The Development Of Agriculture In Hahndorf & District

    The following is a collection of miscellaneous correspondence and newspaper articles compiled by Reg Butler (local Historian) concerning the early development of agriculture in Hahndorf and district.

    Martin Buchhorn (Ed) 'Emigrants to Hahndorf - a remarkable voyage' Adelaide 1989

    We travelled for about two hours, sometimes over terrifyingly high mountains.  At last the dense forest and mountains gave way to a beautiful level valley that lay before us. Although the tall trees, whose tops towered perhaps 150 feet above the ground, were not surrounded by undergrowth as in a normal wilderness, they still prevented us from seeing what lay beyond ...

    My first glance fell on the beautifully formed trees, which nature had planted as if with the hands of a gardener.  Every tree stood at a distance of about 40 paces away from any other; some were even probably the width of an acre apart, so that the land could be cultivated without removing a single tree.  Admittedly, there were some hillocks here and there, but they were not too high for a ploughshare to pass over easily.  In the spot that seemed to me to be the most fertile I found grass three feet four inches high.  It looked like our European cornfields ...  I dug around as deep as possible in various places with my stick, and found fertile soil everywhere ...

    A pigsty made of sods, which had been strewn with fresh new grass by the shepherds there ...

    The beautiful long grass, moist with dew, coloured the ground the most beautiful green.  The wild birds, cockatoos, parrots, parakeets etc sang their different songs and fluttered from twig to twig in the magnificent big trees that stood in splendid isolation.  A small river with crystal-clear water flowed alongside our hut from east to west ...

    I was born in the country and grew up there, and so I am not unfamiliar with agriculture.  Cultivation of the land has attracted my attention in every different country ...  However, I must express my sorrow that this beautiful country, which is so suitable for cultivation, should serve only as pasture, when so many hundreds of people could make a very good living from it.

    The Hahndorf Agreement:

    Firstly, 100 acres of land shall be measured out for them, rent-free for the first year, of which 19 acres will be for the construction of houses and roads; and the remainder for agricultural purposes, but it will be further subdivided among the 38 families ...

    Thirdly, the above-mentioned gentlemen undertake to provide provisions for the emigratns for one year, until the latter are able, by their tireless industry, to harvest the products of the land.  Seed of the kind they require will also be provided for which, as above, only those will be charged who ask for food and seed, and it shall not be regarded as a common debt.

    Fourthly, the partners shall give on credit poultry and cattle and pigs in the expectation that the emigrants will soon discharge their debt by the sale of their produce in the town and will be enabled to buy the cattle.

    Fifthly, six milch cows shall be distributed to the company on their arrival at their place of residence, and in the course of the month of March every family shall have as many cows as they wish.  These cows must, however, be broken in and exchanged for ones not yet broken in every third month.  However, they shall always have enough milch cows so that they never have only cows which have not been broken in.

    Sixthly, if, as we all hope and expect, the partners find the emigrants to be industrious and good farmers, then they promise to have a church and a school erected in the following year, for which the settlers shall have to act as manual labourers and serve with teams, but the partners shall pay the building costs.

    Mr H Kook shall be appointed supervisor of the new settlement by the partners and supported by them, but he is to be paid 40 pounds sterling a year by the emigrants.

    All the above shall be valid for a year on trial.  If the partners find that the land proves suitable for cultivation by their industry, then the emigrants shall be allotted more land at an appropriate rental...

    I cannot describe the joy which spread through the whole company at this ...  Old and young crowded around me and clasped my hands with tears of joy in their eyes ...

    On my birthday, 28 January 1839 - I turned 35 - the landowners I've already named came to the Port early in the morning ...  Then we assembled all the emigrants around us and the contract was agreed to by both parties; with the one exception, that each person had to buy his own agricultural implements.  But then again the emigrants were now granted 150 acres of land instead of just 100.

    After this had been settled, they said to me:  'Now we intend to make you a further offer.  We all want you, after you have taken your ship home, to come here with your family and live among us.  The tract of land on which the German village is to be built has already been marked out.  In memory of you, the village shall be called "Hahndorf"  - the emigrants greeted this name with joy.'

    Pastor Kavel called upon me and explained .. .that they were generally poor but industrious and honest; that they had been, by the assistance of a loan, enabled to make the passage, and that they required cattle and other things, including land, which they must to a great extent procure on credit, and asked me if I could oblige them with cattle.  Some few amongst them had money, and might pay with cash; some could pay part of the purchase money, and those who required full credit would pay instalments at certain fixed periods.  I did not hesitate to comply, and was soon visited by a number of his people.

    First came a small capitalist who wanted a pair of oxen, and exhibited his small bag of sovereigns with some pride.  At the time, the stockyard was full of cattle brougth in for sale. He pointed out to me on the outside of the yard a hand-truck to which had had fixed a long slight pole, and gave me to understand that he watned a pair of oxen to attach to that vehicle to take his luggage, with which it was loaded, over the hills pointing to Mt Lofty.  He had a companion with him who could speak a few words of English.  I knew nothing of German.

    He showed me a rope, and gave me to understand he intended to guide or drive the oxen according to his country fashion.  As I was much puzzled what to do with him, I shook my head to imply that his system would not answer with our cattle.  On this, he again produced his money-bag, to which I nodded and said 'Yes', which gave him and his family much pleasure, and caused them to exclaim 'Yah! Yah!' and his friend said 'How much?' pointing out two bullocks.  He was told 42 pounds the pair.  One was the wildest and wickedest beast in the yard, and the other a good match for him.

    As I could not make him understand me, I was leaving the party, when my stockkeeper called my attention to a quiet pair of small leaders in another yard in which were a number of quiet milking cows, which I told the German he could have for 42 pounds the pair in yoke, but he declined with contempt, as I had mentioned the same price for the larger bullocks in the other yard.  Finding I could not make myself understood, and that the intended buyer had worked himself into a violent passion, implying, as I thought, a charge that I wanted to cheat him, I walked away to my house, leaving him violently gesticulating to my men.

    I had not been long away when I heard a great noise of roaring bullocks and men's voices, and returned to see what was the matter.  It appeared after I left he had tendered to my foreman the money named, which was the price fixed for the pick of unbroken bullocks in the yard.

    My men wished for no better fun, so they complied with his wishes, and roped up one of the beasts he had chosen, which went quietly into the strong bail used to yoke up steers in, and on roping the other brute, which he was so determined tohave, the bullock became quite furious, and was roaring and dashing about in such a manner that the German was frightened enough, and met me, begging for his money which my man had received.

    I ordered the rope to be cut, when the beast rushed at and cleared the fence, and made off.  A man on horseback was sent after him, and the bullock was found on the banks of the Torrens, where he had tossed a constable and seriously injured him, and was quickly shot by one of the troopers.  As the German had been so obstinate and had caused so much trouble I refused to return his money, but desired him to call on me with his pastor.

    Before he could leave, the man returned with news of the damage done.  The German's whole family were now present.  His wife had in the meantime been handling the quiet milking cows in the milking yard, and now they petitioned me to let them have two quiet cows in place of the bullocks, with which I complied, and the whole family went off with their newly-acquired live stock highly pleased, especially as I made a return of the difference in the price, as the wife had not chosen two of the highest priced ones but the quietest, and I was willing to submit to some loss on the bullock to get clear of the party.

    Some of the family yoked themselves to the truck, which was such a one as two large goats might have drawn; and after making several journeys, I was told in the same manner by hand they managed to get the whole of their goods over the hills.  It must not be forgotten that at the time this was done no road had been cut or formed, and the greater part of the goods of the community was carried on backs and shoulders to the village named by them Hahndorf in honour of Captain Hahn.

    I have given the above account of my first transaction with these people to show how little they were acquainted with colonial matters. I had subsequentlhy many dealings with them, and ivariably found them punctual and honest...

    For the Hahndorf land they had to pay 7 pounds an acre. I do not know what interest they were charged, but I daresay 10%.  Now this land was part of the first special survey taken up by Messrs Dutton, Finnis & McFarlane, at a cost of 1 pound an acre, and was not by any means the pick of their land;  ...  the strangers, I think I may say, were taken in ...  The quantity of the land was 240 acres, which cost them pounds 1,680.  Then, through the pastor, the obtained credit for provisions etc to the amount of pounds 1,500, until their own crops were realised on. Their seed wheat had cost them 1 pound a bushel and they had to procure working cattle at no less than 40 pounds a pair.

    Up to the time of their arrival the inhabitants of Adelaide had been insufficiently supplied with vegetables and dairy produce, and these at an exorbitant price -  butter at 2s 6d a lb, and eggs 2s 6d a dozen.  The Germans very soon began to carry into the city for sale, small supplies of butter, and, within a few months, vegetables, generally on the backs of the females, and in the same manner taking back their supplies of rations.  After a time a string of matrons and girls would be seen wending their way to the capital in their German costume.

    Before the end of their first year of residence amongst us they furnished the townspeople with a good supply of vegetables etc, realising to themselves a good profit.  At their first harvest, their little handmills were set a-going; and they soon cleared their debts, and purchased from the Government 240 acres of land for cash, at 1 pound an acre, contiguous to their township.

    Their implements were of their own construction, and primitive enough, after the forms which had been in use in their native country for 100's of years.  For some time after their arrival we would see funny rigs attached to one of their small ploughs or wooden harrows - say a woman with a strap over her shoulder with a rope to a swingletree, a necessary advantage given to her in length, and at the other shorter end a small bullock, cow, or a pony, the husband or father holding with one hand the one-handled plough and with the other a long pipe which he was deliberately smoking - the wooden plough light enough to be carried on a man's shoulders.

    It was not long before we saw them in better circumstances, with their pairs of fine and fat horses, kept and treated in a manner which set an example to the settlers amongst whom they had come ...

    At the first shearing of sheep after their arrival at their village, the community at Hahndorf contracted to shear a flock for Mr D McFarlane ...  The shearers were principally young women, who were waited on by men of the village, who, when called on, caught and carried the sheep to the shearer who was ready.  The sheep was carefully laid down on its side; the young woman, without shoes and stockings, had a piece of thick soft string tied to one of her great toes, the other end was then tied to the hind foot of the sheep; the girl's leg was then stretched out to extend the legs or shoulder of the animal, which was then left to her charge, and she commenced her clipping work, most carefully avoiding any snips of the skin.  The number shorn by one never exceeded 30 a day.

    At first, I was inclined to laugh, but I was soon pleased to see how tenderly the sheep were handled.  The wool was not taken off very close.  The whole party worked with a will, and the amount they earned went towards the payment for their land, as Mr D McFarlane, the owner of the sheep, was one of the original proprietors who sold the land to them.

    A Special Correspondent Our Inheritance in the Hills, Adelaide 1889

    Passing down along the Onkaparinga we strike the main road again, cross the bridge, and proceed through pleasing open country to Hahndorf, a quaint and picturesque German town, consisting of about half a mile of houses and gardens on each side of the road, with tree-guards conspicuous on both sides ...  A large amount of fruitgrowing is carried on actually within the limits of the town itself, almost every house having its acre or two of planted ground stretching away backwards from the road.

    The past season has been a poor one as regards quantity, but quite satisfactory in regard to the quality of the fruit produced.  In former seasons some marvellous results have been obtained.  Mr Sonnemann, a local jam manufacturer, has grown single pears up to as much as 4lb 7 oz in weight.

    The local flourmill has secured comparatively little wheat this year owing to the high price of hay and the anticipation of still higher rates before the season is ended.  The area cropped fro hay has been giving from 1.5 to 2 tons to the acre.  Last year, when hay was abundant in the North, and the price was very low, almost all the farmers in this part of the colony made a point of letting their crops grow for wheat, as so large was the quantity brought into Hahndorf that the mill is still kept busy with the disposal of last season's supplies.  The German colonists are amongst the most frugal and industrious in SA and it is noticeable that the mother of the family frequently finds time to attend to a bit of garden besides carrying out her household duties.

    EH Hallack - 'Our Townships, Farms & Homesteads', Adelaide 1892

    Mrs Christian Jaensch, now in her 96th year ... in recounting her earlier experiences, the old lady's eyes brightened, especially so in referring to the days when she and others of her sex used to go reaping with sickles and sheepshearing, whilst their children were in the habit of walking to town (18 miles) laden with vegetables and other produce, returning on the same day with 'payment received' in the shape of tea, sugar, and other household necessaries.

    Viewed from Windmill Hill, the valley in which Hahndorf is nestled is really beautiful, particularly so in autumn, when the tints of exotics are wonderful in their 'infinite variety'. Traversing the steep road which leads to the village, its southern skirtment encloseds grazing land and wattles owned by Mr C Paech; to the left is the best farmed land in the neighbourhood, and it has been under cultivation for over 50 years.  Mr P Braendler, its present occupier, 'goes for the land and the land returns the compliment'.  Farming, gardening, dairying and fruitgrowing are all engaged in with profitable results.

    Stinkwort, during my visit, was being cut for bedding by a horse-mower, and of the stack of this commodity near his piggery, cowyard, and stables Mr Braendler said, 'It is the best I have ever tried for bedding and afterwards manure, but it must be mowed before the plants are coming into seed'.

    A hand separator is in use here, and peas, mangolds, sorghum, and maize are cultivated to perfection for fodder purposes.  In the orchard there are three acres planted with apples, growing well, besides an old vineyard, where the vines would do better if more attention were paid them.  Of vegetables, potatoes are the champions in regard to prolificacy, but all do well simply because the soil is assisted by artificial means.

    Further on is seen Mrs Gething's residence, and its selection does credit to the memory of the well-known and much respected former medico of Pt Adelaide.

    In the township's main street, now bordered with elms, chestnuts, and other beautiful trees, are rustic homesteads, which with their verdant framing are indeed pictures ...

    Further down, 'the village smithy stands'; not beneath a spreading chestnut, but a better spreading vine which, measuring 2' at its butt, expands its branches all around the busy premises.  Its size is large and its age 19 years.  Near here is Host Ide's establishment, and being of an energetic habit, he does not solely confine himself to the duties connected with his hostelry, but is also a cultivator, and when I first met him he was superintending the loading of a trolley with apples and other fruit for transport to the Adelaide market ...

    In traversing the main street the surroundings of homesteads command attention.  Fruit-trees, mangolds and cultivation of some kind are noticeable, whilst the houses and their construction commend themselves as useful object lessons to builders on clayey or Biscay cracking soils ...  Thatch for roofing, with brick walls intersected with gum-framing, V-shaped, horizontal and other shaped walled lacings, they score anything but cracks, the wooden lacements or bracings preventing the possibility of such.  These 'German ideas' in building are well worthy of imitation and adaptation in many other localities...

    Of industries commend me to the mill as the first worthy of notice.  It is owned and worked by Mr FW Wittwer, who arrived here in the Zebra, 1838.  I am happy to say that it was humming whilst I was there; but its works are not confined to flour.  My interview with Mr Wittwer was interesting, and from him I gathered that the mill was built for and supplied with grist formerly grown here. Little or nothing of that kind is now numbered among the products of the district, the growth from seed planted in later years being cut for hay, and the wheat ground is supplied from the Dimboola district over the border, where many of this district's former residents are now located ...

    The supply from over the border sent direct to this mill last season by the farmers there numbered 2,000 bags, for which 7d per bushel for transport was paid by Mr Wittwer for delivery at the railway station at Ambleside ...

    Wattle bark is also milled on the premises under notice, some 70 tons being then on hand ...

    Mr Sonnemann's jam factory was visited.  Business there in that connection was dull, as the following returns will show.  The season before last, 1,500 cases, or some 75 tons, was the output, whilst for last year it numbered 900 cases, or about 40 tons.  At the back of the factory is an orchard covering 7 acres; some of the trees were planted 40 years ago and they still bear well, especially the apples, pears and plums.  Indeed, some of the pears grown there this season weighed over 7lb each.  Frost is too severe for the vines; they used to do well some 10 years ago, but sunshine after frost cripples the growth ...

    About 2 miles north of Hahndorf is Mr A Schroeder's homestead, named Rebensberg.  On the road thither was passed the premises of Mr C Nitschke, who encourages the growth of the wattle, and nearing Mr Schroeder's are to be found some of the best specimens of native birds I have seen for many years, the red-breasted robin, diamond sparrow, white cockatoo, and parrots of all sorts being included in their number.  The visitor admires them, but the planters of vines and fruit-trees do not, for ... almost all of them are very destructive to the products of the soil.

    A beautiful spot is Rebensberg ...  Passing the vineyard which slopes to the left of the road, the homestead is reached.  The buildings and wine cellars surrounding it are of all sorts, sizes and ages ...  The acreage under vines numbers seven and a half, of which two and a half were planted last season, all of the Madeira variety.  The vintage lately has been poor, owing to oidium and sparrows and other winged pests; also frosts.  Nevertheless, the wine made here is very good. 1,800 gallons were made last season and about 1,200 this. Certificates as to its quality are not wanting, as prizes taken at the Jubilee Exhibtionand all the local Shows amply testify, and those of the port and hock varieties should hold their own anywhere.

    On the rich flats below the vineyard potatoes, mangolds, and other tubers are grown to perfection, and of the former 14 tons had already been sold in Adelaide this season, whilst a second crop, well manured, bids fair to yield a still larger quantity.  The majority of the latter will be retained for planting next year.  Everything on this property is well cultivated; good crops of all descriptions are ensured by returning to the land that which it always requires - manure - which is here largely conserved.  Further up this beautiful valley is the property of Mr Minge, whose orchard and wattle plantation are both looking well.

    Visitors to Hahndorf should not leave its neighbourhood without paying a visit to Friedrichstadt.  It is indeed a lovely spot, and the old residences there occupied by the Paech family are worthy of attention by rising young artists ...  The district spreads considerably and covers the 13 eighty-acre sections he purchased from what was formerly called the SA Cattle Company, on which flocks were herded in the early days after having been brought over from the mother colony of NSW...

    Nothing prettier and more foreign to our Adelaide and suburban 'square' style of architecture could possibly be imagined.  Surrounding them are old orchards and willows planted forty years ago.  'Neath the latter trickles a tiny and ever-running stream'.  From it, through iron piping, water is conveyed to a rustic gum hewn trough placed on the roadside by the Messrs Paech for the public and those of their cattle travelling this way.  Any one of the three buildings with its gumwood bracings, stock shelterings and dovecotes, is worthy of committal to canvas, especially so when their surrounding trees are in bloom or are tinted with autumnal shades.  All the brothers resident here were passengers by the Zebra, and are most worthy specimens of the pioneer type.

    From Hahndorf to Echunga, the drive is a pleasant one.  Trees planted on the roadside leading up to the new cemetery are mostly of the pinus insignus description ... On the road, another portion of Friedrichstadt was hurriedly visited and the farms and homesteads of Messrs FW & PG Paech and Collins were seen.  They are all beautifully situated on the old Cattle Company's station, where on good farming land fruit, vegetable and wattle growing are the order of the day.  On the main road further on wattles are growing everywhere, and there is a considerable area of land on either side eminently fitted for the cultivation of all kinds of fruit and other produce.

    Mr Wilhelm Liebelt has already proved this, and the growth of mangolds, fruit-trees & on his clearance is abundantly gratifying ...

    By such early pioneers as those referred to, the township of Hahndorf was cleared of its timber and built upon ...  It as a township constitutes a worthy memorial of ... the Prussian emigrants ...  Right nobly have they fulfilled their compact...

    EH Hallack - 'Our Townships, Farms & Homesteads', Adelaide 1892

    Hahndorf, the old 'German Town', was settled by Prussian emigrants, who from religious causes were compelled to abandon their native country and seek refuge on the shores of South Australia.

    Of Hahndorf and its history, it is gathered that the good ship Zebra sailed from the port of Hamburg on 31 July 1838, with 191 emigrants, arriving here in December 1838.  This little band of pilgrims bought three sections of land from Messrs Dutton, Finnis, and McFarlane, the price being 7 pounds per acre, bearing interest at 10%, until their completion of their purchase.

    These three sections now comprise the township of Hahndorf, which was loyally named by the emigrants after their ship's captain, DM Hahn.  By means of their thrift, the inhabitants were soon enabled to pay for their land and call the place their own ...

    Viewed from Windmill Hill, the valley in which Hahndorf is nestled is really beautiful, particularly so in autumn, when the tints of exotics are wonderful in their 'infinite variety'. Windmill Hill, with its razor-backed saddle, is a place which once visited is not likely to be forgotten, on account of its lovely surroundings ... A splendid view is here obtainable of both Mt Barker and Mt Lofty ...  The old-fashioned sugar-loafed shaped tower of the flourmill ... stands as a landmark on the top.  Of the wheel, there is only now one wooden spoke left ...

    Traversing the steep road which leads to the village, its southern skirtment encloseds grazing land and wattles owned by Mr C Paech; to the left is the best farmed land in the neighbourhood, and it has been under cultivation for over 50 years.  Mr P Braendler, its present occupier, 'goes for the land and the land returns the compliment'.  Farming, gardening, dairying and fruitgrowing are all engaged in with profitable results.

    Stinkwort, during my visit, was being cut for bedding by a horse-mower, and of the stack of this commodity near his piggery, cowyard, and stables, Mr Braendler said, 'It is the best I have ever tried for bedding and afterwards manure, but it must be mowed before the plants are coming into seed'.

    A hand separator is in use here, and peas, mangolds, sorghum, and maize are cultivated to perfection for fodder purposes.  In the orchard there are three acres planted with apples, growing well, besides an old vineyard, where the vines would do better if more attention were paid them.  Of vegetables, potatoes are the champions in regard to prolificacy, but all do well simply because the soil is assisted by artificial means.

    Further on is seen Mrs Gething's residence, and its selection does credit to the memory of the well-known and much respected former medico of Pt Adelaide.

    Below Mrs Gething's on the right is seen the old Lutheran Church, built of brick, in which the venerable father of the exiled flock, Pastor Kavel, ofttimes ministered ...  It is now supplanted by a handsome building, on the outer white cut stone walls of which is to be seen an inscription in German - "St Paul's Church; erected in commemoration of the foundation of the Lutheran Church in Hahndorf by Pastor Kavel, year 1840."

    Inside ... the unique little floral tables near the organ-loft hanging on the wall silently speak of the momory of the dead.  A picture of Luther and Pastor Kavel are fixed on the wall above the altar.  The ground, fittings, baptismal font, and communion jug and cup (the last made of solid silver) were all presented by Mr FW Wittwer, the much-respected miller here.

    In the township's main street, now bordered with elms, chestnuts, and other beautiful trees, are rustic homesteads, which with their verdant framing are indeed pictures ...

    In traversing the main street the surroundings of homesteads command attention.  Fruit-trees, mangolds and cultivation of some kind are noticeable, whilst the houses and their construction commend themselves as useful object lessons to builders on clayey or Biscay cracking soils ...  Thatch for roofing, with brick walls intersected with gum-framing, V-shaped, horizontal and other shaped walled lacings, they score anything but cracks, the wooden lacements or bracings preventing the possibility of such.  These 'German ideas' in building are well worthy of imitation and adaptation in many other localities...

    'The village smithy stands'; not beneath a spreading chestnut, but a better spreading vine which, measuring 2' at its butt, expands its branches all around the busy premises.  Its size is large and its age 19 years.  Near here is Host Ide's establishment, and being of an energetic habit, he does not solely confine himself to the duties connected with his hostelry, but is also a cultivator, and when I first met him he was superintending the loading of a trolley with apples and other fruit for transport to the Adelaide market...

    Nearly opposite is ... Mr C Bom's monumental marble works ...  The material mostly treated and sold by Mr Bom is imported from Italy, although some cut from yellow sandstone obtained from near Murray Bridge ...

    In company with Mr Bom, I visited St Michael's Lutheran Church, built in 1858, and its surrounding oldest cemetery, which was allocated in the original survey of the township.  In the burial ground rest numbers of those who helped to found this pretty little hamlet.  The headings ... are indicated on wooden slabs of gum, cut and rough-hewn in a somewhat rustic though respectful fashion.  The painted inscriptions once to be found thereon have long since been washed off or obliterated by the old scythe-bearer...

    Of schools, the College first commends itself for favourable mention.  It is of goodly proportions and with its gymnasium and other accessories ... it ranks first among those outside the precincts of Adelaide ...

    Of industries ... the mill to me is the first worthy of notice.  It is owned and worked by Mr FW Wittwer, who arrived here in the Zebra, 1838.  I am happy to say that it was humming whilst I was there; but its works are not confined to flour.  My interview with Mr Wittwer was interesting, and from him I gathered that the mill was built for and supplied with grist formerly grown here.  Little or nothing of that kind is now numbered among the products of the district, the growth from seed planted in later years being cut for hay, and the wheat ground is supplied from the Dimboola district over the border, where many of this district's former residents are now located ...

    The supply from over the border sent direct to this mill last season by the farmers there numbered 2,000 bags, for which 7d per bushel for transport was paid by Mr Wittwer for delivery at the railway station at Ambleside ...

    Wattle bark is also milled on the premises under notice, some 70 tons being then on hand ...

    Mr Sonnemann's jam factory was visited.  Business there in that connection was dull, as the following returns will show.  The season before last, 1,500 cases, or some 75 tons, was the output, whilst for last year it numbered 900 cases, or about 40 tons.  At the back of the factory is an orchard covering 7 acres; some of the trees were planted 40 years ago and they still bear well, especially the apples, pears and plums.  Indeed, some of the pears grown there this season weighed over 7lb each.  Frost is too severe for the vines; they used to do well some 10 years ago, but sunshine after frost cripples the growth ...

    About 2 miles north of Hahndorf is Mr A Schroeder's homestead, named Rebensberg.  On the road thither was passed the premises of Mr C Nitschke, who encourages the growth of the wattle, and nearing Mr Schroeder's are to be found some of the best specimens of native birds I have seen for many years, the red-breasted robin, diamond sparrow, white cockatoo, and parrots of all sorts being included in their number.  The visitor admires them, but the planters of vines and fruit-trees do not, for ... almost all of them are very destructive to the products of the soil.

    A beautiful spot is Rebensberg ...  Passing the vineyard which slopes to the left of the road, the homestead is reached.  The buildings and wine cellars surrounding it are of all sorts, sizes and ages ...   The acreage under vines numbers seven and a half, of which two and a half were planted last season, all of the Madeira variety.  The vintage lately has been poor, owing to oidium and sparrows and other winged pests; also frosts.  Nevertheless, the wine made here is very good.  1,800 gallons were made last season and about 1,200 this. Certificates as to its quality are not wanting, as prizes taken at the Jubilee Exhibition and all the local Shows amply testify, and those of the port and hock varieties should hold their own anywhere.

    On the rich flats below the vineyard potatoes, mangolds, and other tubers are grown to perfection, and of the former 14 tons had already been sold in Adelaide this season, whilst a second crop, well manured, bids fair to yield a still larger quantity.  The majority of the latter will be retained for planting next year.  Everything on this property is well cultivated; good crops of all descriptions are ensured by returning to the land that which it always requires - manure - which is here largely conserved. Further up this beautiful valley is the property of Mr Minge, whose orchard and wattle plantation are both looking well.

    Visitors to Hahndorf should not leave its neighbourhood without paying a visit to Friedrichstadt. It is indeed a lovely spot, and the old residences there occupied by the Paech family are worthy of attention by rising young artists ... The district spreads considerably and covers the 13 eighty-acre sections purchased from what was formerly called the SA Cattle Company, on which flocks were herded in the early days after having been brought over from the mother colony of NSW ...

    Nothing prettier and more foreign to our Adelaide and suburban 'square' style of architecture could possibly be imagined.  Surrounding them are old orchards and willows planted forty years ago.  'Neath the latter trickles a tiny and ever-running stream.  From it, through iron piping, water is conveyed to a rustic gum hewn trough placed on the roadside by the Messrs Paech for the public and those of their cattle travelling this way.  Any one of the three buildings with its gumwood bracings, stock shelterings and dovecotes, is worthy of committal to canvas, especially so when their surrounding trees are in bloom or are tinted with autumnal shades.  All the brothers resident here were passengers by the Zebra, and are most worthy specimens of the pioneer type.

    From Hahndorf to Echunga, the drive is a pleasant one.  Trees planted on the roadside leading up to the new cemetery are mostly of the pinus insignus description ... 

    On the road, another portion of Friedrichstadt was hurriedly visited and the farms and homesteads of Messrs FW & PG Paech and Collins were seen.  They are all beautifully situated on the old Cattle Company's station, where on good farming land fruit, vegetable and wattle growing are the order of the day.  On the main road further on wattles are growing everywhere, and there is a considerable area of land on either side eminently fitted for the cultivation of all kinds of fruit and other produce.

    Mr Wilhelm Liebelt has already proved this, and the growth of mangolds, fruit-trees & on his clearance is abundantly gratifying...

    By such early pioneers as those referred to, the township of Hahndorf was cleared of its timber and built upon...It as a township constitutes a worthy memorial of ... the Prussian emigrants ...  Right nobly have they fulfilled their compact ...

      Register 19 Jan 1839

      The whole body of Germans, in number 190, brought by the Zebra from Hamburg, are to proceed directly from the ship to Mt Barker, and a township is forthwith to be established there ...  The men are chiefly mechanics, shepherds, bricklayers, masons etc and form, in fact, the whole material for a community ....  These poor people are to be put in possession of certain allotments of ground, rent feee for the first 12 months; to be supplied gratis with rations and seeds till their crops are gathered in; each family is to have the free use of at least one dairy cow, and the men are to be paid the ordinary rate of wages when employed.

      Register 8 Jun 1839

      They are uniformly found to be conscientious and industrious in service, regular, sedate and capable of applying themselves to many different kinds of labour.  The females are adept at almost every household and rural occupation; and the men (whatever may be the appropriate trade which they more immediately profess) are all useful labourers in digging and fencing and many of them excellent in building, sawing and carpenter work ...  The Germans of Hahndorf has been drafted out in parties among the settlers, and have assisted in making stockyards, fencing, breaking up ground, and building houses.

      Register 21 March 1840

      The rising German village of Hahndorf, which forms part of the Mt Barker property, ensures to purchasers a supply of the most valuable domestic and agricultural labour.

      A Letter to Kate Hahndorf 15 Oct 1844

      When they settled down in this little spot, it was densely wooded and required infinite patience and toil to clear away the forest.  The men felled the giant gums and the women cleared the undergrowth and did the fencing.  At first, they were terribly straitened for lack of provisions, having brought but a very limited quantity of flour, and for the first year they subsisted on that and roots, together with the wild animals and birds they caught.  Then their crops of grain and vegetables came in and they managed to get a few fowls and sheep, and presently some cows.  As soon as butter could be made the village girls set out together to walk to Adelaide, and there dispose of it, returning the same day.  They were always armed with short sticks in case of meeting roughs, but were never molested.  Wild dogs were a great nuisance, and the men often had to watch their few animals all night, for the dingoes would come close up to the huts and sometimes even attack the children.

      Gradually, beautiful, well-cultivated farms are arising, and the old huts, which did duty at first, have given place to comfortable cottages.  The inhabitants of the village have fondly tried to reproduce the cottage architecture of their Fatherland.  High pointed roofs, little balconies, walls painted in stripes of bright colour, give an air of picturesqueness taht would be delightful to an artist.  Almost every cottage is covered with climbing plants and has a flower garden in front.  Fruit trees overhang the side walks of the streets, and in the season, rosy-cheeked apples, golden quinces and purple grapes almost touch the passers-by, and yet, so honest are the people that the fruit is never plucked, except by the owner...

      As we came out of church, we noticed most wonderful costumes; astonishing high, broad-brimmed hats and long-tailed coats ...  Old women with very short skirts, thick boots, and enormous sunbonnets, looked very comical ...  The hard work and thrift of the people are astonishing. women, when their household work permits, labour in the fields; children gather up all the old bottles and bones for disposal to an agent, and sweep the refuse off the roads to be used in enriching gardens.  Men, when the ordinary day's work is over, go into the forest, and after chopping up sufficient wood to fill a large hand cart, har ess themselves to it and drag the load home.

      Crops, SA Almanac 1844

      wheat, potatoes, cattle, pigs. barley, peas, maize, goats.  Christian Jaensch had 40 sheep, Gottfried Lubasch had 90 sheep, Wilhelm Thiele 20 sheep.  Christian Jaensch had 18 acres of wheat, Friedrich Paech had 40 acres of wheat, George Schubert had 18 acres of wheat, Wilhelm Wittwer had 20 acres of wheat, Ferdinand Boerke Gottfried Lubasch had 13 cattle. W Wittwer had a horse and a pony.  George Boehm had 10 cattle; Christoph Liebelt 13 cattle; George Paech had 17 cattle; Tischler Friedrich Paech had 12 goats

      Southern Australia 29 Aug 1848

      John Stephens, printer, bookseller & stationer, Hindley St was the sole agent for the following patent medicines in SA.  Pastor Kavel was his sub-agent at Hahndorf.  Morison's Pills, Holloway's Pills & Ointment, Frampton's Pill of Health, Parr's Life Pills, Widow Welch's Female Pills, Blair's Gout a nd Rheumatic Pills, Cockle's Antibilious PIlls, Dr Robert's Poor Man's Friend, Smith's Medicinal Powder, McKinsey's Katapotia

      SA News 15 June 1841

      Letter from A Gentleman, Adelaide 6 Jan 1841

      On landing at Glenelg, the coutry had a most barren appearance: on proceeding towards Adelaide, I was, however, most agreeably surprised to find the plains covered with lofty gum-trees and with aboundance of long, coarse grass.  The sheep and bullocks were looking remarkably healthy, and appeared almost fit for the butcher...

      Mt Lofty and the adjoining range of high hills, which belt the city to the east and north-east covered with woods, reminded me much of some of our Devonshire landscapes ...

      I am quite astonished at the rapid progress of Adelaide.  Four years ago, the white man had not put his foot on its plains; withinthat short time, a city has sprung up, as in the wilderness; the kangaroo and other natives of the wood have receded and given place to the sheep and ox ...

      Mr T very kindly offered me a horse to take me to Encounter Bay and to the Murray, and I embraced so favourable an opportunity of seeing a very interesting part of the Colony.  I was perfectly astonished, for the first 35 miles, at the richness of the soil.  Thousands of acres, now bearing kangaroo grass, are, without the expenditure of a single fathing, fit for the plouogh - no rocks, no weeds, no timber to obstruct agricultural operations.

      SA News, 15 Aug 1841

      Letter Adelaide 23 Jan 1841

      The potato does not flourish so well as in Van Dieman's Land.  Still, I am told, that over in some sandy soils, they thrive most luxuriantly towards the middle of the year, and I have seen some very good samples produced by the Germans.

      SA News, 15 Nov 1841

      The Bush of SA May 1841

      The whole of the writers on the soil (book & letter) take their standard of the whole colony from the 4 or 5 miles of sandy flat between the city and thea Gulf, which is very inferior and miserable-lookng certain, but has now, by cultivation, produced very fine crops.  None of the rich black alluvial deposits, or chocolate loams, of which there are so many extensive tracts, are to be met with within the Mt Lofty range, except in very limited portions; but go beyong it - say Mt Barker to the east, and stretching from there north and south, from Rapid Bay to Light Pass - you have, with very insignificant breaks, a line of upwards of 100 miles long of the finest land in the world ...  It is enough to mention that, within that boundary, special surveys have been taken to the amount of above 330,000 acres gross, and all these are to the north and east of Mt Lofty.  Of course, a special survey indicates, or ought to indicate, abundance of water as well as good soil ...

      Over the greater part of that extensive tract, the sward is thick and close, having quite a different appearance to that on the light sandy soil around Adelaide.  The turfty naked appearance in the grass, so frequently burned, so that nothing but perennials vegetate the succeeding year.  Where no fire is allowed to come, and the grass protected properly, (not too many cattle kept on it, or cut for hay) the sward the succeeding year is as close as may be wished for, and a greater variety of grasses spring up ...

      SA News, 15 April 1842

      Co Gawler addressed the Geographical Society on 14 March 1842, at the request of many of the Fellows present ...

      The stringybark forest was an extensive, noble, and most useful feature in the country.  It commenced near Cape Jervis and, with occasional interruptions, extended for perhaps 100 miles to the northward and eastward.  It followed the courses of the summits of the mountains and stood almost invariably upon the quartz and ironstone conglomerates, by which these ranges in the Adelaide districts were generally capped.  It consisted of noble trees, straight and lofty, the wood of which served admirably for house-building purposes, and roofing, and for fences of all kinds.

      The lightly timbered, park-like country, rested upon alluvial deposits, the decomposition of the forests, and rocks of the mountain ranges ...  It is beautiful and most available for the wants of man.  In it are to be found large tracts fit for the plough, and for every species of cultivation; extensive horse and cattle pasturages, and very extensive sheep-walks.  It is lightly covered with eucalypti, the oxle (Casturiana), and other trees, of which the wood was calculated for very useful purposes, as might be seen by the specimens from them produced to the meeting.

      SA News, 15 July 1842

      Letter from a London merchant, Hamburgh 6 July 1842

      Your letter ... from Adelaide, afforded us very great gratification.  I have shewn it to several friends who are equally gratified with myself.  Mr S is translating the letter for insertion in the Altona Mercury and other papers.  It think it of too great importance to keep up an interest in SA throughout Germany to omit any step which can promote it ...  The Skjold, a Danish vessel, which proceeded from hence to SA last year with emigratns has returned to this port.  The captain is a very intelligent man; he has brought with him samples of wheat, barley and oats, grown there, which the best judges of corn in Hamburgh have declared to be equal (the oats superior) to any corn they know.  Thus the letter of your friend is confirmed by the evidence of the captain and by the samples which he has brought with him; this will be mentioned in a nota bene at the foot of the letter in the Altona Mercury. The Captain speaks very favourably of the colony.  He says the road between Adelaide and the Port is a superb one, and I am convinced that his presence in Hamburgh will be of considerable benefit to SA.

      I received, about 14 days since, a letter from China, from a German who proceeded to Adelaide as steward on boards the 'Goshawk' some years ago.  He announces his projected return to Hamburgh in a short time, and states it to be his intention to proceed again to SA ...  This letter is copied to in the Hamburgh Abend Zeitung, a paper which has an extensive farming connection; and I am sure that these matters cannot be too well known throughout Germany ...

      SA News, 15 Aug 1842

      Report on roads and bridges 23 Dec 1841 Transactions of the Statistical Society

      Although the importance of a road to the eastward towards the Mt Barker and Strathalbyn districts, and the river Murray, was very easily seen, yet such was the difficulty of finding a good pass over the Mt Lofty ranges, that it was not till the close of 1840, a proper line could be fixed upon.  Early in 1841, the first division through Glen Osmond was begun, and ere this Report makes its appearance, will, though no finished, be open for traffic.  After leaving Adelaide, the road leads across the plains for 3 miles, when it enters Glen Osmond, through which it winds, 3 and a quarter miles up, when it joins the old tract, at an elevation of nearly 1,000'.

      To carry out this road, it became necessary to pass a Turnpike Act, and appoint a Trust.  The Act also gives power to the Trustees to make a road to the Three Brothers and to the villages of Nairne, Balhannah etc.  In this division of the road 1,000 lineal yards of retaining wall have been built, from 3'-15' high, and the bank cut in many places 12' and 16' deep. Seven small bridges have been made, one of them 23' wide, with stone abutments 14' high...

      About 8 miles from Adelaide, the road will enter the Stringybark Ranges, called the Tiers, from whence the Town is supplied with its most useful timber and will lead through them for 8 or 9 miles ...

      SA News, 15 Sep 1842

      A Naturalist's ramble

      Our first ramble will be from Adelaide up the mountains, to the hotel of our old friend Crafer in the Tiers ...  We proceed by the Mt Barker road through a lovely and diversified country ...  We ascend the mountains, which rise before us in gently rounded slopes of every form and size, spread out like a verdant carpet, with grassy knolls here and there, and thickly studded with straggling gum tree, which still prevails, with its airy foliage and curiously twisted branches, sometimes laden with hanging bark.  Wild flowers of every hue, often combined with the most delicate small, delight the eye and the senses on every side ...

      As we ascend higher up the sloping hills ... large masses of rock here overhang the perpendicular bed of the stream, while slate, with quartz and granite curiously veined, give promise of latent treasures beneath ...  Occasionally, one of many little rivulets, formed principally by the late rains, crosses the road, dashing down mimic rocks that intercept its course, and casting its light foam into the air; but this additional beauty is not seen in the summer months.  The slight and drooping Cassowary tree now appears at intervals, increasing in numbers as we proveed, which may be considered a substitute for the weeping willow of more temperate climates.

      Some miles before we come to the hotel, and about 8 miles from Adelaide, our mountaion scenery greatly changes, the more common Eucalypti being replaced in general by the stringy-bark as it is here called, one of our most useful timber trees ...  That singular bird, the laughing jackass here reigns supreme.  Sitting on some lofty branch, while its partner generally choses an adjacent tree, they laugh at each other with the most laudable perseverance ...  As soon as one has fully satisfied himself another takes up the joke, their notes ringing and thrilling through the woods for some time without cessation on all sides.  Hawks, also, are very pentiful, but their food, the smaller birds, seem rather scarce, though at intervals, a few flit quickly by.  The black and white magpies, at all times known by this striking contrast in their plumage, are likewise seen flying by pairs inthe dells or at the base of the hills ...

      Within half a mile of our destined resting-place, the woodlands begin to bear decided marks that the hand of man has been engaged amongst them, for the sawyers have here commenced felling those trees most serviceable at the beginning of the colony, being then used for building, and still for fencing etc.  This clearing gradually increases as we near the hotel ... ; it is calculated that the wood collected in the yard of this building alone would serve all the wants of the inmates for the next 10 years, and there is no doubt that what at present is cut down, would, if necessary, supply the town of Adelaide for 50 years to come ...

      We may now consider ourselves as arrived at Crafer's hotel, a stone house, one storey high, containing large and commodious sitting rooms, and row of neat bedrooms above. Here, every requisite may be obtained at a moderate charge ...

      On the opposite side of the road is the first house here built for the accommodation of passengers, a low wooden building, its proprietor erecting the present one, as soon afterwards as possible.  The prospect from the latter certainly possesses no beauty, the view being too much confined, for a hill rises at once before us on the opposite side of the road, which, though covered with shrubs and underwood, presents the features most prevalent at this part of the country, being strewed with felled and leafless trees.

      On this hill the Entomologist ... may revel in the in the acquistion of new species of the insect tribes.  They consist principally of Coleoptera (beetles) and these of the weevil family, in the crevices of the stringybark trees.  Though the lesser butterflies now occasionally pass over us, this hill is but seldom visited by the variegated wasps, or the rapacious dragon flies; the grasshoppers (Locustoe) now distributed over the whole country, hop from stone to stone, or if taken by surprise, often show they have attained their perfect form by the expansion of their beautifully shaded wings.  Under the bark of the trees may be seen many singular thogh small field bugs, all in their larva or pupa states, and under stones or fallen logs, the active Carabi and snake-like Scolopendrae and Iuli, and here and there a female scorpion from two to three inches in length, with her sting curled over her back, ready to defend herself from injuries - the formidable mother of a hopeful brood ...

      It is a fine moonlight night! ...  We shall now be saluted by a very unique concert.  We will approach the nearest rivulet; and at once perceive that these musicians are the frogs, who each in a different key sing merrily the whole night long, if undisturbed ...;  approach their haunts, however, within one hundred feet and this novel entertainment ceases at once. They will now remain quite mute for some time, though their friends in the distance are going on as cheerily as ever.  At last an old croaker of the party begins with a faint hoarse note ...  As he finds it difficult to get a single response, he waits a little longer, till one by one, they reluctantly chime in ... until their shrill mechanical notes are heard once more in all their strength ...

      As soon as the sun has thrown his gladdening light o'er the sky, we set forth after a short breakfast to the Deanery, 4 miles further on the Mt Barker road ...  The road now leads through woods with foliage more closely set, but without bearing the least dark or sombre appearance.  Here turly nature luxuriates unrestrained, for though the soil is stony, and bad for agriculture, with no one would think of attempting on these heights, yet everything flourishes with redoubled vigour.

      The innumerable flowers, plants and underwood, of a size and growth several times larger than we have hitherto seen them, shoot up intertwined with each other in all their native wildness, giving to the mind the idea of an Indian jungle.  The grass tree, as it is usually called, with its long subulate leaves, springing from the ground in many rays diverging from one common point, is here very common, frequently bearing in its centre a bullrush 8 or 10 feet in length.  Flowers generally of a purple hue, are seen training up the stems of many of the trees surrounded by others, combining every variety of colour that Flora's kingdom can present...

      Insects without number and of various kinds, wing their way on every side.  Wasps and ichneumon-flies, some of a golden hue, hover round the native honeysuckle, which, with many other sweet smalling plants sents its delicate perfume on the air.  At one turn in the road, the whole atmosphere is scented with the exquisite smell of wild honey, proceeding from a waving sea of small white flowers rustling with the gentle breeze, among which thousands of bees are revelling in undisturbed enjoyment ...

      The Rural Deanery is a small public house lately built, and kept by Benjamin Deane and spouse, a good nautred and worthy couple.  It is placed upon the opposite back of Cock's Creek, to which we descend by a rather steep hill.  The water of this clear stream is said to be worth coming from Adelaide alone to taste.  At the Deanery, our appetites being sharpened by the walk, a cup of coffee will be found very refreshing in the small though neat parlour, where this agreeable beverage, with plenty of eggs, milk, butter, and home made bread, will be served perhaps by the beautiful daughter of our host.

      SA News, 15 Oct 1842

      Good description of Aborigines

      Letter from Klemzig SA 17 Nov 1841 Hermann Kook to Captain DM Hahn

      H Kook lost all his assets after 2 years in SA, because the tradespeople indebted to him could/would not pay their debts to him.

      About the new year 1841, he went into partnership with J Fiedler, and took the lease of a section of land, of 134 acres, for 14 years at pounds 100 pa, purchased a house upon it for 50 pounds, and began diligently to cultivate the property.  The greatest difficulty to them, with their slender means, was to make a fence around the property, but this was done for 120 pounds, exclusive of their own labour and the use of their own cart and team.  Ploughing and sowing occupied them 3 months, during which time they lost 2 oxen.  Then came the disasters of the non-payment of Gov Gawler's drafts.

      'Upon our enclosed section of land, with a house upon it, with so large a portion of the land ploughed and sown, we did not borrow a peppercorn, and I have no 60 acres of land sown, and about 10 acres ploughed which I intended tohave sown with maize; but as it cost a guinea a bushel, I was obliged to let it alone.  My corn does not present a brilliant appearance, for by my running after work, wherewith to earn sufficient for the most necessary objects, I only got the seed in late; nevertheless, it is full and fine in ear, and I do not think I over estimate when I calculate upon 250-300 bushels of wheat and 350-400 bushels barley.  This will be more than sufficient to pay any debts, if prices do not fall very low - very high prices I do not expect.

      If the debts are defrayed ... then I have horses, corn for seed, draught oxen, and a fenced-in section in which more than 100 acres lie ready for the plough, and of which 70 acres have been already made under cultivation.  This is alone worth 300 pounds, for it is only in the second year that the land yields its full profits ...

      I have become in one year one of the principal farming peasants of the colony and have done that without money which many persons have not accomplished by an outlay of 1,000 pounds.  I must be satisfied therewith, even if I reflect that I might have done still better...

      The village of Hahndorf has already 500 head of cattle, besides 8 draught oxen and 8 of the small horses; plenty of pigs, geese, fowls etc.  To this the Germans, besides the section already named, have two other sections in the vicinity, bought of the Government at the original price, and several isolated acres purchased of individuals.  Thus, they have 6 sections, of which 500 acres are good land, and upon which 62 families reside ...

      It would have given me vast pleasure to if you had come with the last expedition and if the Zebra, instead of the Skjold had appeared here.  In the present state of trade, it is not to be expected that a vessel will be proceeding hither so soon again with merchandise from Hamburg, and if therefore you have not to convey emigrants there will not be much hope of seeing you here again ...

      Letter 3 May 1842 Mt Barker probably William May to AM

      Agriculture at present pays very well here if conducted economically.

      Bring a good assortment of strong tools, including one or two screw augers used for fencing.  But do not bring implements, unless it be a pair or two of strong cart wheels, with iron arms for wooden axletrees, they should always be brought; one or two iron barrow wheels and perhaps a winnowing machine (not an expensive one) the latter is not to be bought here.  A pit saw and a cross cut saw, the latter 6' long, will not take much room, and they cost here 5s per foot.  If spades are brought, they should be socket spades, very strong, and three pronged forks of the strongest.

      Furniture is rather an expensive article to convey so far on account of its bulk, I should not advise you to encumber yourselves with much.  Whatever is brought should be of solid wood, mahogany, walnut, or deal, not veneered as the veneering warps and splits off, both on the voyage and sometimes here ...

      A well-packed crate of crockery too is absolutely necessary, with large-brown ware pans, it need not be an expensive sort; but let the teacups be of the largest dimensions, or you will have, as we do, to drink tea out of basins.  It should be very well packed.  Earthenware is mostly a very extravagant article to purchase in the Colonies, owing to the loss by breakage on the voyage out ...   Dairy utensils, at least in the small way, might be brough, block tin or zinc milk-pans, milk pails, and churn.  But I should make it my object if I were coming out here again, to curtail the list of packages to bring with me, as much as I could, the numerous incidental expenses that must be incurred before the goods are deposited under one's own roof in Australia, add very much to the prime cost of the different articles, and they give a good deal of trouble ...

      If thou shouldst conclude to come out here, of course thou wilt bring a good assortment of seeds, it would be inexcusable in a Florist not to come well provided in that way.  Seeds of the finest sorts of rhubarb, as this plant does well here and comes into use early.  We want much, too, the seeds of English and American forest trees, and of flowering shrubs, and evergreens, these are not to be procured here.  A small choice collection of fruit trees would be well worth bringing, such as would be valuable to graft from, including peach and nectarine etc.  If thou shouldst be disposed to bring and shouldst find it convenient to do so, an assortment of such for thyself and wouldst bring likewise two or three of a sort for my father, he would be very glad to share in the first cost of them and in the expense of getting them out ...   Do not be deterred from bringing flower seeds by any accounts of the beauty of our wildflowers, they are not in the least more beautiful, that I can see, than the English wild flowers.  And I think it would be quite worth while to try to get over a bushel or so of good potatoes, there are scarcely any here, and if found to answer they would sell well for seed, they must be of a kind that will stand dry weather well, and of a good size.

      27 April 1842, Rev TQ Stow, to a friend in Canada

      Our rivers are few, but our creeks and chains of pools numerous; and wells are sunk when surface water fails.  These require digging in many places but a few feet ...

      You will be somewhat surprised to learn, that, although five years old only, our colony boasts of 250,000 sheep, 16,000 cattle, 1,303 horses and of minor livestock a corresponding multitude.  The chief cause of this abundance has been the overland route from NSW; to which may be added, the large and rapid increase to which our pastures and clime are so favourable ...

      Colonel Gawler did, no doubt, care sincerely for us; but his notions of expenditure had no bounds as yet ascertained.  The old Commissioners held our purse, and would have curbed his late Excellency, had it not been that Col Torrens, by a turn all his own, procured their dismissal, and the appointment of Lord John Russell's Three, who gave the reins to our Governor and permitted him to gallop along, dragging the colony with him, until both plunged into their present unhappiness ...  Misery was inevitable.  The large expenditure upon buildings had kept people in the city at wages so extravagant as to fill the farmer with despair....

      All at once, wages cease, trade languishes, merchants fail, property sinks to a third, business is stagnant, and our colony gets a bad name ...  Our soil, climate and varied capabilities, remain unaltered amidst all this mismanagement and mistake.

      Although cultivation has been so long delayed, the land under tillage last year was 8,000 acres.  This year, a far wider extent is being cultivated.  It is confidently believed that our next harvest will be far more than adequate to the home demand, and that we shall export flour and grain.  Butter and cheese have already been sent to Sydney, and will be an increasing export.  These articles are always cheaper here than in the neighbouring colonies, on account of the nearness of our pastures.  Meat is as low as 5.5d per pound, which in these early days, is thought remarkable, and with our grain prospects, promises cheap living in SA.

      The Aborigines of SA

      Medicine - Internal pains are attributed to sorcery or general vermin.  The remedy consists in applying the mouth to the surface where the pain is seated, and the blood sucked out and a bunch of gum leaves waved over the surface.  For headachee, pains in the abdomen and extremities, other modes are sometimes adopted - the sick person lies stretched on the ground whilst another presses with his feet or hands the aching part, or cold water is sprinkled over, and gum leaves used as before ...

      For exterior sores, wood ashes or the astringent bark of the wattle, are applied to the surface of the sores.  Superficial wounds are left to themselves.

      Some ingenious German settlers forseeing the extent of grain likely to be produced in the district, have purchased land near the junction of Cock's Creek, with the Onkaparinga, and commenced the erection of a water-power mill and are said to be far advanced in the undertaking.  As this is the only creek we are aware of within a reasonable distance of Adelaide, which really runs all the year through, and with a rapid descent, we have no doubt in a few years, it will be occupied with mills throughout its whole course.

      SA News, 16 Jan 1843

      Letter 10 Aug 1842 to friends in England from a Settler in Adelaide

      Vegetables are now in great plenty and very reasonable, plenty of milk, butter etc, all of which tend to prevent illness.  Bread is now much better than it used to be, when I came, you never could get a sweet loaf - always sour, being made of what is called Sydney bread stuff and barrel flour; now owing to better flour being in the market, they cannot dispose of the stuff at any price.

      Exportable produce in SA

      Our attention has been called to the manufacture of cheese and butter in this province, and portion of one of the former of these articles by Mr TN Mitchell, manager of the Cattle Company at the Mt Barker station, and subsequently sent on a voyage to India by the Guinea, has been left at our office for inspection ...

      The sample is now scarcely 12 months old, it is due to Mr Mitchell to say, that it fully equals the ripe Cheshire produced in the English market, and that much praise is due to him for having brought the capabilities of the province in this respect so early under the attention of the settlers.  At the present moment, we are told, the Cattle Company are manufacturing cheese at the rate of #1,400 per annum, besides large quantities of butter, both of which are being sold for the purposes of exportation, to the neighbouring colonies ...

      We urge upon the settlers the necessity of their turning their attention to this branch of industry.  Hundreds and thousands of pounds might doubtless be made annually by the establishment of dairies, instead of allowing the cattle as they do now to run half wild in the bush.  Besides, as inducements to this, it is to be remembered, that the profits are enormous, these being estimated at 75%, and moreover, that they are of easy attainment, nothing being required for their realisation beyond a little daily attention, which can easily be spared by country settlers from other important employments. Southern Australian 5 Aug 1842.

      SA News, 15 Feb 1843

      The fencing in of the country sections being an important step in the improvement of new land in the colonies, and this being a subject, on which apprehension has been felt by intending settlers, as to the supposed great outlay required ...  The usual custom is to enclose the land in large blocks, and sub-divisions are seldom necessary, save on farms where the breeding of particular stock is a main object of attention.  To speak then of the modes and expenses of fencing land in sections of 80 acres.

      Artificial draining being but seldom necessary, ditching is not often resorted to, being the most expensive, and requiring the greatest after-attention; but, in general, timber-fencing is found to be the most economical and effectual method for the settler to adopt; of course, a hedge should be sown or planted within the fence, if he is desirous of permanently improving his land.

      There are many varieties of timber fences, but ... two of the most important are post and rail, and what is sometimes called 'kangaroo' fencing; the term (derived from the chief - indeed almost the only - animal for chase in the colony) is applied also to a species of grass; and signifies, in both cases, something tall, straight and strong; the kangaroo grass is particularly stately in appearance, and where a plot of it is suffered to grow, untouched by the cattle, it bears some resemblance to a field of wheat; especially when the sun of an Australian November begins to ripen its seeds, and to give to the prairie the rich look of harvest.

      The stringybark tree, which is found growing in the hills, in most parts of the colony, is that which is most worked by the splitters, whether for posts and rails, or for finer stuff. Though the forests adjacent to the well settled districts, have been thinned of their best trees, yet, by going a few miles back, the men employed in this pursuit have no difficulty in supplying their customers.  Posts and rails are, in general, sold 'lying at the stump', and their price may be stated at 15/- per 100; of course, both the posts and the rails are in the rough state, just as they are split out ...  The expense of cartage is about 15/- per 100, when the timber is not more than 6-7 miles from the settlers station, and when it is much more distant, he should hesitate in adopting this kind of fence; the 'putting up' may be estimated at 10-12/- per 10 0: the whole expense of enclosing 80 acres in a block, with a post and 4-rail fence, is about 90 pounds.

      Where stringybark is distant, and the gum trees in the neighbourhood appear not to split well - as few of them do - an 'upright or kangaroo fence' is the best in most cases; this costs about 2s 6d in most cases ...  This fence consists of pieces of timber, split or whole, as straight as can be procured, (the casuarina, or as the colonists term it, the 'sheaoak' is good for this purpose) these pieces are cut to 7' in length, placed close and upright in a trench 2' deep, are well rammed, and have rough battens, often of wattle saplings, nailed along the top to give support to the whole.  The nails form a considerable item in the expense, and the fence can hardly be supposed to last so long, as one composed of posts and rails, from so much of its material being placed in the ground, where it may rot, although that process may be delayed and modified by charring the butt-ends of the pices.

      Both these modes of inclosure are of a neat appearance and ought to be strong enough to resist the push of cattle, and high enough (about 4' 9") to prevent their leaping over into the wheat grounds, or breaking out from their own paddocks, where they are thus confined.  The bottom rail ought to be close to bar all ingress of sheep or pigs.  Stock yards ought to have 5 or 6 rails and the top rail at least 6' from the ground.  The timber also requires to be of extra strength and size.

      SA News, 15 Feb 1843

      Letter to parents in Paisley, Scotland, from JW, Onkaparinga 28 March 1842

      Our melons are most delicious when ripe, and when green, they make excellent fillings for tarts; we had them lately as large as weighed 21 lbs ...  As regards vermin, we have the mouse and a sort of rat, no so large as those with you, some larger, and som smaller, and the white and found in rotten trees; they also build mounds or combs on the ground; these the natives eat; we have also a flying ant ...

      Butcher meat cannot be excelled; the beef, mutton, pork and lamb, of which I have partaken, were very good.  The mutton fed on our new station, is like pork in fatness.  Vegetables grow here to hte highest state of perfection; early turnips, some 3' in circumference, and onions as large as the large Portugal onions I have seen at home; cauliflowers grow very large; peas in the garden grow well and bear abundantly.

      SA News 15 July 1843

      Benjamin Dean, formerly of Saighton, near Chester, wrote home to his brother, dated 5 Dec 1842.

      We are in the middle of harvest on the plains; reapers very dear and scarce, from 25w to 30s perstatute acre, and plenty of grog and rations; soldiers are all ordered out to assist, and tradesmen leaving their shops to do the same; sickles 10s each, and none to be got...very large melons by dray loads, 6d to 1s each...We have here plenty of steam mills, wind mills, water mills, and bullock mills, thrashing machines, winnowing machines etc...All sorts of agricultural implements are very high; ploughs are #6 to #7 each; wearing apparel is as cheap as in England, so little being worn, no working man has any occasion for either coat or stockings...We have just enjoyed a pie made of native cherries, they are much the size of red currants, and are as sweet as sugar.; the rascally parrots rob us, but still there are hundreds of trees we cannot use...We are shipping a great deal of butter to Sydney and Van Diemen's Land. At this time, the working men are far better off than either merchants or tradesmen; they are all buying a few acres of land from those who have got more acres than pounds, and putting a house up, get a cow, pig, poultry etc

      SA News, 15 Sep 1843

      Letter from Hermann Kook to the 'Hamburgischen Correspondenten'.

      He worked at agricultural pursuits in both Mecklenburg & Holstein for many years.

      The mountain lands, formed from the washings of the mountains into the valleys lying between them, consists of these valleys, and the gentle slopes of the mountains which have often an excellent soil on the slate and chalk formations.  The colour of the surface is black throughout and the soil varies from a sandy loam to a strong clay.  The appearance of these lands at once prepossesses the farmer in their favour, and his good opinion is supported by the luxuriance of the pasture, which remains fresh almost through the whole year. The soil indeed has this peculiarity taht it will not produce the first year or two without manuring; sheep dung, ashes and siminlar manures effect however extraordinary results ...

      It appears to me that this soil ... becomes, through the agency of the winter rains too much hardened, thereby causing the plants to cease growing for awhile, and thus preventing their roots from afterwards sufficientlyh spreading themselves.  The mixed manure by its loosening qualities works kindly in this case ...  To manure the land properly is therefore an art which it takes some time to learn.  We do as well as we can without manuring until we have learnt it ...

      Wheat grows in this country particularly well.  It prospers particularly well, is the safest crop, grows without any great preparation and is also that most in demand.  Most of the fields, as yet under culture, are, whether mainden or stubble, during the dry weather of summer, from about January to March, broken up to a depth of 7 or 8", left until about mid-April to the influence of the sun and rain, and after breaking the large lumps the soil becomes fit to receive the seed.  The wheat is harrowed and rolled either immediately or very soon after after rain, when it is often 3" or 4" in height ...  It cannot be denied that a double ploughing would procure a higher rate of produce, it is often indeed necessary to exterminate the old roots; but it is an important saving to the beginner to be enabled for the first year to do with so small a preparation, and in the mean time to build, grub up trees, or turn his attention to some other object of present advantage.  Here, several wheat crops are taken off in succession, two is the rule, yet there are many fields which have been already sown three times and do very well without being manured.  Beyond this, our experience does not reach, this being only the third year of our farming era, and few experiments have been made during the first and second.

      Barley is next in importance to wheat; the produce is often extraordinary; 30-40 bushels per acre being no uncommon crop.  Its value is commonly low, as no distillation can be carried on in consequence of the excise laws and the few existing brewers mostly purchasing imported malt.  It culture is as simple as that of wheat, but unfortunately the seed time (April & May) of both is the same.  Late sown barley thrives less frequently than late sown wheat and the grain falling out grows strongly as a seed and becomes very troublesome to the subsequent wheat crop ...  Maize has taken and still takes an important place in farming, but almost always miscarries when sown in large quantities; the hoar frosts in the morning, and in summer the north winds kill it.

      The potato grows particularly well in the mountain lands; and although not quite so productive as in Germany, it is well worth cultivating, 112 lbs of potatoes being equal and often superior in value to one bushel of wheat...

      All other vegetable productions belong rather to the garden, and are extraordinarily numerous ... the strawberry, gooseberry, cherry, apricot, peach, almond and fig, grow almost wild ...  All the kitchen herbs also thrive well. It is to be regretted that so little time and capital has been devoted to the rearing of fruit-trees, one great reason of which is that no wild stocks are found proper to graft on - all must be raised from the kernel or imported from other colonies; both of which are difficult in the great heat of summer and many trees perish before they get thoroughly rooted; those that live generally show extraordinary vigor in two years.  Of the finer fruits there are yet but few, and the Germans will have to regret them for another year or two.  Meantime, the melon, which grows in great profusion, must make up for all deficiencies.

      If we consider the difficulty of the first planting, the vine may be said to have made very considerable progress.  A large importation of cuttings arrived here ruined, partly through the jealousy of other colonists, who sent us those which had been taken at a wrong time and many 100s were cast away as useless.  Yet the time is not far distant when we may reckon on making ouor own wine, as the vine grows very well, bears in two years, and in three luxuriantly.  What descriptions of wine the grapes will produce, does not yet appear, but in all probability it will resemble those of Madeira or Spain.

      (Sweet, water and winter Mediterranean melons mentioned in the Ag Show)

      A man with only sufficient money to pay his passage out, will not get on so rapidly, yet if he understands farming business, and is not afraid of work, he will soon be able to lead an independent life, for the wages of labour are still comparatively high, about #1 a week, in the harvest about 24s and rations; thus, he who works for others is well paid, while he who works for himself either saves valuable capital or adds to it by his labour.  The situation of our German peasantry who from the first were small proprietors ro farmers ... in Hahndorf about 50 families upon 3 sections, proves how much more easy it is to get on here than in Germany, for although they came out burdened with debts, and have been obliged to increase them by many thousands, they have yet worked themselves through and now stand very well ...

      One gets accustomed to colonial life in a short time, and the liberty and freedom from conventional restraints, recompense, in some measure, the loss of the agreeables of social life; people are however not unsociable here, and when the first toils and efforts inseparable from a new settlement are over, companionship is sought and found ...

      I would advise any person coming hither not to lay out too much money in clothes or tools; ready money is very valuable, and it is better to buy most of the tools here, such as are made for the colony.  Those which are brought out are often useless, and become broken with out hard woods.  It is not even advisable to bring even the plouoghs, although it costs here 6 pounds or 7 pounds.  The German ploughs hardly penetrate the earth in summer; at all events, they must be made very strong ...  If anyone would bring out a good Mecklenburgh hoe (Hacken) he would do me a particular favour; I cannot obtain a good one here without a model.  This instrument might be employed in the rainy season with decided advantage, if what in summer usually requires the strength of six oxen, can then be done with 3 or 4 ...

      Two articles which every farmer should provide himself I must mention, since the want of them will be very much felkt; they are scythes and lamps, neither of which are to be had fit for use here ....

      Sea voyages differ little from each other - a stout heart, a small stock of wine or brandy in moderation, strong Spanish wine for the women, a little baked fruit and some portable soup in case of sickness, warm clothing, temperance, and a good stomach for the ship's provisions; this is the quintessence of all the rules that can be given ...

      Though I follow no other business than farming now, my former profession as a land surveyor has made me well acquainted with a great part of the province, and it would give me especial pleasure could I benefit a countryman and by good advice save him from the hands of those who ... avail themselves of his purse, and who have swindled many out of all they brought with them.  I will also readily answer written enquiries on special objects, although the distance is considerable and nearly a year may elapse before the question can be received here and the answer returned.  ????? closed section of land, with a ness. Vegetables grow here to the 15 July 1843.

      Benjamin Dean, formerly of Saighton, near Chester, wrote home to his brother, dated 5 Dec 1842.

      We are in the middle of harvest on the plains; reapers very dear and scarce, from 25w to 30s perstatute acre, and plenty of grog and rations; soldiers are all ordered out to assist, and tradesmen leaving their shops to do the same; sickles 10s each, and none to be got ... very large melons by dray loads, 6d to 1s each ...  We have here plenty of steam mills, wind mills, water mills, and bullock mills, thrashing machines, winnowing machines etc ...  All sorts of agricultural implements are very high; ploughs are 6 pounds to 7 pounds each; wearing apparel is as cheap as in England, so little being worn, no working man has any occasion for either coat or stockings ...  We have just enjoyed a pie made of native cherries, they are much the size of red currants, and are as sweet as sugar; the rascally parrots rob us, but still there are hundreds of trees we cannot use ...  We are shipping a great deal of butter to Sydney and Van Diemen's Land.  At this time, the working men are far better off than either merchants or tradesmen; they are all buying a few acres of land from those who have got more acres than pounds, and putting a house up, get a cow, pig, poultry etc

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