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
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
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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Crispe family of Angle Vale

Originating from County Kent, Clement Crispe was born in 1804. He married Indiana Moxon Maxwell. The couple and their young family came to South Australia on the ship John Renwick in 1837. The ship was the second to carry migrants to South Australian shores.  

Daughter Indiana is recorded as being the third child to be born in the province and the second girl. Indiana remained on the ship for the birth of her child as there was no proper accommodation on shore. Indiana junior was the third Crispe children which numbered four boys and four girls. Her name is the twelfth to appear in the baptism register of the Holy Trinity Church in North Terrace.

The family lived in tents by the sea before moving to Adelaide again residing in tents along the banks of the Torrens River purchasing land in 1848.

The family moved to farm on the Gawler River, occupying sections 65 (78), 91 (75 acres), 92 (73 acres), 93, 7590 (80 acres). Hundred of Mudla Wirra sections 93 (73 acres), pt section 93, (6 acres). The land lay on the bank of the Gawler River, close to where the Angle Vale bridge now stands. Their property was known as Buckland.


Thomas Bagnold b. 12 May 1833 East Mailing, Kent

        m. Charlotte Ann Strongman on 1 May 1868

Georgina b. 1835 East Mailing, Kent
d. 1926, Woodville SA

Indiana b. 1837
m. Carl Louis Reuter Carl was born in 1839 in Essen Germany. He arrived in 1856 and farmed at the Gawler River for a short time before moving to Balaklava where he lived for 50 years.

Alfred Clement b. 1 July 1840 Gawler River
m. Ellenora Hordhardt (12 March 1866)

Annie b. 12 Aug 1842
d. 3 June 1895

Eliza b. 7 Feb 1845 Gawler
m. Edward Peyton Evans 1878

Edward b. 17 April 1847 Gawler River
m. Sarah Ann Wingate (5 March 1873)

Percy b. 1850 - 1853

Charles b. 1853 - 1925

At Buckland on 17th May 1853, the couple’s three year son, Percy died.

Clement died 25 November 1857, age 53, buried at Gawler. He left all land to his wife. Indiana died at Buckland at Crystal Brook (The family took the name, Buckland with them to their new farm) on 18th September 1881 aged 73. The property was left to all her eight children, being entitled to one eighth of the land. Edward Crispe claimed compensation of £1,600 from the Real Property Act Assurance Fund on the grounds that all eight were deprived of their inheritance by the granting of the title on Section 65. Indiana became insolvent on 27 Feb 1877.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Human remains discovered at Bolivar

Human remains discovered at Bolivar Sewage Treatment Works are from an Aborigine of the Kaurna tribe.  An earth moving contract uncovered the bones.  Three other graves were uncovered near the site.

They were sent to the Aboriginal Heritage Commission.   Buried in the traditional foetal position around 150 years ago.   The bones were reburied at the original site with a plastic identification tag attached in case he grave was uncovered again.

24 July 1985 Messenger p. 7

Monday, June 26, 2017

Uley Baptist Church, One Tree Hill

The chapel, built on an exposed hilltop with views of hills and valleys that had been cleared for grazing, was opened in 1851.  The chapel land was donated by Moses Bendle Garlick and opened on Thursday March 16th, 1851as a non-denominational chapel.  However it soon became a Baptist church under Rev John Parker Buttfield.   Built of stone it is believed to be among the earliest churches erected in South Australia.

It was opened for divine service on 16th March 1851 with sermons preached in the morning and evening by Rev. G. Stonehouse, North Adelaide and in the afternoon by the Rev. J. P Buttfield.  The following day a tea meeting was held in a spacious booth erected for the purpose and tastefully decorated with flowers and evergreens.
An open air baptistery with stone steps leading down lay about 9 metres from the church entrance.  A random rubble wall about 1.5 metres high encloses the site. The chapel could seat 90 people within its 7.7 x 4.8 walls.  A vestry was constructed 3.7 x 4.8 meters as well as a small porch. The total cost of the chapel was £400.  The random stone walls were plastered, the roof was of slate and concrete floors covered the porch and chapel and a wooden floor in the vestry. 
For some years the church flourished then came to a decline.  In 1876 it was linked up with the church in Gawler under the pastorate of the Rev Samuel Fairey.  Rev Fairey ministered here for four years before departing in 1880 to Parkside.  The church gave up its separate existence and its membership merged with the Gawler Church.
A Sunday school operated at some time as did a week day prayer meeting. Most of the members lived a distance from chapel and the surrounding bad roads made it difficult for people to attend with regularity any evening meetings.

When there was no resident ministers, preachers would travel for the morning and evening services. Lay preachers 1864 – 1866, Rev J.P Buttfield 1866 - , Rev S Fairey 1876 - 1880, Rev S Howard 1881 – 1886.

The chapel relied on rain water collected from the roof and piped into a stone underground tank.  This water would have been used to fill the baptistery and for drinking.  For total water immersion baptisms, water would have been carried to the open air baptistery.

The chapel remained Baptist until 1881 and later used as the headquarters of the Munno Para East Rifles.
A cemetery is also on site with some of the earliest settled names such as Ifould, Clucas, Barritt and Bowman.  The graves are located in the south east corner and the western side.  All graves run east west and all headstones are either of slate, granite, marble concrete, rendered brick or loose quartz stone. The tops of the graves are granite, concrete, gravel or bare earth. 

For the next 40 years, from 1905 it was used by the District Council of Munno Para East, then fell into disuse.  Vandalism and age resulted in the church being demolished in 1980.  The bell from Uley went to Lyndoch church.

History blasted: vandal war ends. 'The Salisbury, Elizabeth, Gawler and Munno Para News Review' 1981 A historic chapel at One Tree Hill has been demolished by explosives because it could not be protected against vandals. The Uley Chapel on Uley Road, which connects Smithfield and the hills north of One Tree Hill, was built by Moses Bendle Garlick in 185l. Vandals have gutted the building, sprayed it with graffiti and obscenities, gouged holes in walls and desecrated graves and head stones in the chapel cemetery. Munno Para District Council spent about $5000 fencing and floodlighting the chapel and graves in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the vandalism. A firm of mining and demolition engineers, Civil and Industrial Group Services Pty, Ltd., was contracted by the council to destroy the church at the weekend. Mr. R. G. Hart, said the demolition work had been a professional contract, but none of those involved had enjoyed it. The firm had taken four hours to drill the church, load the holes with explosives, then blast the building. "It's not the sort of thing we like to go around and do," Mr. Hart said. "It's part of our heritage and yet we had to go and do it as a moral obligation to the families of those buried there. "Unruly elements had been having their screaming parties, writing words you wouldn't dream about, desecrating the graveyard completely, smashing all the headstones and writing obscenities everywhere." "I can't see how people could possibly get any satisfaction from that. Who the hell are we dealing with?" The Munno Para district clerk, Dr. D. K. Wormald said the council would remove the ruins, landscape the area and preserve graves in the cemetery beside it. The stone from the demolished chapel would be used to build a fence around the area. "We were very sorry really we had to do it but in the end we were faced with no alternative," Mr. Wormald said.
One Tree Hill sketchbook

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wilson family of One Tree Hill

Matthew Cooper Wilson
Matthew was born at Stilton, Huntingdonshire, England in 1823.  His father, also Matthew was a miller and baker at Stilton and was an earnest Methodist.   He married in 1846 an in 1852 he and his wife and family came to Australia in the ship "Woodstock," landing in Melbourne. Their stay was short, as they left for Adelaide, where, with his brother William, he took to farming at One tree Hill.
Matthew tendered for Clerk and Collector for Munno Para East Council, the first for the Council.  He was Clerk from November 1854 until at least August 1857.

He gave that up after a short time and went to Precolumb, where he carried on a private school for 13 years. The school was connected with an Independent Church, where Mr. Wilson acted as pastor.   The school opened in 855, Matthew worked there from 1857 to 1869.  In 1857 the school had 30 pupils, the following year 27.  School inspections were favourable, he received ‘good’ for school and discipline.  After the 1857 inspection it was recommended he be licenced when he resigns as District Clerk.

In November 1863 Matthew was voted as President of the Golden Grove and Precolumb Mutual Improvement Society.
On March 21, 1870, a meeting was held at the Precolumb Schoolroom, with Mr. W. Kelly presiding.  Matthew was presented with a purse of sovereigns on his leaving for Victoria.  Several men gave heart filled regret that he was leaving as he was a true friend and often helped out when people were ill. 

The family moved to Mount Gambier, where in 1873 he accepted the position of clerk and surveyor of the Mount Gambier East Council, which he retained to the end of his life.  For nearly 25 years he was secretary of the Mount Gambier Agricultural and Horticultural Society. He was also a member of the Mount Gambier School Board from its formation till his death.

Several of his children were born while he lived at One Tree Hill,
William Alfred                 born 11 March 1860 at Precolumb
Arthur Eusebius              born 1858 Precolumb died 2 June 1862 buried in One Tree Hill Cemetery
Howard Locke Dexter    1864 Precolumb – 1906
Matthew passed away in May 1908.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A letter written to MPE Council in 1862.
I had often wondered why a local Council in existence for over 150 years had very little remaining in the way of records.  Then I found this letter below with the small folder of material that remains.

I, Eldred HV Riggs, Chairman of the Munno Para District Council, and serving my 26th year term as Councillor and nineteenth as Chairman wish to hand over to the care of the Munno Para Council certain paper which I rescued from a fire at the Uley Chapel in 1939.

Mr A Milne (Clerk), acting on instructions of the Council ordered the foreman, Mr R.G Whittington to clean up all the records of the MPE Council which were in boxes at the Uley Chapel, which was sorted from the Baptist Union as a Council Chambers over many years.

Many windows in the Uley Chapel were broken and Councillors had to be very circumspect where they sat (regarding the bars running across chapel) because of the swallows, sparrows, sterling’s etc.  The building was also over run with rats which had made inroads into the boxes containing Council records.

The Clerk (Mr Milne) was failing in health and after only a few meetings after I was elected, it was decided to hold further meetings of the Council at Mr Milne’s home at East Tce, Gawler and all records that were not blemished by rats, birds etc were to be placed in the cedar chest (which is now at Council office) and brought to this office (The Clerks) at Gawler.
The foreman and men took a very liberal view of this order and a large bonfire ensured.

I had been appalled at the Councils order and the following day went up to Uley to see what transpired.  I arrived almost too late and only succeeded in saving the first minute book and a little correspondence which I now wish to return to the Council.
A lot of valuable documents etc had been destroyed by rats, but in my opinion much more was destroyed by fire.

I had only been two or three months a Councillor at this time, having taken the place of my father W.A.H Riggs who had been a Councillor for 22 years and Chairman for five.
11 August 1964


Friday, May 19, 2017

Elizabeth – Home of the Holden

Australia likes big things.  We have the big banana, the big pineapple, but the ‘Big Holden’?  In 1993 the Elizabeth Rotary Club President Pat Quigley floated the idea of a tourist drawcard to promote Elizabeth.   At that time Elizabeth had the highest rate of export in Australia.  Industry with national headquarters in the area included, General Motors Holden, Fassons, Levi Strauss, Texas Instruments, Aunger, Bonaire and Bridgestone.  General Motors Holden’s was deemed uniquely Elizabethan and South Australian and offered the best qualities as a tourism drawcard.  Holden’s had a wide potential sponsors, paint manufacturers, glass merchants, battery makes etc.
A sub committee was formed to explore the feasibility of tourist attraction that would be a positive image for the City.  The subcommittee included past Rotarian president Les Brazier, Ken Hilliard,  George Morris, Bob Batty, past president of the Probus Club, Gordon Grieg, Bill Hall and Pat Quigley.

In 1994, past Rotarian and draughtsman, John Wakefield provided professional drawings of this option; alongside Main North Road a Big Holden on a swivel platform atop a museum with merchandising outlets, café and parking.  The Museum would include a FX Holden and current model, surrounded by cut outs of engines, plans etc.  The ‘Big Holden’ was to be a replica of the first Holden, a 1948/215, eight times its actual size.

Four concepts were eventually proposed; a big Holden, three actual sized Holden’s, an original FX on rotating platform enclosed by glass surround and lit up at night and a GMH Lion atop a pole with vertical signage “The Holden story”. 
The Rotary Club of Elizabeth contacted the Elizabeth Council, Tourism SA, the Department of Road Transport and General Motors Holden and instigated discussions over the proposal. The concept was raised in an Elizabeth Council meeting and met with little support.  Councillors avoided responsibility recommending that permission be sought from GMH and the government.  GMH were interested but wouldn’t commit without Council approval.  

Some of the proposed sites include the southern aspect of Argana Park on Main North Road, the corner of Shandon and Main North Road, Ridley Reserve triangle, Carrisbrooke Park and Parafield Airport. The Argana Park sight being the preferred location.
The concept was dropped in December 1995, two and half years after its initial proposal. The Elizabeth City Council endorsed the proposal in principal but was unable to find a suitable site from their Vacant Land Register. Without the Council’s firm commitment the project stalled. The Rotary Club still believed it was a feasible and viable project.

This cartoon appeared in the News Review in 1993, with an article about the ‘Giant car proposal for north’.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Blair Place

Blair Place was the home of Hon Thomas Hogarth. The house was probably built in the 1870’s.  It burnt down in the 1920’s and rebuilt a few years later.  

All buildings including outbuildings were demolished by the SA Lands Commission 1977 and the area is now covered by the Craigmore subdivision (Section 4151).

Thomas Hogarth arrived in SA in 1839 and was one of the first settles on the plains and became a prominent figure in SA government.  He held extensive pastoral interests was the resident Magistrate for Smithfield, was appointed a member of the Diseases in Cereals Commission, 1867, made the first threshing machine in the colony and improved the Ridley stripper.  He became the first district representative of the agriculturalists returned to Parliament and held a seat in the Legislative Council for 19 years.   

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Elizabeth Baby Show, 1959

The Perpetual trophy first awarded to Damian Bunyan
The Baby Show was a popular event held each year in conjunction with the Birthday Festival of Elizabeth.

Over 150 babies entered the Elizabeth Birthday celebrations Baby Show for 1959.  About £200 was raised for the Mothers and Babies Health Association (MBHA) clinics in Elizabeth.  The MBHA’s aim was to reduce infant mortality by providing expert advice to mothers.

The Baby show was organised by the Mothers and Babies committees of Elizabeth Grove, Elizabeth East and Elizabeth South.
The State President of the MBHA Lady Bonython came from Adelaide especially to present the prizes.

The prize for the baby raising the most money was won by Damian Bunyan who raised £28.  He received a silver salver and a tricycle while his mother also received a gift.
The judges at the Baby Show were in two teams, the first consisted of Matron Carroll (Queen Victoria Hospital), Mrs Douglas Scott and Mr Blake Brownrigg while the second team had Matron Hurrell (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) Mrs Dansie and Mr Geoffrey Motley.

 Prizes for the baby Show were donated by Mr and Mrs J. Hastwell, Carrig Chemists Ltd, Dreamtime Nestles Ltd and Birks Ltd.  Every mother who entered the competition received a well filled sample bag.  These were made available by generous fits from the Fauldings Ltd, Nyal Products, Glaxo Laboratories, Tongala Milk, Johnson and Johnson and Heinz Baby Food.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Through the lens of Pat Quigley

Patrick Quigley captured the City of Elizabeth through his camera lens. A professional photographer born in Nottingham England, he migrated to Australia since 1952.  Settling in Elizabeth in 1957, he was well known around the district, as proprietor of Windsor Studios.  During his 59 year career he estimated he took over 100,000 photographs.

In addition to running his own photographic studio covering copious local weddings, he contributed to newspapers particularly the Salisbury Elizabeth Times.  He was official photographer for the Elizabeth Council and captured the Royal visits of the Queen to Elizabeth.   At any opening or special occasion, Pat was present with his camera capturing the early years of Elizabeth.  His photographs will remain a legacy of the City and he kindly donated many images to the Council, which now form a significant part of the Local History Collection.
He was an Elizabeth Charter member and has served 50 years with the Elizabeth Rotary Club, as Treasurer, Bulletin Editor and Director of all the Committees.    He represented Ward 3 as Councillor for the City of Elizabeth in 1968.

Pat was named Australia Day Citizen of the Year for the City of Playford in January 2010, recognised for his long time photographic work in the area.

Photography was his professional but also a hobby, along with astronomy. He also has a fascination for numbers, and delights in teaching children a variety of tricks and puzzles.

Pat passed away in late February 2017 having outlived his wife Doris.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Song of Elizabeth

In 1986, Scotsman Bill Paterson summed up his love for Elizabeth in a song. The City of Elizabeth ran a competition as part of the States Jubilee 150 committee, offering a $500 prize.  Bill a marine engineer and avid musician won the competition.

The song was performed by the Caledonian choir at Elizabeth and District Foundation state dinner on 27th September.
Song of Elizabeth
Far from the shore where the land was bare, seed was sown by those who care
To build their homes in the wide open space, folk came from more than one place.
They made a city and started anew, British and Greek just to name a few.
Now we have pride and community strength, here in Elizabeth.

Oft times I hear the magpie cry, down in the glen or flying high
Emotion felt because of this, is heaven on earth, so full of bliss.
I can’t forget that haunting sound, majestic gums stand all round.
And the sun sinks in the west, all nature’s gems will go to rest.
Let us look forward to our future years, working and living, allaying our fears.
With folks a-willing to see it all through, knowing that’s what they must do.
Now join together and sing this refrain, sing it all
Sing it again and again.
This is our city and you must agree, were part of this Jubilee.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Williams of Little Para and Little Para Freestone Quarry

Williams of Little Para

Thomas James Williams was born at Totenham, England on 22 May  and arrived on the ship Augustus Captain Hart on October 16, 1845.  He built the Old Spot Hotel in 1849 and lived there until a few weeks before his death in June 1899. 
He married Tabitha Bailey and had eleven children, many of them dying young and are buried in the Little Para Wesleyan cemetery.

Richard Thomas            1853 – 1855
Helen Mary (Nellie)       1856 – 1946
Albert                          1854 - 1864        buried Little Para Wesleyan
Richard William            1860 – 1860       7 months buried Little Para Wesleyan
Thomas George            1860 – 1860       2 months            buried Little Para Wesleyan
William James              1861 – 1944
Frank Bailey                 1863 – 1912
Robert Knowles            1865 - 1865        3 years buried Little Para Wesleyan
Ernest Alfred                1869 – 1945
Henry                           1873 – 1873       3 weeks buried Little Para Wesleyan
Amy Blanche Adeline    1874 – 1933
He was an active supporter of the Munno Para East Cricket Club and had a large orangery with over 550 trees which he proudly showed off to visitors.  

The Little Para freestone quarries which had lain dormant for many years was re-opened by Thomas Williams, in 1893.  Mr. David Morney Sayers, of Comstock Chambers, was appointed manager. 
In 1893 Thomas organised a party to visit the place. Among the party were several architects and contractors, who were well able to pass an opinion upon the quality and nature of the stone. They were unanimous in expressing unqualified  satisfaction at what they saw.

There were four quarries, No. 1 quarry, contained dark freestone; No. 2, chocolate freestone; No. 3, white freestone; and No. 4, natural white faces. Orders were being received by Mr. Sayers daily both for white and dark stone for buildings.  The stone was used in the SA Insurance Office and additions to the Children’s Hospital in North Adelaide.   The brown quarry was opened in the 1860 and stone used in the building of the Little Para bridge.  
The quarry stone was made into coinings for graveyard railings and also for basements of tombstones.   The white stone quarry located further up the gully and was of a very high quality.
Thomas’ son Frank Bailey took over as quarryman carrying on the business.

Thomas is believed to be buried at the buried North Road cemetery. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Whitford family of Little Para

Two members of the Whitford family lie buried in the Little Para Weslyan cemetery at Hillbank.
Henry Whitford died 6th August 1889 at his residence on the Little Para aged 84 years.  He was born 23 August 1805 in Cornwall.  He married Ann Curra on 1 January 1829.  Ann was aged 75 when she passed away in 1879.
On Henry's arrival and the family probably made their way to Burra. Henry started work as a teamster transporting ore from Burra Mines in the Mid-North to Port Adelaide. Henry's daughter, Maria married a miner, James Pearce at Kooringa in 1850. By 1864 Maria and James had moved to Kadina.
Henry was one of the original trustees of Little Para chapel. According to the chapel's Cemetery Lease Book, his sons John and William were curators of the Little Para cemetery
At 75 years of age, Henry's wife, Ann died on 5th January, 1879 and was buried at the western side of the chapel, near her son. William's headstone read: In Affectanate (sic) Remembrance of William Whitford Who Departed this Life February 17 1875 aged 42 years. The Lord Gave and the Lord Taketh Away Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

Incredibly, aged 74, Henry married secondly, 26 year old Elizabeth (nee Black) in 1879. Henry adopted four year old Margaret Fountain, Elizabeth's daughter by John James Fountain. Henry's son, Henry Lilley Whitford was born to the couple in 1880, then Eliza Ann Whitford in 1886, in Henry's 81st year. His new lease on life must have proved too much for him and he died in 1889 and was also buried at the Little Para Cemetery.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Little Para Wesleyan Cemetery

On Williams Road, Hillbank, lies the remains of the Little Para Wesleyan Cemetery and chapel.

The small cemetery situated on section 3092 originally belonged to the Wesleyan Methodists from the Gawler circuit.  The chapel was built in 1857 on land originally owned by Thomas Williams.  The church was demolished in 1902.  The chapel served the needs of the small settlement on the Little Para around the Old Spot hotel.  Unfortunately we have no photograph or drawing of the chapel.

Amongst the burials are members of the Goodman, Watts, Chapman, Billing, Henderson, Matthew and Williams families. The first burial recorded was that of Lydia Tippett aged 4 months on the 2 October 1860.    We have a record of 37 individuals buried on site, the last burial occurred in 1899. Remains of the Williams family underground burial vault can still be seen.

The land that once held the chapel is now part of a housing estate and the cemetery has been incorporated into a park.  No legible headstones remain.

The Burial register is held at the Uniting Church Archives.

Entrance to cemetery
William's family vault

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Catholic Thompson family of Penfield

Virginia was settled by Irish Catholic migrants, and so it is not surprising that a nun came from the district.  The very Catholic Thompsons were active in the Catholic community and granddaughter Ruth joined the Dominican order. 

James Thompson, died at his residence, "Chelsea," Salisbury, on January 13, 1925. He was born 85 previously in Bowden.  He was a member of that sturdy band who drove their bullock teams with copper ore over that tedious journey, from Burra to Adelaide. He was married in St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide, in 1865 to Mary Spain, a daughter of another early settler in Salisbury. 

He invested his savings in agricultural land, and with his young bride to cheer and help him he successfully farmed for many years at Red Banks and Salisbury, and subsequently became the licensee of the Railway and the Governor MacDonnell hotels, Salisbury.  The Thompson’s placed their homestead at the disposal of the Red Banks priest, who at stated periods said Mass there for the people in that scattered district. After relinquishing the hotel business he purchased a private residence in Salisbury and retired from active business.
He served for years as councillor in the Yatala North District Council, and was also a zealous member of St. Augustine's Church committee.

He had a family of six children; two sons and four daughters: Patrick Thompson, Penfield; Mr. James Thompson, Salisbury; Mrs. Mary Immaculate O'Brien, Adelaide; Mrs. Eliza Ann Doyle, Hamley Bridge; Mrs Teresa Jane O'Brien, Salisbury; and Mrs. Cicely Ruth 0’Leary.
His remains were interred in the Salisbury Cemetery.

The eldest son Patrick engaged in farming at Penfield (Willow Park) before his marriage.  He was a staunch member of the congregation at the Church of the Assumption, Virginia, of the H.A.C.B. (Hibernian Australia Catholic Benefit) Society, Salisbury Branch, and of the Virginia Hunt Club and Football Club, and was a foundation trustee of the Virginia Institute.
All who knew the him had nothing but words of praise for his kindly disposition and unfailing charity at all times. He left a widow and three daughters when he passed away on July 29, 1937.  Mrs. A. O'Leary, Woodville; Mrs. A. O'Leary, Salisbury; Sister M. Emmanuel, O.P., St. Dominic's Priory, North Adelaide; and one son, Mr. Jack Thompson, of Penfield.

Patrick married Anne Elizabeth O’Brien in 1890.  Anne was a member of The Assumption Church, Virginia, for over 47 years.  She was born on the feast of the Assumption, 1857, and was the daughter of the late John and Mary O'Brien, of Sheaoak Log.  Both of her parents hailed from Ireland.
They then took up farm life at Penfield, where they lived until 1937.  As a child, when churches were fewer, the late Archbishop Reynolds said Mass in the house of her parents.  It was the Archbishop's first Mass in a private house, and the place became fittingly known as the Home of the Stations.

The Thompson's home was known for its hospitality to Priests. They were willing and generous worker in parish activities.
For twenty years, Anne was a Dominican Tertiary[1]. During the last ten years, she was regularly visited by Rev. Mother Prioress and the Sisters of St. Dominic's Priory, North Adelaide, where her daughter was a nun.

Anne Elizabeth died on June 16 1947. Her body was buried in St. Augustine's Church, Salisbury, where she was buried in the habit of the Dominican Order.
It was no wonder that their daughter, Ruth born on the 15th May 1894 at Penfield raised in a very Catholic family decided to join a religious order.  Known as Sister Mary Emmanuel Thompson she became a teaching Sister at St. Dominic's Priory, Molesworth St. North Adelaide.

Sister Mary died on the 16 May 1964 at Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide, aged 70.  She is buried in the West Terrace Cemetery Catholic Section.
References used
Southern Cross 23 Jan 1925
Southern Cross 20 Aug 1937
Southern Cross 4 July 1947

[1] A Dominicans tertiary are men and women, singles and couples living a Christian life with a Dominican spirituality in the secular world. The Life of a Dominican layperson is all about having a passion for the Word of God. It is about committing oneself to a community of like-minded brothers and sisters that immerse themselves in the Word of God.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The marble altar of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Virginia

Since 1868, this elaborate marble altar has graced the church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Virginia.  The text below details the dedication of the altar.

The altar-is erected on a slab of Willunga slate 4 feet by 12, and 2 inches thick, with a foundation of five feet of solid masonry, well concreted. The base is of white Italian marble, which supports four pedestals or pillars of Irish black and red marble, surmounted with caps of alabaster, which support three arches that form the front of the altar. The table, which is in one slab 3 feet by 10 1/2, a foot thick, beautifully polished, and weighing nearly one ton, is of white Italian marble. The back is all of beautifully pained English marble of various colours. The tabernacle, which stands on the table, is two feet by two and a half, and is of coloured marble. A strong course of white Italian marble finishes the first cornice, which is six feet from the base of the altar. Then follows seven recesses or arches, supported by 10 pedestals of black and red marble, exquisitely polished, the caps and bases of which are all alabaster, supporting two piers of black and white English. The top cornice is finished in Italian, freestone projecting six inches over quoins and columns, and is ten feet from the base of the altar. The weight of the altar is five tons, the height and width 12 feet, and the depth from the front of the table to the back three feet nine inches.

The cost of this was £390, including the mouldings in tile sanctuary, which is in keeping with the style of the altar. Mr McMullen, of Adelaide, put the altar together.  The altar arrived by the ship Yatala. The Catholic ladies of Virginia waited on the Vicar-General the Very Rev. J. Smyth, and asked him to send home for plans, which he did, and two were sent out by the agent for the South Australian Diocese, the Very Dr. Heptonstall, of Blackmore Park, England and the one now erected was selected.  It was made by one of the first-class marble manufacturers in London, and it was put together in the studio before it was shipped. The chancel or sanctuary in which it is erected is sixteen feet in the clear.

The dedication of the alter took place on September 20th, 1868, the Very Rev. Vicar-General officiating.  At 11 o'clock the ceremony commenced by the choir chanting " O Immaculati" according to the rubrics of the Catholic Church. The altar was then solemnly dedicated, and the chancel opened by the Vicar-General, who commenced Mass immediately afterwards, and at the finishing of the last Gospel, preached an eloquent and impressive sermon, taking his text from the Hebrews, ch. xiii., v. 10—"We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle.'

The altar was beautifully decorated with very costly vases and flowers, and on the marble canopy stood a very large statue of the Madonna and Child, which had been given as a present by Michael Hewitt, of Penfield, and on either side stood two magnificent marble vases. Mr. Hewitt has also made a present of six massive silver candlesticks, which cost in the whole fifteen guineas, and are in admirable keeping with the style of the altar. The Vicar-General has also made a present of a handsome marble Credence table. Miss Ward, of Emerald-hill Melbourne, has sent to the Secretary two guineas to purchase something appropriate in tile shape of ornamentation for the altar, and many other presents have been made, including some large and exquisite bunches of flowers which had been given by the Misses Forrestall, and many other very valuable presents are promised and forthcoming.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The tragic death of Donald Norman Buckby

Donald Norman Buckby owned the Smithfield Chaff Mill located near the Smithfield railway station. The Chaff Mill was a three storey galvanised building and functioned for about 20 years between 1918 and early 1940’s.  It has now been demolished.

Donald Norman Buckby, a middle aged man, committed suicide at Smithfield by hanging himself from a beam in the stable. He was a former resident of near Smithfield, but who had sold his property and was living with relatives at Wasleys, when he suffered a nervous breakdown.  He was brought into Dr. Dawes' private hospital for treatment.  One evening, the Doctor having a call to Smithfield, gave Buckby the chance of a spin in the open air, and on arrival at that town left the patient in the car with the driver whilst he, accompanied by the nurse, went into the home of Mr Hales. Buckby appeared alright, and getting out of the car told the driver that he would return in a few minutes.
He then went into the stable. Dr. Dawes was away about 10 minutes, and on reaching the car at once asked for Buckby, who had not returned. It being dark in the stable Dr. Dawes got Mr. Hales to secure a lantern, and together they entered, the horses giving a clue of something untoward having happened by snorting and exhibiting fear. Buckby was found suspended from a post by a coupling' strap around his neck. The body was at once cut down and artificial respiration resorted to, but without result — life was extinct.
Bunyip Friday 3 Dec 1920            

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tippett's Bridge, Virginia

Tippett’s Bridge spans the Gawler River at the Buckland Park Estate. It was constructed about 1848 by local residents when Captain Allen and Ellis were owners of Buckland Park.  It is the only bridge leading to the old Port Gawler road which was used for stock to travel to the city, without having to travel to through Virginia.

In 1909 there was concern over the safety of the wooden bridge and discussions were held over replacing the bridge.  Munno Para West and Port Gawler Council had shared the costs of repairing the bridge in years gone by.  After inspection it was decided that the old structure should be replaced by a new one, to be of stone and cement foundation, with abutment and pillars raised so that a steel girder may rest upon them.  The work was supervised by Port Gawler Council. 

The bridge was most probably named for John Tippett, a local land owner.  John came to South Australia with his parents on the ship Thetus in 1854.  Born in St Just, Cornwall the family went direct to the copper mines of Burra.  They moved to the Little Para, near Salisbury and farmed here until 1874, when they returned to Moonta.  He joined a survey party and worked from Flinders Range, surveying Quorn, Orroroo, Peterborough.  He drove a coach between Robe and Beachport for a few years.  He married Margaret Paddon in 1880 and resided at Robe and Kingston.  After the death of his wife he returned to Moonta in 1885 with his two young daughters.  He married Jessie Squire in 1895 and had two sons and two daughters.   He passed away in August 1935.
John served as Councillor for the District Council of Munno Para East 1870 (1 year) and was curator of Little Para Wesleyan Chapel, Blacktop Road, Hillbank.