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Johann Gottfried LUBASCH

1st wife Caroline WOLF  -  2nd wife Anna Dorothea GREISER


 The articles on Johann Gottfried LUBASCH are divided into 4 distinct parts:


Part 1  -  His life, marriages, families, in-laws,  his daughters were shearers & his involvement in the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

Part 2  -  The daughters, their marriages [McFARLAN, LIEBELT, JAENSCH, THIELE, LIEBELT, PAECH], their lives.

Part 3  -  Maria Elisabeth LUBASCH the beneficiary of her father's will, contested 1857 in the Supreme Court by 3 brothers in law

Part 3b - continuing as above

Part 3c - as above

Part 4  - Their land, home, barn & property dealings including tracing all Certificate of Titles for Section 3812, Hd Kuitpo, from 1844-1990.


                                                                  To return to articles related to section 3812, Hd Kuitpo.



Summary - Part 2

Part 2 provides information about the lives & 6 marriages of the daughters in the LUBASCH/ WOLF & LUBASCH/ GREISER family.

The Family Names mentioned in this article:  


The two wives

In 1812, at 22 years of age, before he married, LUBASCH was a soldier with General Count YORCK's Prussian troops along side  Napoleon's army as they invaded Russia, and in September that year he apparently witnessed the burning of Moscow. A sight that could be seen over 200kms away.  J. Dunn who documented this information in 1886, also told us that in mid June 1815 LUBASCH was in Belgium at the Battle of Waterloo sounding the bugle for the 50,000 Prussian troops to advance from the east & help WELLINGTON defeat  the French Army under Napoleon. With the Prussian Army he continued to pursue the defeated French as they retreated to Paris.  

Published in 1888, Edward HOLTHOUSE reminiscing about Port Adelaide in 1838 said that LUBASCH was also with BLUCHER when he was defeated at Ligny just prior to the Battle of Waterloo. LUBASCH had been a soldier from 1812-1819.  

The British commissioned a solid silver 'Waterloo Medal' for all grades of soldiers & gave them two years extra pay. The Prussians made their medal out of captured brass French cannon & named it the 'Prussian Campaign Medal 1813-1815, 1815. [Kreigsdenkmünze].

LUBASCH would have been 25 years old at Waterloo & by 1819 when he possibly married Caroline WOLF he would have been 29.  From the 1820's LUBASCH is said to have been on a small farm in the small village of Rissen. 

Caroline WOLF & Gottfried LUBASCH had 2 daughters and remained married for about 5 years before she died at 33 years of age, her daughters were 3 & 2 years of age.  Possibly within a year Gottfried LUBASCH had remarried to Anna Dorothea GREISER who bore 5 more daughters, all of whom emigrated on the 'Zebra'.  

Not much is known about her Caroline WOLF's younger cousin, Anna Dorothea WOLF/WOLFF, who was also on the 'Zebra' with her husband Johann Christoff  LIEBELT & their 3 children.  However this cousin remained a close friend & frequent visitor to Gottfried LUBASCH until his death in Hahndorf in 1856.  Anna Dorothea's husband used his 'blood letting' skills several times to treat Gottfried's health issues, including just a few days before he died.

Their son Johann Gottfried b1837 was the 1st husband of Gottfried [& GREISER's] 4th daughter Maria Elizabeth b1835, who was also the beneficiary of the family farm, now on the property of Berenberg Farm & their old home now houses the Reg Butler Archives.  Gottfried & Maria were among the 96 children under 16 years of age on the 'Zebra'.

On the 'Zebra' LUBASCH was 49 years of age, and there were many on the ship about his same age or older. LUBASCH lived only 17 years in South Australia before dying in 1856, 9 days shy of 66 years. He remains the one Hahndorf pioneer who was talked about, commented on, quoted from & recognised as a personality of some curiosity in articles that rarely referenced German stories or characters.  In 1893 E HODDER noted that he had accumulated much wealth.  



No 1 daughter


Ships List La Rochelle arrived 3 September 1855

The eldest daughter from the marriage with the 1st wife Caroline WOLF was Johanne Louise LUBASCH.  




Johanne Louise was 18 years of age in 1838 when she chose to stay in Brandenburg, Prussia and not accompany her sister, father, his new wife & their 5 daughters to South Australia. This daughter did not come out on the 'Zebra' in 1838,  did she stay on in the village of Rissen, had she already met the mason, Johann Gottlieb WIETH from Pommerzig, Brandenburg, Prussia, who she married in 1840.

It was to be another 17 years before she was to see her family again, she arrived in South Australia almost exactly 12 months before her father died with her husband & 3 young daughters. 

This is the couple who built the house, bake oven etc now known as 59 Auricht, Rd, Hahndorf. 

No 2 daughter

Johanna Eleonore Henriette LUBASCH, the 2nd daughter from the 1st marriage of Gottlieb LUBASCH to Karoline WOLF.

Eleonore was married in 1839ca, the year after arrival at 18 years of age and her husband was 19 years old.  This photograph is from page 166 of the LIEBELT Family History Book.







No 3 daughter 

Photos by author, 2022.St James Anglican Church, BlakistonJohanna Dorothea Louisa LUBASCH is the 1st daughter of the 2nd marriage to Johanna Dorothea GREISER.  Louisa married 1845 to Mt Barker Scottish farmer and later publican, Lachlan McFARLAN.  They are buried in the St James Anglican Church, Blakiston cemetery.  







No 4 daughter

1827-1902 Photo from the 'MULLER photo collection'.Johann Karoline LUBASCH married 1847 to Johann Gottlieb LIEBELT, the 1st son of the 2nd LIEBELT son. also see article on the  STEINBORN-LIEBELT descendants and also their farming history and that of their children.








No 5 daughter

Photo from Liebelt Family History book 1975 page 167.Mrs Christian JAENSCH Photo from 'John MULLER Collection'.  1833-1911Johanna Maria Dorothea LUBASCH married 1853 to Christian JAENSCH who was 9 years of age on the 'Zebra'.  Christian JAENSCH & Maria Dorothea LUBASCH build first stone home in Hahndorf.

 See the article on the 'Hahndorf Pioneer Photo, 6 men' taken 1900, Christian is in the photo & he died at  90 years of age in 1917.  Chronicle Thursday 21 September 1933, page 50  Christian JAENSCH was the last but one, surviving pioneer when he died 11 October 1917, Dorothea had died 6 years earlier.  This is what the 'Chronicle' said  "The last of these pioneers was Christopher JAENSCH, who died in October 1917.  He built the first stone house in Hahndorf, and his daughter is living in it now."

The Register [Adelaide, SA: 1839-1900] Wednesday 17 October 1917 page 6.  Mr Christian JAENSCH, the oldest resident of Hahndorf, and the last of the original settlers, died last Thursday at the age of 90 years and five months. His sister, Mrs Gates, of Maryland's, is now the last surviving member of the religious refugees who formed the community of Hahndorf.  [Author: Mrs Gates, is Christian’s younger sister, Johanne Louise JAENSCH b1836, d1918 age 82 years. married James GATES 1857.]

The deceased arrived in Port Adelaide by the 'Zebra' in December 1838, and as a youth he was employed as a shepherd and cook at a weekly wage ranging from 5/- to 12/-.   In 1854 he married, Miss LUBASCH, daughter of the late Sgt. LUBASCH, an old Waterloo veteran.  The deceased took a great interest in gold mining, and in the fifties was sent by a syndicate to the Northern Territory to report on  He returned just prior to the wrecking of the Gothenburg. [see note below]

He also journeyed to the Victoria diggings, where he did fairly well. His prospecting in his own district did not prove remunerative.  Later in life he engaged in butchering and farm pursuits.  He endured all of the hardships of the early settlers, and it was a pleasure to hear him recount interesting incidents of his early life in the pioneer days.  The deceased, by his uprightness, generosity, and kindly disposition, had won wide esteem.  His intellect remained bright to the end. He has left 3 sons - Messrs A JAENSCH, of Western Australia and W. and G  JAENSCH, of Hahndorf, and two daughters - Joanna and Martha JAENSCH, of Hahndorf.

[Author: The ‘Gothenburg’ was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef in tragic circumstances 24 February 1875. Christian was 48 years of age when he returned to Hahndorf, his eldest child was 21 years and his youngest was 6 years of age.]

South Australian Register [Adelaide, SA : 1839-1900] Saturday 26 July 1856, page 3, Echunga.

Adelaide Observer [SA : 1843 - 1904] Saturday 26 January 1856, Page 8, Echunga

Add a caption

South Australian Register [Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900] Saturday 30 August 1856, page 2, Law & Criminal Courts.



South Australian Register [Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900] Saturday 11 July 1857, page 3, In Equity.

South Australian Register [Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900] Saturday 20 December 1856.


Will of Christian JAENSCH of Hahndorf dated 13 December 1876.

“Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records,” database, FamilySearch [ 03/1:2:7MMV-VMN2 : 26 September 2019], Entry for Christian Jaensch, 13 Dec 1876; citing Will, South Australia, Australia, Probate and Administration Books, Supreme Court of South Australia, Adelaide; FHL microfilm 103271684.


No 6 daughter

LUBASCH/PAECH Photo from 'John MULLER  Collection'    1835-1890Maria Elisabeth LUBASCH inherited her fathers farm despite the opposition of her brothers-in-law, married 1st in 1859 to Johann Gottfried LIEBELT from Blakiston, [who was a 1st cousin to the husband of Maria's older sister [No 4 above], Johanna Karoline LUBASCH] & after his sudden death left her with with 3 small children in 1866 she married a year later to Johann Wilhelm PAECH who was a widow with two small children, & together Maria had another four children.  

After her father's death Maria and her mother continued to farm Section 3812, living in the house built [still in good condition] for the family [1844-1849ca] which is now on the property owned by the PAECH family of Beerenberg Farm.  Their farm buildings included the barn [still conserved] built for her father by Johann Carl Friedrich FAEHRMANN, master carpenter of Tangermünde, Prussia.  also see these articles related to FAEHRMANN's.

While Maria inherited all of her fathers lands and farm the Supreme Court trials brought against her by, in particular her brother in law Christian JAENSCH must have taken a toll on her health & responsibilities. Maria, by 1882 had sold the farm and the Hahndorf town land, & 2 other sections that she had inherited went to the NITSCHKE's in 1875.

Maria died at her 'usual residence in Hahndorf' on 15 April 1890 and the informant to the Registrar in Nairne was Hahndorf teacher Friedrich Wilhelm Julious EY.  Maria was only 54 years of age, had had 7 children & she died of Phthisis, a progressive wasting disease, perhaps caused by tuberculosis. Maria's youngest child was Anna Dorothea PAECH, 18 years of age.   

1890, Maria Elisabeth LUBASCH

Friedrich Wilhelm WITTWER, Miller, Executor. The will was made on the 6 May 1890

368  Maria Elisabeth PAECH deceased 011373 South Australia In the Supreme Court Testamentary Causes Jurisdiction.  Be it known that on the sixth day of May 1890 the last Will and Testament / a copy whereof is hereunder written of Maria Elisabeth PAECH otherwise Marie Elizabeth PAECH late of Hahndorf in the Province of South Australia wife of Johann Wilhelm PAECH deceased who died on the fifteenth day of April 1890 at Hahndorf aforesaid was proved and registered in the Supreme Court of the said Province and that administration of all and singular the personal estate and effects of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to Friedrich Wilhelm WITTWER of Hahndorf aforesaid Miller the sole Executor named in the said Will he having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the same by paying the just debts of the said deceased and the legacies contained in her will and to exhibit a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the said estate and effects and to render a just and true account thereof whenever required by law so to to do.  Given at Adelaide under the seal of the Supreme Court of the Province of South Australia, Sworn under 200 pound. Registrar of Probates. Von DOUSSA Proctor.



Caroline WOLF & Anna Dorothea GREISER: The mothers of  7 daughters

7 daughters born to Gottfried's two wives between 1820-1838

Caroline WOLF 1790c-1823c Prussia

├──  Johanna Luise LUBASCH married Johann Gottlieb WIETH

  • Birth: 6 April 1820 [BISA] Prussia 
  • Marriage: 1840c
  • Widowed: 1881 aged 61 years
  • Death: 16 May 1899 aged 79 years
  • Burial:
    • LFH page 166 says 'died at daughters place at Parkside SA, buried in Hahndorf Cemetery, Hahndorf, married 1840c Johann Gottlieb WIETH 1812c-27 Sept 1881. He was the last person buried at St Paul's Cemetery, Hahndorf.  Inherited the cottage and 2 acres of land at the Southern end of Hahndorf LFH page 166. 
    • SAGHS microfiche, District of Mount Barker Deaths 1899 states differently.   Johanne Luise's normal residence was Hahndorf, and she died in the Parkside Asylum where she was admitted on 15 September 1888 with dementia and senile decay & stayed admitted until her death on 16 May 1899, 8 months later.

└──  Johanne Eleonore Henriette LUBASCH married Johann Wilhelm THIELE

  • Birth: 1821 [BISA] Prussia 
  • Marriage: 1839c Hahndorf
  • Death: 29 December 1901 [BISA] aged 80 years
  • Burial:  Hahndorf Cemetery [LFH page 166]


Anna Dorothea GREISER 1799c-19 October 1864 Hahndorf, buried at St John's Cemetery, Hahndorf, married 1823c BISA Prussia Johann Gottfried LUBASCH  

├──  Anna Dorothea LUBASCH

  • Birth: 
  • Marriage: 
  • Widowed:
  • Death: 
  • Burial:  


1824c(BISA)  Prussia-2 May 1900, (BISA) buried St James Anglican Church, Blakiston

LFH page 166,  married 24 February 1845, Lachlan MACFARLANE  2 June 1806 Stralachlan, Argyllshire Scotland-16 April 1892. SAGHS South Australian Marriages 1842-1852 state that Lachlan was a 37 year old 'Stockholder' when he married 21 year old Spinster Louise LUBASCH at Clanfergeal near Adelaide according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of Scotland by Rev Rob HAINING  in the presence of Dugale McDOUGALL, Andrew Murray and Catherine Helen SPENCE.  

They were married for 47 years and were buried St James Anglican Church, Blakiston LFH page 166.

SAGHS District of Mount Barker Deaths 1875-1893 microfiche says that Lachlan died at 86 years of age a 'Gentleman who died at his usual address in Mount Barker of Morbid Cordis.'

├──  Johanna Karoline LUBASCH

  • Birth: 
  • Marriage: 
  • Widowed:
  • Death: 
  • Burial:  

22 April 1827 BISA Prussia-30 May 1902, buried,  married 9 September 1847 Johann Gottlieb LIEBELT 28 December 1823-11 May 1893 buried

├──  Anna Marie Dorothea LUBASCH

  • Birth: 
  • Marriage: 
  • Widowed:
  • Death: 
  • Burial:  

29 April 1833 (BISA) Prussia-9 February 1911 buried, SAGHS says St Michael's?? married 15 April 1853 Johann Christian JÄNSCH 22 May 1827-11 October 1917 buried

├──  Maria Elisabeth LUBASCH

  • Birth: 
  • Marriage: 
  • Widowed:
  • Death: 
  • Burial:  

10 September 1835 BISA Rissen BISA  Prussia-15 April 1890 buried married 16 December 1859, Johann Gottfried LIEBELT 1837c-21 November 1866, buried   Then married Johann Wilhelm PAECH 29 August       1844-19 September 1916 buried.  .

Maria Elisabeth LUBASCH married twice, her first husband was Johann Gottfried LIEBELT, the '3rd Liebelt son's, 3rd child'.  Gottfried was only a year old on the 'Zebra' and he & Maria became engaged in April 1856, 5 months before her father died.  The motives of himself and his parents [Anna Dorothea WOLF & Johann Christoff LIEBELT 'the 3rd son'] was brought into question through out the trial of questioning the validity of LUBASCH's will.  Gottfried LIEBELT died suddenly leaving 3 daughters under 6 years of age, & is buried in St John's Lutheran Church, Hahndorf.  [a cemetery that no longer exits].   

Liebelt Family History page 116.  'Gottfried received the sections 4206 and 4419' Hd Onkaparinga & Macclesfield' who distributed his assets amongst his children 5 days before he diedLiebelt Family History page 145 'His land was left in trust for his three infant daughters.'  This trust is reflected in adjoining sections, Certificate of Title [137] CXXXVII/241 dated 5 November 1869, 21 acres Section 4206 Hd Onkaparinga, 65 acres  Section 4419 Hd Macclesfield.

The 1881 Certificate of Title Vol 208 Folio 232 below will show that LUBASCH's daughter who was the recipient of almost all of his assets sold section 3812 in 1881.  While she was the recipient in 1857 after her father's will was proved, the actual title was not changed until 1867.  Where was Maria Elizabeth LUBASCH & her mother living when Anna Dorothea GREISER died in 1865.  Presumably she continued to reside with her daughter in the same home where LUBASCH died, on Section 3812, even after her first husband Gottfried LIEBELT came to live with them on the farm that he was to manage.  Maria's first three children were born in the same house on the farm.


└──  Anna Elisabeth LUBASCH 1838c-30 December 1838 buried.......

  • Birth: 
  • Marriage: 
  • Widowed:
  • Death: 
  • Burial:  



National Trust Trees of significance:   For full information: 1841 English Oak, Aurchendarroch

'English Oak, Quercus robber, individual tree, condition poor, 17 Adelaide Rd, Mt Barker, date of measurement 18 November 2020, date of classification 9 June 2021, height 17m'.  Statement of Significance' English Oak is believed to have been planted in the grounds of Auchendarroch in 1841 and therefore is among the older remaining cultivated specimens in the State. Its history and dimensions are well documented since its planting. The tree is a strong element within the garden, by both its height and bulk. It helps to provide height and shade to the landscape of the garden. It catches the eye and commands attention at the entrance to the property from Dumas Road. It has relevance, for its age, to the early years of the Colony of South Australia. It has healed itself from the lightning damage, and it embodies the reputation of Quercus robur as a tree which endures. The planting date is uncertain (1843 or 1845) but its existence was recorded in all of the Auchendarroch tree Inventory of 1920, and Heritage Surveys of 1945 and 1990.  Its very large size suggests more than 175 years of growth. The tree is located at the Dumas Road entrance to the Auchendarroch complex which passes along the northern boundary of the complex.The tree has been hit by lightning, destroying several metres of its canopy. The lightning strike split the tree down the middle, but did not kill it, and over a long period of time the tree has healed itself completely. This tree was initially nominated by Mike Forward of Auchendarroch, and registered by NTSA as significant on 26/10/1989 (NR465). It’s condition was described as “fair” and measurements were: H:19.0, Circ:4.0, N/S:20.0, E/W:20.0. Image 1 was taken at this time. 

It was renominated with updated details and additional photographs in January 2021.

(6000 words) 21 May 21 update
This history of the Barr Smith’s Auchendarroch House is told around its trees. The ‘original’ Auchendarroch oak tree nomination to the National Trust of South Australia’s Tree Register was dated 26 October 1989. Although no contemporary reports of its planting have been found, Robert Barr Smith’s hand-written records of his significant trees, and some other local properties, suggest it was planted in 1841(Measurements of Some Oaks of Mt Barker: Mortlock Library P.R.G. 354/74). 
This tacit acknowledgement confirms that neither he, nor Lachlan McFarlane, were the planters. From the Title ownerships, this leaves William Dutton, Duncan McFarlane and Captain John Finnis to have planted one of the earliest oak trees in this colony. 
The 1989 registration of this tree contained a brief history of the property. These 2020/21 notes accompany a re-nomination in 2021. Five extra trees have also been nominated, with a factual and more extensive history of the property.
The history of this place is now rewritten here, in thirteen developmental phases.
1. Mt Barker: early days (1839 -1854) 
2. Oakfield Hotel (1854 -1878) 
3. Robert and Joanna Barr Smith (1878 -1921) 
4. Auchendarroch House (1878 -1880) 
5. Mount Barker Rest Home (1921-1976)
6. Requisitioned by Government (1940 -1945) 
7. Rest Home resumes work (1945 -1976)
8. Communal living experiment (1976 -1992) 
9. The State Government buys in (1976 -1976) 
10. Heritage Studies (1981- 2004) 
11. Multi-functional Centre (1994 - 2020) 
12. The garden and grounds (1880 - 2020) 
13. Significant Trees (2020 - 2021) 
Phase one: Mt Barker: early days (1839 -1854) 
According to the 1994 Heritage Survey, by late 1838, pioneers from Adelaide were looking for good farming and grazing land in an agriculturally suitable area now known as Mount Barker. Mount Barker was named by Captain Charles Sturt, after Captain Collett Barker. Sturt surveyed the coastal area from Encounter Bay to the head of St Vincent's Gulf in 1839. 
Robert Richard Torrens, who came to this colony in 1840, later established a new system of land registration, known as the Torrens Title, adopted by other Australian colonies and many other countries. 
In 1839, while still in England, Robert Torrens introduced a plan of "Special Surveys" whereby a person could lodge the sum of £4,000 and acquire 15,000 acres of bushland. The first such Special Survey was around Mount Barker, and one of its initial purchasers was William Hampden Dutton. On 11th January 1839, he, Duncan McFarlane and John Finnis, bought fifty 80-acre sections dividing the land between them in September 1840. They laid out the township of Mt Barker into 69 half-acre town lots and 41 five-acre suburban lots, offered for sale in February and March 1840. 
Auchendarroch is located on a portion of the 80-acre Section 4476 of this first Special Survey of 11th January, 1839, but as agreed by Dutton, McFarlane and Finnis in October 1841, the original section granted to William Hampton Dutton, and Finnis, was conveyed to Duncan McFarlane in April 1842. In May 1847, Duncan sold the section to Archibald Walker, a London merchant. 
The Dutton-Finnis-McFarlane advertised plan for Mt Barker promoted a European rural landscape. They offered 80-acre sections, and large allotments - with nearly 5 acres of matching town holdings. Their vision was for a colonial 'England' of hedgerows and trees, upon which gentleman farmers on large estates leased smaller holdings to 'yeomen' type settlers.
In 1854, Walker sold approximately half of the section (then recorded as 44 acres) to Lachlan MacFarlane. Allan and Duncan, both McFarlane’s, were not related to Lachlan, a point that other researchers have missed.
In terms of deciding, on the evidence, when the original English oak was planted, in this phase, it seems reasonable to say:
1. It’s unlikely to have been planted before the 1839 Survey; there was no identifiable place to plant it; nor was there a compelling reason;
2. In 1839 Dutton, McFarlane, and Finnis bought the land; 
3. In 1842 Dutton and Finnis agreed that Duncan McFarlane should have the land;
4. In 1841 the oak was planted, according to Robert Barr Smith’s notes (written after 1878)
5. Ergo, if Robert was correct, it wasn’t planted by Lachlan McFarlane or Robert;
6. Robert was a ‘keen amateur botanist’, so not ill-informed;
7. In 1842 Duncan McFarlane bought the land, after it was planted;
8. In 1847 Duncan sold to Archibald Walker;
9. In 1854 Archibald Walker sold to Lachlan MacFarlane;
10. In 1860 Archibald Walker loaned Lachlan £1000;
11. In 1878 Lachlan MacFarlane sold to Robert Barr Smith; 

On this chronology, and accepting that Robert Barr Smith’s botanical knowledge was sound, and that he would have seen the size (and age) of the tree, when he bought the land, the oak must have been planted when Dutton, McFarlane and Finnis owned the land. 
Maybe the oak was symbolic of the Dutton, McFarlane and Finnis ‘plan’ to recreate a ‘colonial England’, so they planted one in a position which later housed the Oakfield Hotel? It’s possible that another McFarlane, Lachlan, noticed the oak on his newly acquired land, and when he was able, built the hotel of his dreams, calling it “Oakfield” after his first impression of it, an oak in a field, matching the vision of the first three developer-settlers. See other interpretations.
Phase two: The Oakfield Hotel (1854-1878) 
Mt Barker was en route from Adelaide to the River Murray crossing at Wellington, the principal route to the eastern colonies, so a hotel would have been an important and a profitable coaching stop on the way. 
There is no record of activity on the Oakfield Hotel land prior to Lachlan McFarlane, or of the original oak. However, an oak tree must have existed onsite, as noted above in Robert Barr Smith’s later hand written records. 
Argyllshire born Lachlan McFarlane arrived in the colony in 1840 from Melbourne, droving stock to South Australia. By 1841 a serious disease called 'scab' arose within his mob of sheep.
In 1843, despite moving his 10,000 sheep to the drier Kanmantoo district, most were lost, and he had to begin again. He chose farming in Mount Barker, which he undertook for several years. 
In 1845 Lachlan married German woman, Louise Laybasch (Louisa Lubasch, the daughter of one of the earliest settlers of Hahndorf). Of their eleven children, only six survived their infancy. 
Between 1841 and 1847 the track from Adelaide to Mount Barker became a passable road, funded by a toll. The coach services, by Rounsevell & Co, then by Cobb & Co and finally by Hill & Co, ended at Mount Barker outside the Oakfield Hotel, once it was in operation. An article in the Mount Barker Courier in 1873 described the arrival of the coach with its five beautifully groomed horses: 
"Its approach was heralded by the guard ...... arrayed in bright scarlet coat, with braided cap, and by means of a bugle as long as his arms let the whole neighbourhood know that the royal mail was approaching. "
It is evident that Lachlan fell on hard times around 1843, and it took him eleven years of farming to amass enough funds to buy the land, and another six years, plus a hefty £1000 loan from Archibald Walker, a London merchant, before, in 1860, he could afford to build the hotel that history records as the Oakfield Hotel. It opened in 1861, and Lachlan and Louise owned it until 1878. 
MacFarlane transferred his licence to H. Appelkamp, from 1869 until 11th December 1870 and held by him until 1872 when J.A. Humberstone held it for four years. On 12th June 1876 John Ayston junior (also written Oyston) became licensee for five years, at an annual rent of £120. In 1877 Ayston was declared insolvent and MacFarlane transferred the licence to Martin Considine until the property was bought by Robert Barr Smith in 1878.
Although MacFarlane was then over 70 years old, the reason he sold the hotel is not recorded. Analysis of the reducing tenure of licensees suggests its viability was in decline. A parallel decline in coaching connections, followed by the arrival of the railway in 1883 perhaps made the case for sale inevitable.
A note dated 30th April 1878, by John Paltridge, Estate Agent of Mount Barker, shows the property was sold to Robert Barr Smith for £3,000. The exchange of Title took place on 11th June 1878. The Paltridge house features below, as a memorial hospital site option. 
According to the 1981 Statement Significance by Peter Hignett, of Hignett and Company, architects, the Oakfield Hotel was built by Allan and Duncan McFarlane in 1861-69. Later data shows it was built by Lachlan, a McFarlane, to be sure, but not related to the brothers. It appears that Hignett’s research was sufficient to formally enter it on the Register of State Heritage Items on 27th September 1990 (Registration number 6627-13737), preceded by the “lightning oak”, as it’s now called, being placed on NTSA’s Significant Tree Register in October 1989, along with the original Golden oak.
A book titled “Hotels and publicans in South Australia” by J. L. Hoad shows that the Oakfield Hotel operated between 1861 and 1878. 
Phase three: Robert and Joanna Barr Smith (1855-1921) 
Scotswoman Joanna Lang Elder was known to Robert Barr Smith in Scotland. She married him in Melbourne, and on later arrival in the colony of South Australia, took a deep interest in its political, social and industrial events; in social circles she was a busy hostess. Joanna supported financially her friend Sister Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) with the establishment of the Catholic Josephite Convent at Mitcham. Mary moved to New South Wales, where she died in August 1909 at the Josephite Convent in North Sydney. She was laid to rest at the Gore Hill cemetery, not far from North Sydney. 
Because people continually took earth from around Mary’ s grave, her remains were transferred to the newly built memorial chapel on Mount Street, Sydney. The vault containing Mary’s remains was donated by Joanna Barr Smith, a “lifelong friend and admiring Presbyterian”, not a Church of England devotee, as noted elsewhere by others. Mary was declared a saint in 1995.
Robert arrived in Adelaide from Melbourne in 1855. He became a very successful businessman, eminent citizen, and super-generous philanthropist. He took over Elder and Co. from George Elder, also a Scot. He married George’s sister, Joanna, in 1856. They bore 13 children.
In 1875, he and Thomas Elder became the sole partners of Elder Smith & Co, with interests in the Moonta Copper Mines, the Adelaide Steamship Company, many other businesses, and a co-founder of the Bank of Adelaide. 
In 1878 Robert and Joanna bought the failing Oakfield Hotel and commissioned its extension, for their rural retreat. They also began enlarging Torrens House, their city home. In 1879 they went to England while both building works were underway, returning in 1880 when both buildings had been completed. They then turned their attention to designing the garden of the retreat they named Auchendarroch House. 
According to the Courier (16 Feb, 1994) the Barr Smith’s lived at Auchendarroch every year from October to April - for nearly four decades.
Robert Barr Smith was a keen amateur botanist, and one of the features of his garden was a rare golden oak, which he planted. It died in 2000, was removed, and replaced in 2005 by a golden-leaved form of English Oak which had arisen as a seedling from English Oaks growing in Main Street Mount Barker. 
Robert died at his residence in Angas Street on 20 November 1915. His estate was sworn for probate at £1,799,500, then the largest personal fortune in South Australia; of this, more than £40,000 of that was left to charities.
Phase four: Auchendarroch House (1878-2021) 
In 1878 Robert and Joanna Barr Smith bought the Oakfield Hotel, Mt Barker, as the makings of a summer residence, which they would name Auchendarroch (Gaelic for Oakfield, or ‘holy place of oaks’, in other references). The grounds and buildings were enlarged and beautified, and it became a centre for local and Adelaide society, including a Hunt Club. 
Robert Barr Smith (1824- 1915) and his wife Joanna’s Adelaide home was Torrens Park, built in 1853 by Sir Robert Torrens, later sold to the Barr Smith’s, who moved there in 1874. In addition to that, they paid £3,000 for 42 acres of land at Mt Barker in 1878, including the Oakfield Hotel, around which they built a 30-room mansion in the ‘French Renaissance of the Modern School’ style. Elsewhere, it’s said that Auchendarroch was built using random-coursed stone with segmentally arched openings with stuccoed surrounds. It had a dominant tower, all in Italianate style with Roman arched openings and heavy string coursing. It was roofed with slate shingles. 
Adelaide University’s Special Collections and Archives describes Auchendarroch as “of similar magnitude to Torrens Park but more Georgian in appearance, but also decorated throughout with William Morris furnishings.”
So far, it’s been described, in three heritage reports, as French Renaissance, Italianate, and Georgian!
Auchendarroch House was designed by Adelaide architect, John Harry Grainger (1854-1917). John left his home in London in 1877 when he was 23 years old. He came to Adelaide to work in the SA Public Works Department, which he did until 1878. So, he was a very ‘new chum’ when invited to design “Auchendarroch”, and relatively inexperienced, because part of his training had been in the civil engineering discipline of bridge design, not architecture. He was the father of well-known musician Percy Grainger.
Another critique of its architectural style says the resulting building was a fine Victorian mansion, particularly noted for its fine interior features and Morris & Co. furnishings. Surviving internal decoration includes original William Morris ‘spring thicket’ wallpaper, several original tiled fireplaces with oak surrounds, a giant panelled door, and a grand staircase. (Pope and Booth, 2004). 
Finally, it’s French Renaissance, Italianate, Georgian, and Victorian. It’s not Scottish baronial.
As for the grounds, according to Peter Hignett, in 1983:
“Of the original parklike gardens established by Robert Barr Smith, only the major trees, a small portion of the rose garden, and remnants of the formerly extensive hedge rows remain. Several of the surviving oak trees pre-date the Barr Smith ownership, and two trees on the site are individually heritage listed*. They were the source of the property's name (Auchendarroch is Scottish-Gaelic for "holy place of the Oaks", while the meaning of Oakfield is self-evident).”  
*The two trees mentioned, and entered in the National Trust of South Australia’s Register of Significant Trees, by its criteria, are the English oak planted in 1841, and the Golden oak planted by Robert Barr Smith, after 1878. However, it’s incorrect to say that they ‘are individually heritage listed’. They are not on the State Heritage Register nor on a local heritage list (Pers. com. Chris Lawry, city of Mt Barker). They both appear in NTSA’s Significant Tree Register, but this does not offer any form of protection, as might be implied by the reference to heritage listing.
The acceptance of the nomination of Auchendarroch on the State Heritage Register is confirmed as a State Heritage Place in the SA Heritage Register, dated 27 September, 1990.
A more or less contemporary account appeared in the Mt Barker and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, on 1st April, 1892, from an unnamed correspondent. In edited form, it said:
“The largest oak trees in the colony were planted between 1840 and 1853. The three largest were:
1. on the estate of Mr Buckley, near Charleston. Planted in 1840. In 1892 it is 70ft tall and 89ft across;
2. on the estate of Mr Barr Smith. Planted in 1842. In 1892 it is the best-grown in South Australia. It is 60ft tall and 75ft across;
3. on the estate of Mr Randall in Gumeracha. Planted in 1842. In 1892 it is 78ft tall and 68ft across.
This correspondent clearly knew his oaks, but he didn’t mention the Stangate House oak in Aldgate which, in 2020, was recognised by the National Register of Big Trees as the equal-largest, of three, in Australia. 
After Robert died in November 1915, and Joanna in 1919, the house and garden were sold, at auction in 1921, by his son, Tom Elder Barr Smith, to the Methodist Memorial Hospital, which operated from Avenue Rd, North Adelaide, renamed around 1921 as Sir Edwin Smith Avenue. A suitably modified Auchendarroch opened in 1922 as the Methodist Rest and Convalescent Home. 
Phase five: Mount Barker Rest and Convalescent Home (1921-1976) 
In 1922, Auchendarroch was bought by the Methodist Church and used as a convalescent home. It became a branch of North Adelaide’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in 1935, and was also used during WW2 for military convalescence. 
The Title shows that on 28th June 1922 the new owners were:
• William James Mortimer
• William Thomas Shapley (Methodist Minister)
• William George McKay
• John Shirley Clent
• Frederick Clifford Catt
• Lucas de Gurin, and
• Shirley William Jeffries
The Title states that the property was part Section 4476; “42 acres one rood and fifteen perches or thereabouts” in area. It was originally granted on 3rd July 1840, as signed by George Gawler, Governor, on 22nd August, 1878.
Notes from the publicity brochure a “Souvenir of the Memorial Hospital and “Auchendarroch” Mount Barker Rest Home, dated 1922, explain the promoters’ intentions:
The aim of the Hospital Board was to:
• Serve the broadest purpose
• Be a convalescent Home
• At a reasonable cost
• Be a training school for boys aged 12 to 18
• Be a Convention Centre
• Serve the Christian community of Mt Barker
• Be available to all alike irrespective of creed and circumstances is implied).
The estimated cost is £10,000, and financial support is invited from our supporters. The Board stated that the Home was not a hospital, not for contagious diseases, ‘not for profit’ as we would say in 2021, but “It must pay expenses.”
In the process of conversion to a convalescence home, Auchendarroch House lost some of its architectural detail, in order to meet the practical needs of its patients, and reopened its doors as the Mount Barker Rest and Convalescent Home in October 1922. 
A public notice said:
“It is an ideal home. Beautifully Situated and Furnished, affording every convenience and comfort. Trained Nurse in charge with well-selected staff. Tariff reasonable. Much of the food supply is produced on the ground, including splendid milk supply, vegetables, &c. Tubercular or medical cases are not admitted.” All information from the Matron or Secretary, Memorial Hospital. Source: The Register, Adelaide, Tuesday, November 28, 1922. 
The Memorial Hospital in North Adelaide was established as a memorial to veterans of World War 1, sometimes referred to as the North Adelaide Soldiers Memorial Hospital. It was also a WW2 convalescent hospital. It was during this phase that ‘it became sadly neglected’.
In 2021 there is a separate Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (See: “More than a hospital: the history of the Mount Barker District Soldiers' Memorial Hospital and the Adelaide Hills Community Health Service”, by Moya Stevens. She wrote that:
“A public meeting was called in late 1918 to consider the establishment of a Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, but it was too big a project to garner support by local funding. Local funds had been committed to planting an avenue of trees in memory of the fallen soldiers. By 1919 financial help was sought from Joanna, widow of Robert Barr Smith, and a vacant house, the “Paltridge House”, had been acquired for isolation purposes, and opened in November 1919. In 1922 the Board engaged Mr Eric McMichael, who was later to design Stangate House in Aldgate. He quoted £1,600 to design the hospital, which, with extensions, was completed in 1923. Because the Board struggled to find funds, government support was provided in 1926. In 1950 its name was changed to the Hills District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. In 1974 the South Eastern Freeway began operation, and Mt Barker became a sought-after residential area for people working in Adelaide. In 1978 more work was done to the hospital, and a Domiciliary and Day Care Centre opened in 1979. In 1986 an extensive government project was approved. As with all government facilities, change continues; as does the hospital and its work.”
As an aside, Moya noted that “Local funds had been committed to planting an avenue of oak trees, now known as Druids Avenue, in memory of the fallen soldiers.” This avenue is registered as ‘significant’ by the National Trust.  
The convalescent Home once at Auchendarroch House, should not be confused with the Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, which is still operated by SA Health.
Phase six: Requisitioned by the State Government (1940-1945)  
For five years during WW2 the Rest Home was requisitioned for use by the Red Cross, as a Rest Home and convalescent Military Hospital for the RAAF. 
• 1940 - 42 the Red Cross managed the Rest Home for convalescent servicemen;
• 1942 – 45 the R.A.A.F. requisitioned it for the recuperation of Air Force personnel;
• 1945 the R.A.A.F. relinquished its occupation; the Rest Home resumed work. 

Although the farm remained fully staffed because of its role in essential food production during the Red Cross and the R.A.A.F. occupation, the ornamental garden was uncared for and its condition deteriorated markedly. The garden staff was reduced to one; Albert Ellis, by then 70 years old, and he died in 1942. In 1945 an oak was planted at the bottom of the rose garden as his memorial. This tree was added to the National Trust’s Significant Tree Register in 2021.

Phase seven: The rest Home resumes work (1945-1976)

On resumption of Methodist Rest Home care in 1945, its newly appointed gardener, Ron Bates, expressed dismay at its poor condition. He recalled that:

"The croquet lawn was covered in wild oats a yard high and the hedges were totally out of control. Drives and paths were choked with weeds, roses had not been pruned for years, and the gardens infested with weeds. I was determined that one day the garden would be just as beautiful as before. "

By the early 1970's, changing attitudes to health care, diminishing patronage, increasing costs, and the need for extensive building maintenance, saw Auchendarroch’s role as a Rest Home nearing its end. Consequently, the Hospital Board sold the property by tender in 1975, and in 1976 a group of private families took on Auchendarroch as a community home. 

Phase eight: Communal living experiment (1976-1992) 
In 1976 six acres of the Auchendarroch property was purchased by Okendarok Pty. Ltd. for $200,000 by seven families who called themselves the "Auchendarroch Community", and collaborated in an intent to create a self-sustaining lifestyle. The Courier October 28th 1992 wrote: 
"In 1976 a group of families bought the property for $200,000 to explore an alternative community life style. Self-contained units were created within the mansion and the families hare the enjoyment of grand common areas and the extensive gardens. The community undertook major upgrading work throughout the building and garden."
Some of the units overlooked the beautiful grounds shared by the community. The garden was an important part of the communal self-sustaining ethos, and much care and attention, considerable planting and bedding out in the "old-fashioned style" took place.
In 1992 this venture came to an end; many of the members had moved away, and the remainder may have become too old to care for this large, demanding property. 

Phase nine: The State Government buys in (1976 – 197*) 
When the Rest Home came on the market by tender, the S.A. Department of Planning set out to compulsorily acquire approximately 36 acres for open space, and several parties were interested in demolishing the building to redevelop the site. 


1. In November 1983 stage 1 of a three stage Mount Barker District Heritage survey was undertaken by Peter Hignett, Hignett & Company.  It incorrectly stated that the Oakfield Hotel was built by Allan and Duncan McFarlane, 1861-69. Records of the publicans show that it was built and owned by Lachlan McFarlane. Allan and Duncan were not related to Lachlan. It also says it was used as a convalescent home for WW2 soldiers. 
2 In 1994 Bruce Harry and Associates prepared a Conservation Plan for this historic property. It showed various phases of the building’s existence and noted several, if not all historically important trees, such as English elm, Magnolia, nine English oaks, a Golden cypress, Golden holly, Golden oak, Silver holly, common Yew, Irish Strawberry, Cedar, Golden cedar, two Scarlet oaks, two WA Flowering gums, Algerian oak, two Chestnuts, and a Maple. 
3 In 2004, Anna Pope and Claire Booth carried out a study called Heritage on Line for the District Council of Mt Barker. Its findings added little to this story not found in former reports.
The decision to restore the house, but sacrifice much of the ground and garden, around 2000, was a typical government-private enterprise compromise, based on cashing in on the site’s intrinsic value, and minimising restoration costs, in a three-way split with the local council. The house would be retained for posterity; local government would acquire additional land; and a developer would pay for the house restoration, but be able to enjoy a substantial developmental opportunity. 
As it happened eventually, the opportunity took the form of a:
• Beautifully restored mansion*/fine dining restaurant (*defined as a grand house);
• Strikingly formed multi-functional entertainment centre;
• Vast, out-of-context carpark; 
• Minimal but contextual garden restoration.
Tree inventory: 
From data available from various plans of the garden, a 2020 inventory of trees found at various times has been compiled over four periods: 1920; 1945; 1994, and 2020, now shown here;
Trees known in 1920 
2 English yew, 9 English oaks, Queensland Kauri pine, Dutch elm, English elm, Golden oak (registered), 2 Golden Cypresses, English Yew, Golden holly, 2 Golden cedars, Mt Atlas cedar, 3 palms, Magnolia sp, 3 Scarlet oaks, 2 WA Flowering gum, Cypress sp, Algerian oak, 2 Sweet Chestnuts, 2 European Beech’s, Maple, Hawthorn, Blackwood, Irish Strawberry, Silver holly, Cedar sp. Total: 45
Trees known in 1945  
2 English yews, 9 English oaks, Queensland Kauri pine, Dutch elm, 2 Cypress sp, Golden holly, 3 palms, 2 Golden cedar, Magnolia sp, Mt Atlas cedar, Golden oak (registered), 3 Golden Cypresses, 3 Scarlet oak, 2 WA Flowering gums, Algerian oak, 2 Sweet Chestnuts, 2 European Beech’s, Maple, Hawthorn, Blackwood, Irish Strawberry, Silver holly. Total: 43
Trees known in 1994 
2 English yew, 9 English oaks, Queensland Kauri pine, Dutch elm, 2 Cypress sp, 3 palms, 2 Golden cedars (1 dying), Magnolia sp, Mt Atlas cedar, Golden oak (registered), 3 Golden Cypresses (1 dying), 3 Scarlet oaks (1 dying), 2 Sweet Chestnuts, 2 European Beech’s, Maple, Hawthorn, Blackwood, Irish Strawberry, Silver holly. Total: 39
Trees known in 2020
4 English oaks, Queensland Kauri pine, Dutch elm. Total: 6
Conclusion: Between 1994 and 2020 there was a massive loss of original, long-lived trees that formed the basis of the garden at Auchendarroch House from 1878 to 1992. In fact, an 87% loss, mainly due, but not entirely due to, the needs of the multi-functional entertainment centre.
Phase eleven: Multi-functional Entertainment Centre (1994- 2020) 
In 1994, developers Project Design Network and SteamRanger drew up plans for a multi-function centre and some living units, with public access through the garden to the nearby TAFE college. The large garden was to be retained and every historically significant tree was to be kept, according to the published data. In September this $5,000,000 scheme was approved by Council subject to certain conditions. It didn’t proceed because Project Design Network “simply couldn’t come up with the money” (Courier Newspaper 18 January 1995)
In February 1996, Adelaide company Knighton became involved in plans for this site, including a tavern, function centre and restaurants. The company spoke of high quality, heritage sensitive restoration of the old building, and retaining the public link to the TAFE college. In April 1999, Knighton advised that “the plans were still on track”
It didn’t proceed, and Knighton sold part of the property on which the entertainment complex and Auchendarroch House and garden now stand .... possibly 5 or 6 acres, to the Wallis Theatres in August 1999. The new owner still intended to create ‘a multi-million-dollar entertainment facility’ and engaged an architect, who was ‘working on the plans for the building.’ 
In 2002 Wallis Theatre’s Managing Director, Michelle Wallis, began a multi-million-dollar refurbishment scheme of the old mansion, incorporating a large car park, cinema and restaurant complex. Both the Cinema complex and the Auchendarroch restoration were undertaken by the architectural firm of Walter Brooke & Associates Pty. Ltd. The builder was Hansen Yunken, and the interior design for the cinema, was Lyal from Mardor Interiors.
It is once again a vibrant community asset combining past and present in an innovative and historically sensitive manner. The house has been subjected to several Heritage studies, in which the garden and its trees have not been well reported. In restoring what was possible of the spirit of the original garden, Michelle Wallis consulted Peter Wadewitz (Peat Soils, Willunga), Merv and Kelvin Trimper (for choice of roses), and Merilyn Kuchel (historic garden designer), and member of the National Trust.
In what remains of the original garden laid out by the Barr Smiths, there are 7 trees that have an historical significance worth recording. They were added to the National Trust of South Australia’s Significant Tree Register, and the National Trusts of Australia Register of Significant trees, in February and June 2021.
Phase twelve: The garden and grounds (1922-2021) 
In the Methodist’s 1922 brochure, the site was described as:
“The land is forty-two and a half acres in extent and is subdivided into beautiful meadows, some of which are surrounded by hawthorn hedges. There are many magnificent specimens of English oaks and other trees. There are also three acres of grounds, many extensive lawns, which will provide room for croquet, tennis and other games. There is a bowling green immediately opposite. On the grounds there is a fine selection of choice shrubs, and in addition three acres of fruit trees, currants, raspberries, chestnuts, walnuts, etc. Glass-houses, shade-houses and fruit-houses abound, and a plentiful water supply from the main well, close to the Lightning oak.”
Phase thirteen: Significant Trees (2000-2021) 
This is the current phase; 2020 onwards. The entertainment complex had been working well as a commercial enterprise, but the advent of respiratory disease COVID-19, in February 2019 saw such places closed by government intervention, enabling only maintenance and research works to be undertaken. It was this hiatus that saw the garden assessed for any historically significant trees in 2020. It was visited variously by John Gladwell, Tony Whitehill, Chris Lawry and Michael Heath, with a view to nominating any suitable trees to the National Trust’s Significant Tree Register. These researchers were invited to visit by Michelle Wallis, and shown around the garden in the company of gardener Penny Mitchell. After assessing all surviving original trees, four trees were deemed worth nominating to NTSA’s Significant Tree Register; one is a re-nomination, and one was already registered, totalling 7 trees.
Trees deemed worth nominating as “significant” at Auchendarroch House 
1. Original English oak lightning (Quercus robur)1842/42 renomination 
2. Large English oak (Quercus robur) (above skate park; outside present property boundary, but previously a boundary tree of the orchard
3. Golden oak (Quercus robur, golden form nominated in 2020 
4. Silver elm (Ulmus ‘Variegata) (near Dumas Rd) In footpath now, but previously in the garden
5. Dutch elm (Ulmus X hollandica)
6. Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara)
7. English Oak (gardener’s oak) (Quercus robur) 1945
The successful restoration and maintenance of historic buildings and their gardens requires a balance between cost and usefulness, in times when the original usefulness has past, but the costs remain. In the case of Auchendarroch, there seems to have been a recognition between several parties that ‘modernisation’ to create a present-day usefulness had to sacrifice quite a large portion of the original owner’s intent, a large and impressive kitchen garden, and an up-to-the-minute display of trees and shrubs that were de rigueur in the 1870s. 
Instead, today, and for years to follow, there is a large and impressive entertainment complex, a sensitively restored Victorian mansion*, visually dominant public car parking, and a token area of restored garden, with some original, now elderly - but impressive trees. This study notes that former studies have referred to the building as:
French Renaissance, Italianate, Georgian and Victorian!
This study settles for a Victorian mansion.
The failure, if there is one, is the 21st century insistence of poorly juxtaposed, and out-of-context car parking which diminishes the former grandeur of an impressive country estate. Kevin McLoud of TVs “Grand Designs” has said that “Not everything that stands out is outstanding.” That’s certainly true of most surface carparks.
The success, if there is one, is the clear recognition that the architectural magnificence of a restored Victorian mansion is respected for its place in the State’s history. Whilst the grounds have proved sacrificial, sufficient of them remain, in context with the mansion, to give students of its history a glimpse of the original owner’s intentions.
While the house remains deservedly on the State Heritage Register, in a much-improved condition than on the day it was placed there, of the 40 or so original trees in the grounds, six have been found redolent of the garden’s founding intent, and they will now be permanently recognised by inclusion in NTSA’s Significant Tree Register. 
If Robert and Joanna Barr Smith could appraise today’s development, they would be delighted at the efforts lavished on the mansion; they would likely invest in the entertainment complex, and marvel at its visual technology. On the other hand, might they frown on an unsightly carpark? Given their money and studied use of aesthetics, would they use both to put the carpark underground, and replace the garden above it, for all to enjoy, and retain its contextual integrity?
Michelle Wallis, Managing Director, Wallis Cinemas
Sheila Jones, Mt Barker History Centre
Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1976
John Gladwell, History SA volunteer
Tony Whitehill, horticulturalist, arborist, and NTSA volunteer
Chris Lawry, Arborist, plantsman, and NTSA volunteer
Wikipedia; various
“Souvenir of the Memorial Hospital and “Auchendarroch” Mount Barker Rest Home, 1922
Adelaide University, “Stories from Archives & Special Collections”
SA Life magazine, 17/10/2019, article by Michael Keelan
“Hotels and publicans in South Australia” by J. L. Hoad, 1986
“D C Mount Barker Heritage Survey”, by Anna Pope and Claire Booth, 2004
“More than a hospital”, a history of the Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, by Moya Stevens, Reid Press, Mount Barker, 2009
Auchendarroch Conservation Plan: March, 1994, by Bruce Harry & Associates

Michael Heath, compiler, architect, landscape architect, and NTSA volunteer.





Aldine History of South Australia, 1890 Volume 2  'LACHLAN MACFARLANE was born in the county of Argyleshire, Scotland, in the year 1806, and is a son of Thomas MacFarlane, grazier, of the same place.  It was first intended that he should be brought up to the medical profession, but owing to his health failing he inclined to outdoor employment, consequently he entered upon farm life.  In 1840 he came to Sydney, New South Wales, and, after a short stay in town, bought up some live stock, with which he travelled overland to Melbourne;  here again he remained for about six months, and then, crossing over into South Australia, came to Mount Barker, and here began farming operations, which occupation he continued to follow for several years; he was a justice of the Peace for the colony for many years, and then resigned his commission, and he was also a district councillor;  he has now given up all active employment, and is living a quiet retired life. Mr. MacFarlane married in 1845 Louisa Lubasch, and has a family of four children. living.'


1930 "Early Mount Barker - Who Was Who?” - Rev. W. Gray, Mt Barker Courier July 11 1930'Lachlan McFarlane was born in Argylshire in 1806.  He came to Sydney in 1840.  He brought livestock overland to Melbourne.  Six months later he came to Mount Barker where he started sheep farming.  He was amongst those who employed the young German women from Hahndorf to shear their sheep.  He married one of these young ladies, Louise Laybasch [sic] on February 24 1845.  He was 37 and she was 20 years of age.  The marriage was celebrated by the Rev. Robert Haining at Clanferzeal near Adelaide.  The witnesses to the marriage ceremony were Dougald McDougall, Andrew Murray and Catherine Helen Spence.  A child John died on July 11 1856, one month old. John Walker, surgeon, gave a burial certificate.  Lachlan MacFarlane built one of the most pretentious buildings in the State, and named it the Oakfield Hotel.  Later this building was sold to Robert Barr-Smith, who renamed the beautiful building Auchendarroch, and used it as a Summer residence.'

[Authors Note:  Rev. Robert Haining born in Maxton, Roxburghshire, Scotland [1802-1874] was the first Church of Scotland minister in South Australia, he arrived on the ‘Orissa’ in November 1841 with his wife Jesse GRANT. In 1845, 20 year old, Catherine Helen SPENCE [author, teacher, journalist & politician, lay preacher] was a witness to the marriage of Lachlan & Louise.  The SPENCE family arrived in South Australia 31 October 1839 on ‘Palmyra’, her father was the first Town Clerk of City of Adelaide. The municipality collapsed in 1843 & she later wrote about her father “after the break up….& loss of income, my father lost health & spirits” & died in 1846. In 1849 Rev. Robert Haining was appointed to the Destitute Board. & some years later in 1905 Catherine was appointed as the first & only female member to the Destitute Board.

Portrait of Scottish [Melrose, Scotland] born Catherine Helen Spence [1825-1910] in 1890’s, Wikipedia.



Obituary: Lachlan MacFARLAN husband of 3rd LUBASCH daughter

1892 The Mount  Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser [SA : 1880-1954]  22 April 

A DEPARTED PIONEER – One of the earliest colonists and pioneers of Mount Barker died on Saturday in the person of Mr Lachlan Macfarlan.  The deceased gentleman, who had attained the great age of 86, arrived in Sydney from Scotland in 1839, and a year later he brought a large flock of sheep over-land to Mount Barker for Mr Duncan McFarlane.  Mr Lachlan Macfarlan then settled here, and soon after he married a daughter of Mr Lubasch, of Hahndorf, and they had a family of five daughters and one son.  Mrs Macfarlan survives her husband, and the children now living are Mrs James Linklater of Adelaide), Mrs N.A. Williams (of Broken Hill), and Miss Macfarlan (resident in Mount Barker), and Mr T. Macfarlan (who is also living at Oakfield Farm).  Another of the daughters, now deceased, married Mr T. Williams, of Moorak, Mount Gambier, and a fifth daughter died unmarried.  The late Mr Macfarlan, who was a large landholder at Mount Barker, built the Oakfield Hotel here and kept it for a number of years.  He disposed of the place to Mr R. Barr Smith, who converted it into the present handsome mansion.  Mr Macfarlan, who was a very hale and strong man when in his prime, being possessed of exceptional muscular power, was a justice the peace for many years, but of late had led a retired life.  The funeral took place at the Blakiston Cemetery on Monday, the burial service being conducted by the Rev. J. W. Gower.  Among those present at the grave were the son of the deceased (Mr T. Macfarlan), Mr Linklater (son-in-law), and Messrs John Dunn, J. P. , Thomas Paltridge, J.P., C. Jaensch, and F. T. Liebing.

1892 South Australian Register [Adelaide, SA : 1839-1900]  26 April

The late Mr MacFarlan – with reference to the death of Mr Lachlan MacFarlan, our Mount Barker representative writes :--

“The deceased gentleman, who arrived in Sydney in 1839, brought a large flock of sheep, and travelled them over to Mount Barker, arriving here in 1840.  In coming over, much to his regret ever after, he missed the best lands of our South Eastern country – viz., Mount Gambier and district.  He had lost most of his flock of sheep by the time he arrived here through various causes, and had to start his life afresh.  Soon after he married the daughter of one of the earliest settlers at Hahndorf – Miss Lubasch, who still survives.  They had a family of five daughters and one son.  The eldest daughter married Mr James Linklater, the second daughter Mr Thomas Williams of Moorak, South East (since dead).  The third daughter is single.  One daughter died unmarried, and another is married to Mr N. A. Williams of Broken Hill.  The only son (Mr T. MacFarlan) is at present residing at Oakfield Farm, Mount Barker.  The late Mr. MacFarlan was a very hale, strong, and robust man, and in his younger days a powerful athlete, lifting at times weights that no ordinary man could lift.  He purchased several blocks of land in Mount Barker.  He was a Magistrate for a number of years, and a very keen and observant reader of human nature.  He built the Oakfield Hotel in this town, and kept it as such until he disposed of that portion of his property to Mr R. B. Smith, who so added to this building as to make it a very handsome summer residence.”

Obituary: 3rd  LUBASCH daughter, Johanna Dorothea Louise.

1900 The Mount  Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser [SA : 1880-1954]   4 May

Death of Mrs L. Macfarlan – Residents of Mount Barker learned with regret on Wednesday afternoon of the sudden death from heart disease of Mrs Macfarlan, of 'Oakfield'.  The deceased lady, who was a daughter of the late Mr. Lubasch and was 75 years of age, came to the colony nearly 60 years ago, and prior to her marriage with Mr. Lachlan Macfarlan resided at Hahndorf.  For a number of years Mr. and Mrs. Macfarlan kept the Oakfield Hotel at Mount Barker, and they will be remembered by all old residents of the district.  The surviving family are three daughters and one son, while there are five grandchildren.  The funeral will take place at the Blakiston Cemetery this afternoon.