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What do you know about Lenswood?
Established in 1917, Lenswood is the youngest township in the Adelaide hills. The name was derived from the French coal mining town of Lens and marks the contribution of the region to the WWI battlefields of France, although Australians are not known to have fought in the Battle of Lens.
Despite its youth, Lenswood's settlement hails back to South Australia's colonial settlement. The area was then known simply as a part of Stringybark Forest, or The New Tiers. The region's Stringybark timbers and goldfields, attracted many settlers to the district.
The area was settled gradually over the 1850s, when sections of land were offered for sale from £1 an acre. Thomas Neilson Mitchell made the first land purchase in the district in June 1850, naming the land Mitchell's Flat. This name was superseded by others, and by 1866, the area that is the hub of the township today was referred to as Jerry's Flat.
During the 1860s, eucalypt forests were felled and the hilly and undulating tracts of land transformed into vegetable gardens and orchards by forebears of many of today's townsfolk. A school was opened at Jerry's Flat in 1869. An early settler, John Brock Fry, was appointed as school teacher in 1871 and made a significant contribution to education over the next 30 years. He has a large number of descendents still living in the region.
The Lenswood Co-operative Cold Store is the largest apple storage facility in South Australia. Founded in 1933, the co-operative operates some of the most modern and technically advanced purpose-built apple handling facilities in Australia. It sits in the heart of Lenswood's geography and history and is the heart of the local industry.