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.

Friday, September 8, 2017

When does a town become a city?

First Council for the new status of City of Elizabeth
Town status to City status.  When does a Town of become a City of?  The City status varies in each state.  The formation of the Adelaide Corporation was passed by Col. Gawler and his executive in 1840.  It provided that any town with a population of 2000 or more could establish its own form of local government. The District Council of Munno Para East was appointed on 10th November 1853. The Munno Para West District Council (Govt. Gazette) on 27th April 1854.

On 13th February 1964 the Governor of South Australia, Sir Edric Bastyan, made a proclamation granting the Elizabeth petition for Severance from the local government of the District Council of Salisbury and Elizabeth, constituting the new town as a new municipality with its own local government to be known as The Corporation of the Town of Elizabeth.  At the same time the Salisbury and Elizabeth District Council became the Corporation of the City of Salisbury.
16th November 1964 the Town of Elizabeth was granted full “City” status. 

For South Australia, a town must have a population of 20,000 (metropolitan area) or 15,000 for a country area.In 1964, Elizabeth had a population of 36,900.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sir Thomas Playford Kindergarten

Formerly at 136 Goodman Road, now located at Chivell St, Elizabeth South

This was the first kindergarten to be established in Elizabeth. The kindergarten that began at St Theodore’s Church transferred to the Goodman Road premises when it was completed, which was named ‘Sir Thomas Playford Kindergarten’, after Sir Thomas whose Government was responsible for the building of the city.

Discussions began with finding out the requirements needed by kindergarten Union and the SA Housing Trust.  Community members met for the first time on 22 May 1957 to begin discussions.  Mrs Richards elected Chairman.  Minutes from the first meeting ask each person present to collect at least 12 names of people interested in sending their children to kindergarten.

First committee consisted of:

President             Mrs P. Richards
Vice President     Mrs Baxendale & Mr Hall
Secretary             Mr Mitchall
Treasurer             Mr Young
Member               Dr Newland, Mr Allen, Mrs Oliver, Mrs Pyper, Mrs Griffin, Stevens.

The first point of business was to raise funds.  A street stall was held near the shopping centres on Saturday morning 22 June on which homemade produce and handmade ware were sold.   Fundraisers also included bottle drives; scrap metal drives, badge sales.

Meetings continued fortnightly intended to be social meetings and guest speakers invited to talk on different subjects such as childcare and health problems.

Request to Housing Trust regarding renting of temporary premises (not forthcoming) and request possession of allocated block of land, behind the shopping centre in Goodman road. The  Housing Trust to provide architectural services.

A Fathers Club initiated in August 1957 to make equipment for the kindergarten.

Discussions were held with Rev Witt using the Anglican Church (St Theodore’s church Hall) as a temporary kindergarten.  The kindergarten was open in 11 Feb 1958 in the Church of England hall with two sessions of 25 children each.

The kindergarten entered a float in the second Elizabeth Birthday Celebrations and won the organization section for numerous years.   The photo above depicts decimal currency with the six coins shown on each side and behind each coin is a child dressed with the traditional ‘Dollar bill” sign.  The teachers have also donned larger ‘Dollar Bill’ outfits whilst in the centre is a very large ‘Dollar Bill’ in which Father Christmas who is regularly on the kindergarten float is standing.   Father Christmas was George Cope.

Official opening of the kindergarten on 28 May, 1960 by Councilor H.L Bowey Chairman of the District Council of Salisbury.
 
 
 
A new kindergarten was designed and built in 2016 with co-location with Elizabeth South Primary School on Chivell St.  Architect Thomson Rossi at a cost of $2,600 000.
 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Zoar Church and Cemetery

AKA Penfield, Peachey Belt chapel

The name Zoar came from the Bible (Isiah 15:5) where is denotes a place of refuge. In 1857 Keen described those converted at Zoar during the previous year as 'twenty who escaped thither for their life'."
The church area was first granted to Thomas Long, 1849.  He is buried in the cemetery along with his widow, Catherine later Catherine Way, wife of Rev Way.  Thomas Long was granted section 4069 (church area) 4070, 4071, 4108.  The church received one acre of land on 19 May 1854, trustees were Samuel Keen, Henry Pritchard, William Baker, William Worden and Thomas Long.  Services were originally conducted under a large tree and home of Thomas Long.   Foundation stone laid by Mrs Keen and Mrs Long.  The building was opened by Rev James Way.

The new church foundations tone was laid by Thomas Hogarth in March 1865.  It was built of bluestone rubble from the Gawler Hills.  The front gable had three windows of stained glass.  Four buttressed on each side and the walls are 18 inches throughout. The interior fittings were of cedar.

The church was opened on 28th March 1855 and was demolished ten years later when a larger church was built.  The church, a small brick building was also known as Peachey Belt chapel.   The original chapel could seat 110 people but was found to be too small and Daniel Garlick was commissioned to design a new church which opened on 3 Sept 1865.  The church cost £800.  An iron building was constructed near the church to be used as a Sunday school, conducted for many years by James Talbot.
Zoar acquired a reputation as a very popular anniversary venue.  Families and people from all over the plain would arrive in gigs and traps or on bikes to worship.

In the early 1940’s with the acquisition of land by the Commonwealth Government for the munitions factory the local population declined and the church eventually closed.
Due to neglect and vandalism the church was demolished in the 1960's.  All that remains is the cemetery.

The cemetery in the 1970's
 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Daniel Brady of Virginia

Virginia was surveyed in 1858 for the then proprietor Daniel Brady who called it Virginia after his home in county Cavan, Eire of which he was a native.   Born in 1797, he arrived on the ship Diadem in 1840 accompanied by his wife and six children.  He married Rose Rudden in February 1828, Cavan.   It is believed that Daniel was induced by Bishop Murphy to come to South Australia rather than Canada.  Bishop Francis Murphy arrived on 4 Nov 1844 on board the Mary White with Fr Mick Ryan.  Brady was a wealthy man in his own right when he arrived.

He built the Wheatsheaf Hotel at Virginia and the Cross Keys Hotel. Daniel is credited with naming the Cavan area.  He set aside section 176 and 3035 for the township of Virginia.
He held tracts of land at Mintaro and near Snowtown.  He later resided in Snowtown, where he passed away on 13 January 1889. 
Credited with being the first man to purchase a Ridley Stripper for £100 and brought it into practical use.  The remains of the machine could be seen on the property he owned at Virginia.

Daniel supported brother Michael to come to the colony in 1849 as well as Mary Keelan nee Rudden, Rose’s sister. Michael and several of his children also farmed in the area.

Daniel and Rose separated in 1854 and the family home put up to let. Rose later sued for separation on grounds of cruelty, desertion and adultery in 1860.  Divorce granted in 1864. Daniel remarried Alice McCabe also a native of county Clare, Ireland.  They had a further seven children.  Rose died on 25th May 1872.
Daniel’s son, Thomas in his obituary talks about going to the gold fields with his father California Gully in 1852.

From 1863 resided at Kilmore Farm, Mintaro until 1871 when he moved to Bunfbunga Salt Lake, Hummocks.
He was 92 when he passed away.  Daniel is buried at Catholic Cemetery of Sevenhills.

Brady's grave at Sevenhill
Children
John                                   b. 1829 Cavan, Ireland – 1904
Peter                                  1833 Cavan, Ireland  – 1889 farmer Peachey Belt (1862)
Michael Ignatius             1835 Cavan, Ireland  – 13 Oct 1932
Thomas (Teetulpa Tom) 1836 – 1904 farmer at Virginia
Catherine Ellen                  1838 Lafflin, County Cavan – 1922 m. Starrs
Bridget Mary                    1837 Cavan, Ireland  - 1924
Phillip                                14 March 1844 Montague Farms, Dry Creek – 1903
Patrick                               1849      Montague Farms, Dry Creek
Marriage no. 2
Children
Hubert Aloysius              1860 – 1942 Farrell Flat
Susan Agnes Brady         Jan 1862 Farrell Flat
Alice                                   1863 – 1864- 1865 Farrell Flat
Emma                               1864 Farrell Flat
Amy Ellen Brady              1864 Farrell Flat
Daniel                               11 Dec 1865 Farrell Flat, Mintaro
Lily Alice Brady                1871 - 1908