road until the young mallee trees sprang up between the stones and grew to maturity.  With the advent of the motor car the old road was rediscovered, and a delight fundrive for many is now provided by its presence.  But what really knocked the kick out of Mr. Bundey's opponents at that time was the report that the only place to build a bridge between Lake Alexandrina and Renmark was at Murray Bridge, then known as Edward's Crossing, where cattle for Victoria or from Blanchetown areas were swum over the Murray on their way to Adelaide.  When the new railway bridge was to be built over the Murray, during the period of Mr. W. A. Webb's Chief Commissionship, it was proposed to build the bridge at the North end of Long Island and barges and men were there boring for the bottom of the river.  The writer of these articles happening to see one of the cores from the boring plant asked whence it came and on being informed of the purpose of the boring activities was able to inform the official in charge of the operations that he was wasting his time and the taxpayers' money, for prior to the birth of either himself or the writer the question of the sites for bridges over the lower Murray had been most fully explored, and the official documents of the early sixties of last century would disclose that Edward's Crossing (now Murray Bridge) was the only place at which to construct a bridge.  Those who travel over the new railway bridge may see how close the new bridge is to the old one now used solely as a main road and footway.

But we are diverting, and must hark back to the recollections of the old pioneers of Woodside.  One of the earliest settlers was the late Charles Neumann who was born in England in 1821 and arrived in South Australia on October 21st, 1837, a few months after the proclamation of the Colony.  He died on September 7th, 1000, at Charleston.  In his diary is recorded many incidents of interest.  He speaks of the S.A. Land Company paying £20,000 to the Government for a special survey and the right of selection of land in the Onkaparinga district.  On the land sheep were placed and shepherds put in charge of them.  There were an overseer, three shepherds and three assistants.  The blacks were some times defiant, and the wild dogs were troublesome when cold and hunger urged them, especially at lambing time.  Fires had to be kept going at night to help protect the sheep.  Mr. Neumann records that they had not been long on the new holding when two men, Geo. Stagg and Gofton called on them, carrying saddles, and asked for a night's lodgings.  They said that they had lost their horses at Mount Crawford, where it was suspected they had been spying about with the object of stealing cattle.  The man Stagg was later hanged for the murder of his mate Gofton.  On another occasion, Mr. Neumann recalls, two notorious horse stealers, Green and Wilson, stole all their flour, sugar and tea during their absence from the hut, which was near what is now known as the Woodside mines.  During the time of the working of the Bird-in-Hand and other mines situated about two miles East of the town Woodside had a most prosperous time.  That was between 1882 and 1890.  Some hundreds of men were employed at the mines and gold to the value of £70,000 was won.  There are those who, like Mr. Neumann, believe much wealth still remains in the gold-bearing quartz reefs at Reefton Heights and elsewhere near, the town, and that with the modern mining methods and machinery these Woodside mines will at some future date provide employment for large numbers of men and prove source of considerable wealth, restoring the glory of those rollicking days of the eighties.

The immense possibilities of the Woodside district for dairying and grazing purposes has attracted much attention, and many holdings have changed hands at prices few parts of the State can command.  On the whole the community is a prosperous one, well satisfied with its possessions, and happy in the knowledge that Woodside provides all that any reasonable person could wish for.  Such was the opinion of the late Charles Neumann, who was one of the three original shepherds of the S.A. Land Company previously referred to.  One of the other shepherds was George Melrose.  The other was a young man named Bone it is thought but there appears to be no definite statement on the point.

Mr. Andrew Smillie Hughes is the oldest male identity living in Woodside at the present time, and a chat with the old gentleman is most informative.  The history of his family commences with the arrival of Lawrence and Mary Stodart in South Australia with their children in the ship Palmyra in 1839.  The Palmyra landed at Holdfast Bay and travelled to the Nairne district, where the township consisted of two cottages, one of which Lawrence Stodart acquired.  He then purchased land and commenced to build a residence, but died before it was completed.  His daughter Mary married William Frederick Hughes, son of George Robert Hughes, who arrived in the Colony in the ship Diadem in 1840.  For some time the Hughes family stayed in Adelaide where George Robert Hughes engaged in his trade as a tailor, but later he, with his family, moved to Nairne.  His son, William Frederick, was a storekeeper and builder, but after his marriage to Mary Stodart he purchased land in the Woodside district.  The proprety "Bleakside'' is still in the hands of the family.  Andrew Smillie Hughes is the youngest son of the late William Frederick Hughes and was born at Bleakside in 1865.  He was educated locally, and has continuously resided in the old home which he took it over at his father's demise.  By his marriage with Ruby Violet Dunn, daughter of the late George Dunn, of Giunbank, Charleston, there were joined two of the oldest families in South Australia.  There are two surviving children.  Richard Andrew, and Elizabeth Jane.  The family has been associated with the State for over a century and few families have rendered such continuous public service.  The father and three of the sons have each served as councillors in their local district councils.  Andrew Smillie Hughes, like his father and elder brothers, has given service to his fellow citizens.  For several years he was a councillor of the Onkaparinga district council, and for many years a committeeman of the Onkaparinga Racing club of which he is the only surviving life member.  He has not missed a meeting of that historic club in all the years.

William Dunn Family

Reference to the marriage of Andrew Smillie Hughes with Ruby Violet Dunn prompts some biographical recording of that particular Dunn family.  William Dunn arrived in South Australia with his wife and family on October 10th, 1840.  A brother had arrived previously, and William joined him in pastoral pursuits at Charleston.  He died on April 12th, 1879.  William Dunn's son George (born 1843, died 1906) named his eldest son Lionel, and Lionel had a son whom he named Douglas, who also has a son named Douglas Malcolm.  The parents of William Dunn came out to Australia in 1845, so that the last-named child, it will be observed, viz., Douglas Malcolm, represents the sixth generation of the Dunn family in Australia—truly a unique genealogical record.  Miss Laura Amelia Dunn, the daughter of George, resides in the delightful old homestead Gumbank, erected in the English style by William Dunn in the early forties.  It is one of the earliest houses erected in that part of the State.

We have previously mentioned the name of Gotthara Friedrick Lauterbach who, with Johannes Adolf Gustar Lauterbach, were sons of the original Johan Carl Friedrick Lauterbach who came to the Colony at the age of 20 years.  The two sons above mentioned became the proprietors of the Woodside Butter and Cheese factory, and their exhibit gained first prize at the London Dairy show of 1906 against the whole of Australia and Canada; also a medal and a certificate.  They also received first prize for 2cwt. of cheese at the annual show of the Royal Agricultural Society of South Australia in Sept., 1907.  Mr. G. F. Lauterbach engaged in farming on the family's original property at Woodside and also associated himself closely with the public affairs of the district.  He was auditor of the Woodside district council, and a committeeman of the local institute, and secretary of the Onkaparinga Agricultural, Hort. and Floric. society since its inception.  Married in 1883 to a daughter of the late Henry Boreham, he had three sons and four daughters.  The name of Lauterbach wherever it is mentioned recalls the town of Woodside.  Way back in 1865 a gazateer gives the town this notice:— "Woodside is a postal township in the electoral district and hd Onkaparinga, and under the control of the Onkaparinga district council.  It is situated on the Onkaparinga River, Mount Charles being 3 miles and Mount Torrens 8 miles North.  The district is an agricultural one, although gold has been found within two miles of the township, and the Bremer Ranges gold quartz diggings lie 23 miles to the East.  The nearest places are Oakbank, 3 miles South; Charleston, 3 miles North; and Harrogate, 8 miles East; the communication being by Rounsevell's mail car daily as also with Adelaide 22 1/2 miles North West.  Two waggons also ply weekly to Adelaide for the conveyance of heavy goods.  Woodside is on the main East road from Adelaide.  It contains a post and money order office, a telegraph office, local courthouse, a German Lutheran and an English church, a Wesleyan and a Primitive Methodist chapel, a volunteer rifle corps, a branch of South Aust. Insurance Co.. and a Foresters' Court.  The resident magistrate is H. C. F. Esau, Esq., J.P.  There are two hotels, the Woodside and the Bedford.  Much of the surrounding land belongs to the S.A. Company.  The country is hilly, and the soil alluvial over sandstone rock and quartzose slate.  The population numbers about 300 persons, the number of dwellings being 70."

A Correction to Article #6 Dated Thursday 8th May 1947

A Correction (To the Editor)  -  The name of "Charles Neumann" in the article "A Jewel Casket" of last week's Courier (May 8th) should read "Charles Newman."  The latter was a fine and very well known pioneer of the Charleston district, born in Devonshire, Eng.  A great grand- son and great grand-daughter (Bruce and Jenifer Newman) live in Mount Barker.  As there were and are, families of "Neumann" in the Lobethal and Charleston district, I think it would be well to correct the mistake in your next issue.   Yours etc., M. G. FOWLER, Mount Barker.    - dated 15 May 1947