Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Truan family of Peachey Belt

In the year 1848 the Truan family, consisting of the father, mother, five sons, and two daughters, arrived in the colony in poor circumstances. 

After spending about two years in Adelaide working at different occupations, and contributing all their earnings to one common fund, John, the eldest of the sons, went to Willunga, where he began a business as a blacksmith.

Andrew and the rest of the family soon followed, and having taken a farm there continued to work it jointly in connection with the blacksmith business until the Victorian diggings turned up. The first of the sons who went were Gabriel and Thomas, and they were soon followed by their brothers John and William.

Upon their return from Victoria, Thomas, on behalf of the rest, purchased two sections of land, numbered 3007 and 3005, at Peachey Belt, for £257, and horses and drays for the purpose of farming it.

Assessment Records show that Gabriel owned section 3055, 3007, 3002, all of 80 acres each).  Andrew owned 3007 and 3055.

Today the area lies corner of Short and Penfield Road, now Trebuchet Wines.

Newspaper accounts detail a law suit between the sons and their father over the family partnership.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Elizabeth Grove Uniting Church

Formerly Elizabeth Grove Methodist Church (until 1977)
114 Harvey Rd & Fairfield Rd, Elizabeth Grove
The Church was the first public building erected in the Elizabeth. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Thomas Playford, Premier of South Australia on 27 November 1956, just eleven days after Elizabeth’s inauguration.  The building was designed as a combined church and hall, providing the community with a place of worship and well as to hold meetings and entertainment. The church was also used for indoor sporting events such as basketball and volleyball.  It was the birthplace of the Elizabeth Tennis Club, and several courts were constructed on the property.  A childcare centre ran from the church.

The building is listed as a local heritage place.  Several additions were added over the years.
For many years the church ran a ‘Spring Festival’ with dunking tanks, sweets, needlework etc.  A huge event for the church and community.  For many years it collected paper and rags for drives that was then sold on. 

In 2000, the church formed a lay ministry team to run the church.  The Lay minister uses a windmill to depict its work. A windmill, a common sight in SA brings water to the surface and gives life to the surrounding land.  The many small blades make up the windmill contribute to the whole. The wind symbolises the Holy Spirit who drives the congregation.  This symbol and meaning was developed by Rev Frank Measday who had been the mentor and minister-in-association since 2000.
The church shares its building with a growing Burundi community who meet in the church several times per week.

The church chose not to join the other Elizabeth Uniting Churches in forming the new Playford church at Munno Para as its congregation was ageing and would be unable to travel to the new church.  In 2016 celebrated its 60th year.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Penfield School

The school opened in 1874 and lessons were held in private homes.  It closed in 1875 and reopened in 1877 and then closed again.  In 1878 it became a public school.  Previous to this the Council Chambers were used for school purposes.  School formerly opened by the Minister of Education, the Hon Thomas King on 18th March 1880.
A large cement water tank was filled by rain from the school room.  The school room was heated by a fire.  A corrugated iron lean to was added to the entrance side.

1915 A parcel of comforts were made by the students including 8 pillow cases, 16 milk covers, 2 scarfs and caps combined, 4 handkerchiefs, 7 face washers, parcel of old linen and old kid cloves.
The children worked well in 1917 for the Patriotic Funds. War Service medals had been won to the value of £3.10 and £2 had been forwarded to the YMCA, Cheerups and League of Loyal Women.

1936 a Centenary picnic was held in the paddock of Mr C. T Bray near the Gawler River with the Angle Vale, Gawler River and Penfield schools. Each child was given oranges and sweets.
The school finally closed on 31 December 1940.  
The surrounding land became the RAAF Edinburgh base and was demolished in 1985.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Smithfield Recreation Park

Eleven acres portion of land which was originally granted to John Battye Thorngate in 1845.  In 1852, the land was leased to John Smith for 21 years.   John B Thorngate passed away in 1867 and the land passed William Emmanuel Churcher and George Churcher as trustees through Midland Bank Executor and Trustees in England to administer the land, with power to sell.

On 4 September 1922, Joseph Blake called for a public meeting to be held at Smithfield to form a committee from the residents of Smithfield and surrounding neighbourhood.  Residents of Smithfield have felt a growing need for a public recreation area.  The committee’s aim was to purchase land for a recreation park.  A sum of £140 was raised by subscription and to secure the rest a sports afternoon and fete were held. A queen completion raised £70.  The competing girls were Kathleen Andrews, Hazel Argent, Nellie Manouge, Doris McGee, Mavis Taylor and Thelma Worden. Mavis Taylor received the largest number of votes and was crowned by Mrs M. G Smith.  The day raised £145, which after paying outstanding accounts left them with a balance of £80.
A Trust was established with Mr Henry Joseph Twelftree, Frank Thomas Judd, William Kelly Adams, And Melville Galbraith Smith and Joseph Blake as trustees, all farmers of Smithfield.

During WWII the grounds were used on numerous occasions.  In 1939, the CWA and returned soldiers planted trees around the oval.  A gala day was held in 1941 to aid CWA war emergency work.  On 24th July 1943 a fancy dress football match was held between the Munitions team and the military team, organised by Smithfield Soldiers Recreation Fund Committee.

Smithfield oval, Salisbury West v Smithfield 25 October 1980
By 1954, Joseph Blake was the sole surviving trustees, new trustees were appointed: Mr Donald Douglas Firth, Frederick Guest Twelftree and Robin Vivian Taylor, again all farmers of Smithfield.  Joseph Blake passed away the following year.
The grounds has been used by the Smithfield cricket and Smithfield football Club.

On 10 September 1974 the land was transferred to the District Council of Munno Para.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Smith's Creek

Adamson's Flour Mill

Smith Creek was a small running stream of clear water originating from a spring in the foothills that passed through John Smith’s land, from where its name derived. Stemming from One Tree Hill, the creek runs down the side of Uley Road, passed over Main North Road and continues alongside Curtis Road.

The creek gave the surrounding area importance and where early settlers chose land. The creek first made its presence in the late 1840’s, before that time there was a deep dry creek, or gully, but no water which extended beyond the spring. It was believed that the creek first broke out in the latter part of 1847. Previously there was no flow of water there except after rain. It did not reach the Main North road until 1849.

The creek was extended for about 1 mile due west of the town in 1850. Smith Creek ran constantly for many years but became an intermittent stream and by 1870 it ran only in time of flood.

The creek carries the flood water away from the town. Although few references to flooding were found, in May 1875 the railway line was under, 1-3 feet of water. The Creek flooded again in June 1889 and February and July 1890.

It was reported in the Bunyip on 11 July 1890;

The rains of the first week have deluged the neighbourhood of Smithfield; Smith's Creek ran in a good volume, and the railway in many places was under water. In the neighbourhood of Smith's Creek is a dam that is supplied from the creek, in which has been stocked with fish. It is supposed that some of these fish escaped in the flood and the lads of the township have had quite a gay time of it in fishing in the creek.

Quite a number of them have been caught and of a decent size, one of them measuring a foot in length.

As Smith’s Creek crosses the Main North road, in times of flood twice as much water goes down the main road as is carried away by the creek, doing damage all the way.

Smith’s Creek flowed past the Yelki property at One Tree Hill whether it flowed continuously, at least until 1932.

Until the 1850’s the creek was never known to flow across Main North Road during the summer months but became more powerful and constant that James Adamson constructed a flour mill at the base of the foot hills. 

Adamson’s altered the water flow of the creek, stopping regular flow of water by 1854. He stored water in a dam to elevate the water to a sufficient height to work his mill. At this point the water fell 9 metres enough to work the 10 metre wheel. The dam was about 50 or 60 feet in length, and about 20 or 25 feet in width. It was used as a roadway. It was from 8 to 10 deep on the lower side. The dam was constructed in October, 1851.

Previously to the construction of the dam, farmers could get their water for their cattle at the main road but now they must drive their cattle two miles previously to give them a drink. The water stoppage discouraged improvements as to who would stop in an area where the water was cut off. 

This action resulted in a Supreme court case in1855 as to who has the right to the flow of water in a natural creek, or the power of another landholder to divert the water from its natural course. 

Previous to the erection of the dam the water used to flow through Smith’s property, except in the very height of summer, but there would be water always in the holes. It used then to stop for a few hours during the heat of the day, but it would resume running in the evening, and continue during the night.

From 1851 - 1853 there was a good supply of water. The bed of the creek below the dam would, when the water was stopped, dry up and open so that when the water would be let out there would be a waste before the bed of the creek became so saturated as to allow the water to flow.

Grinding in the mill commenced in 1854, but the stream had by that time diminish, and it had continued to diminish.

Gavin Scowler, farmer, Smith’s Creek, had known the creek since August, 1848. At that time it flowed across the Main North-road. In January, 1849, it only reached to within a mile of the main road. In 1852 and 1853 the creek ran strongly, but since then it had been gradually decreasing in volume. It varied in strength considerably during this summer.

W.J. Peterswald had some property on Smith’s Creek. The creek had each year diminished. The number of cattle that were watered on his ground last year nearly doubled. He attributed the want of water to the absence of rain.

The creek ran by Thomas Hogarth’s property, 100 acres on the banks of the creek near the house. The area had got so trodden with the feet of cattle coming to water and camping on it that the rain couldn’t penetrate it. When Thomas first settled in the area, the creek flowed past his door giving him a plentiful supply of running water throughout the year. After a few years either in consequence of the dry seasons or been dammed up and the water diverted to turn a water mill, the creek has dried up and water had to be carted from the spring heard, two miles from the house. A well has been dug a little distance from the house but was unsuccessful. A tank was then used to lead the water unto it by a plough furrow from the creek, to save the water for summer use. The tank is a round one 33 feet in diameter and 12 foot deep. It was built up with a stone wall lined with Portland cement and held enough to supply the house as well as the horses and cattle for four months. It was covered with a galvanised roof and pump attached. A second tank was built to collect the water from the house roof.

The creek where it crosses the Main North Road was locally known as Breakneck Creek. At this point there used to be a sharp bend and motorists taking the bend too fast after a long straight stretch of road used to end up in the creek. The bend was straightened out by the Highways Dept in 1960 when they were putting in the second track of the Main North Road during the construction of Elizabeth.
A footbridge to be built at Smithfield near James Scott’s property in 1886.