Jack Bobridge Track – Sign 4 Lyndoch
Lynedoch – First Barossa Settlement
Lyndoch, originally spelt Lynedoch, was named on 13 December 1837 by Colonel William Light, on his first journey north of Adelaide.
Dr William Browne was the first to arrive in December 1839 and leased what is now known as "Pioneer Reserve". He was joined several months later by his brother, John, and sister, Anna. By September 1840, Lyndoch had become a thriving settlement with "inhabitants amounting to about 100 souls". These early settlers were assisted in 1844 by members of the Peramangk tribe to cut nearly 200 acres of wheat.[i]
The original Peramangk aboriginal people had practised "firestick farming", burning the land on a regular basis to promote new growth. Land around Lyndoch was described as "good land and plenty of grass" by John Oakden in 1838 and "unencumbered by trees and ready for the plough" by John McLaren in 1839. Settlers soon arrived, leasing the majority of land, and agriculture developed quickly. Crops and stock were of prime importance, producing a quick return on short term land tenure. Vineyards, requiring more permanent land holdings, were slower being established. Vines were planted at nearby Pewsey Vale by Joseph Gilbert in 1841.[iii]
Farming Scene in Lyndoch[iv]
Hoffnungsthal, about three kilometres south east of Lyndoch, was established by Prussian immigrants who arrived 17 March 1847 on board the "Heloise". An agreement was reached with the South Australian Company to lease Sections 567 and 568. They settled there on 24 June, naming their village "Hoffnungsthal" meaning Valley of Hope. The settlement was situated on low lying land which they cleared of vegetation. Local Peramangk people warned the settlers that the area was prone to flooding, but this advice was ignored[v]. In the spring of 1853 torrential rain flooded the area and formed a lagoon. Those affected by the flood waters moved elsewhere. A gradual exodus of the rest continued and by 1867 the settlement had been abandoned.[vi]
Hoffnungsthal Pioneer Memorial[viii]
The following article is taken from the publication "Lyndoch, Barossa's First Settlement", by the Lyndoch & District Historical Society Inc. and was written by the Local Historian, Anne Hausler.
“On 17th March 1847, thirteen German families on board the "Heloise" arrived in the colony of South Australia following a voyage of some five months in cramped conditions, enduring sickness, death, storms, and lack of fresh food and water. It is believed that the group spent a short time at Bethany until, joined by several other families, they were able to move to Sections 567 (390 acres) and 568 (350 acres). These sections were leased from the South Australian Company for a period of fourteen years at an annual rent of 6/- per acre. The settlement was named Hoffnungsthal meaning Valley of Hope. By September of that year fifteen huts were erected, wells dug, 166 acres planted to wheat, 8 to barley, 2 1/2 to potatoes and 2 for hay. Soon afterwards a church 60 feet long and 30 feet wide was erected on a low rocky knoll at the southern end and was used as a school during the week. At the northern end was the communal cemetery and between these two sites was the street where most of the houses, made of wood plastered with clay and a roof of straw, were erected.”[ix]
Life at Hoffnungsthal is explained in the diary of Otto Tepper. Our cottage was built of round and split wood, plastered with clay, whitewashed and thatched with straw, with at first a kitchen with small hearth, oven, chimney of rough stonework, fixed and plastered with clay, a rather large room serving as sitting, eating and chief bedroom, and two much smaller rooms each on the back and northern end, the former for mother's use the other as a store room for wheat ... Then father first got a pair of goats for milk, with kids, which we boys had to mind during the day. Sometime later he added yards for two cows and later yet, got also two bullocks and a plough. We also had a fenced garden for the cultivation of seeds and a bigger strip further away for vegetables as well, on the black soil flat.
He also described his daily routine as being from 8 o'clock, after breakfast, in school till 12 p.m. among and with the older children, and after dinner helping mother, or in the garden and attending to the livestock. Paul (brother) went to school in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. then with him playing or working till the evening, getting in the cattle or milking, and after supper learning lessons, parts of the catechism, bible verses, tables, reading story books, and the German newspaper "Deutsche Zeitung" all in German print.
A letter written by August Israel also provided information about living conditions at Hoffnungsthal. You needn't clear the forest because the trees stand very sparse but big and strong ... The trees are green all year through and the wonderful parrots are green, yellow and red and there are a lot of other beautiful birds that I don't know ...Our food consists of meat, white bread, tea and coffee. We don't eat a lot of vegetables and everyone brews his own beer. Wine and rum is in every house as much as we need ... We don't have any wild and harmful animals, apart from the scorpion. But we have never heard of a mishap ... In addition the savage people are well disposed to us. Sometimes they beg for some bread ... travelling through the bush, often in a group of fifty.[x]
SA Company – The Royal Mail
Lyndoch Valley was surveyed in 1849 for the South Australian Company. Section 541, currently the Barossa Shiraz Estate, remained in the ownership of SA Company and leased until its sale in 1921.
The stable/barn served the Royal Mail run and had the same design as the others on the route. At the front is the stable, including the long mangers that still remain.
The Royal Mail served the area for many years. Travel time from Adelaide to Tanunda via Lyndoch was eight hours. The mail run was contracted to private operators, amongst them the well-known Cobb & Co, Rounsevell and Hill & Co. The coaches were drawn by two or four horses (photo). The four-horse coaches carried eight passengers, six inside and three on top, including the drunks and the driver (Memories of R. Denholm). The coaches came from the Riverland, as far back as Renmark connecting to Waikerie, Blanchtown, Truro, Angaston, Tanunda and Lyndoch with staging posts every 20-30 mile intervals. The route from Lyndoch to Adelaide was via Gawler and Dry Creek. The coaches came daily except for Sundays, one in either direction. Spare horses were kept in the stable for daily exchange. The next stagecoach from Lyndoch was in Smithfield where the stable was very similar to the one at the Barossa Shiraz Estate.[xi]
Lyndoch is a small country town with a tranquil lifestyle. Primary producing properties (now predominantly vineyards) surround the town. Sporting and community groups provide the social activity. Specialised food outlets, wineries, hotel and accommodation cater for tourists and locals. The town entrance sign has designated Lyndoch as "the first taste of the Barossa".[xii]
In 1981 the townspeople began compiling a community publication to overcome a feeling of apathy towards community activities. Titled Apathy Weekly it was produced on a monthly basis by a group of dedicated volunteers.
In later years its name was changed to Lyndoch Grapevine and is still a regular feature of life in Lyndoch.[xiii]
[i] Content provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[ii] Image provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[iii] Content provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[iv] Image provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[v] Monument Australia - http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/landscape/settlement/display/94353-hoffnungsthal-pioneer-memorial
[vi] Content provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[vii] Image provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[viii] Image taken by Roger Johnson, and sourced from http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/landscape/settlement/display/94353-hoffnungsthal-pioneer-memorial
[ix] Lyndoch, Barossa’s First Settlement, written by Anne Hausler, Lyndoch and District Historical Society Inc
[x] http://www.australiancemeteries.com/sa/barossa/hoffnungsthal.htmHoffnungsthal Lutheran Cemetery
[xii] Content provided by The Lyndoch and District Historical Society
[xiii] Content provided by The Lyndoch Historical Society