Monday, May 14, 2012

How did Peachey Belt get its name?

Peachey Belt
The name Peachey Belt was in common usage as early as 1846.  It was spelt as Peachy or Peachey.  There are two conflicting explanations for the original of the name in current use.  One claims to be the name is derived from the native peach or quandong found on the plains.  The other attributes the name to Peter Peachey, as early settler and surveyor.
Research shows that the native peach was found there together with the Peppermint Gum, the dominant species of the belt in the earlier part f the 19th century.  It seems unlikely the area was named after Peter Peachey since no evidence can be found that links him to the district.  Some confusion may have been caused by the use of the name Peachey in the 1960’s for Peachey Road by the South Australian Housing Trust.  It is most likely this use of the name Peachey is derived from Arthur Peachey, youngest son of Peter Peachey.  Arthur was a registered surveyor with the lands department form 1871 and his name appears in the Lands Department records.
The Hundred of Munno Parra was proclaimed on 29th October 1846.  The boundaries of the hundreds were designated by natural features such as roads or rivers.  Peter Peacheys name does not appear on the early special surveys in the area. The Port Gawler Special Survey and most of the Little Para Special Survey was carried out before Peter Peachey arrived in South Australia in 1841.
During the early 1840’s as country surveys were lagging behind intended purchasers, a contingent of surveyors with the Royal Sappers and Miners was brought out from England to speed up the surveying process.  Peter Peachey was not registered as a surveyor worth the Lands Department, nor was he involved with the first section surveys in the Hundred of Munno Para, as they were all carried out by the Royal Sappers. By the time the first survey plans were drawn up in September 1849 for what was to become Penfield, he had died and his sons were only infants.
The word ‘the’ prefixes Peachey where it’s spelt with or without an e.  It was common practice to use the prefix the when applying a descriptive name to a geological feature but not when using a person’s name.
The Peppermint Gum was excellent for fencing and building material and so early settlers cut it all down and the forest had virtually disappeared by 1880’s.

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