Thursday, January 17, 2013

Penfield township

The area known as the Penfield district, bordered by the Adelaide long Plains railway, the Northern Railway to Gawler , Angle Vale Road and Penfield road.

Farming began here in a very small way, the settlers, owning small blocks and living off their land, as much as possible.  A few sheep, cows and pigs were kept, but the main source of income was hay farming.

The land was farmed with horses until 1920 when some farmers changed to tractors, and finally horses disappeared completely.

Native grasses were largely dominant until the introduction of super phosphate caused land use to spread rapidly. 

Earliest homesteads were roughly made form readily available materials.  Nails were hand made and roofs were hatched.

Fences were made from native timers until 1880, when the last of this was used up.  Without the trees, the area became quite dusty,

Most homesteads had underground water storage tanks or wells since no reliable rivers ran through the area and settlers had to rely on the rainfall.  Hand pumps were also used.

Roads were scarce and consisted merely of dirt tracks.

Goods were transported to Salisbury, the nearest town, by bullock dray.  The journey took a complete day due to the slowness of the bad roads.

An increase in population , the building of the township of Penfield, which was founded by Mr William Penfold. The tiny township consisted of only a few buildings such as a shop combined with a small post office in a private house, a blacksmith and a school.

 The village site is now within the boundaries of the Edinburgh airfield.  Penfield Road became a perimeter road around the airfield.

From notes in local history collection probably compiled by Historian Gillian Pearson, post 1978.

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