Location:     The 'Pines' - Beaumont Road, Verdun

Extract from the Hahndorf Village Voice Issue #31, Spring 2012

"The Pines”, an historic heritage-listed homestead and property, was settled by J J Gallasch in 1847 at Grunthal (Green Valley), now known as Verdun.

In 1838, Johann Joseph Gallasch and his wife, Veronika, left Zbaszyn in Poland for religious and economic reasons. They travelled with a group of Prussian German Lutherans via Hamburg, sailing on the ship “Catharina” to arrive at Port Misery (just south of Pt Adelaide) during the last week of January 1839.

The family briefly lived in tents in 1839 at the Old Port, before moving to Glen Osmond.  They moved to Hahndorf in 1841, and then to the nearby new settlement of Grunthal in 1843.  Most of the houses at this time were crude dwellings constructed of mud and slab.  Johann, a weaver by trade, became a farmer and market gardener once he moved to the Hills.  In 1847, he purchased Section 3928 of 82 acres of prime farming land at Grunthal (Verdun), which is still owned and farmed by the Gallasch family.  Vegetables, fruit, wheat and dairy products were first grown on the property.  The life was a hard one.  The women would carry the produce to the Adelaide market on foot, returning the next day with supplies.

A second mud and slab house was built on the property in the 1850s.  It was in 1875 that the present heritage listed two storey stone homestead was built by son Eduard, the father of 14 children. The stone was quarried from the property.  Stone from this quarry was later used to build Sir Hans Heysen’s studio and the old Hahndorf Band Rotunda.

A German style farmyard consisting of several stone buildings developed in the late 1850s and 60s.  Two stone and slab barns with wooden roof shingles,
stone stable, two storey apple and vegetable store shed, stone blacksmith and bone dust room, stone trap shed and a carriage shed were erected in a semi-circle.  In the centre stands a majestic Quercus Robur German Oak tree, planted later in the 1890s.  This oak tree is now on the National Trust Tree Register.  An old German bell, which once hung on the tree and was rung to call the workers in from their labours at mealtimes, is overgrown and preserved within the structure of the tree.

Over the years the property has been expanded and developed by Johann’s descendents.  Land use has varied from cereal growing, market gardening, potato growing, dairy farming, fruit growing, beef grazing and fodder growing.  Great, great, grandson Tony and his wife Coral now own and farm the property, growing beef, fodder and cherries.  Over more than three decades Tony and Coral have more than doubled the size of the holding to 360 acres.

The productivity of this historic property has proved itself over the years.  Now, new Government regulations have serious implications to the viability of future farming enterprises for the seventh direct generation, who love visiting the farm and their heritage.

It has been claimed that this is the only farm in South Australia that is still owned, lived in and operated continuously by the same family from the time of the State’s settlement.

“Pick your own cherries” are available at “The Pines”, Beaumont Road, Verdun, from mid December.
Please phone: 83887048 or 0428829534 for more information