Meadows Community Association

History

The following is an edited extract from a discussion paper produced by historian and Meadows150 committee member, Sally Stephenson.

An evolving town

The township of Meadows was not drawn up from the outset; it evolved over a few decades. The name "The Meadows" was first used in 1839 to describe the 4000 acre parcel of land otherwise known as the Seventh Special Survey. The survey was completed by 23 December, 1839 and the first land sold in 1840. However, there was no town of Meadows at this time.

Settlers gradually took up land in this region from 1840, but one would not have described it as a township, merely a scattering of farms.

The land that now forms much of the township of Meadows was not originally surveyed as township allot-ments. There were four large sections of land:Sections 3486 and 3491 immediately north of Mill Street and Sections 3487 and 3490 to the south.

Mill Street was at that stage the main street. The current pattern of township allotments resulted mainly from the subdivision of the sections north of Mill Street. Subdivision of Section 3491 occurred from 1859. Section 3486 was sub-divided from 1866. Subdivision of these Sections provided the land for a number of important public buildings in Meadows including St George's Church, the District Council of Kondoparinga chambers (behind the former institute building, now Gas-light Antiques), the Oddfellows Hall (now the Gateway Gallery), the Wesleyan Church (since replaced by the Uniting Church), the school house (now Meadows Bakery), the Kondoparinga Butter Factory (replaced by the South Australian Farmer's Union factory, now the Meadows Memorial Hall) and the Post Office.

 

Becoming a proper town

Would one describe Meadows as a proper town if there was no road leading to it? Before 1864, there was only a bush track. The main road from Happy Valley and Clarendon reached Meadows in 1864. At this time, the main street was re-routed and what is now Mawson Road became the main through-road.

One could argue that a locality is not a proper town until it has a Post Office. Although a postmaster was appointed in 1850, there wasn't a separate Post Office until the 1860s. Prior to that, the Post Office was part of the general store which also accommodated the privately-run school).

By 1866, Meadows was clearly a township. In R. P. Whitworth's "South Australian Gazetteer" of 1866 Meadows was described as follows:

The district is an agricultural and pastoral one, both cattle and sheep being grazed, and wheat, potatoes, and grapes cultivated. eadows has a steam silk-dressing flour mill and a tannery, a post office, a store, a literary institute and licensed school, and a public pound. There is one hotel – the Meadows Inn… There is communication with Kangarilla by weekly coach, and with Kangarilla, Echunga, and Macclesfield by horse and dray only. With Adelaide the communication is by Goble's weekly conveyance, via Kangarilla, Clarendon, Coromandel Valley, and Unley… There is a carrying office in the township for the conveyance of goods per horse wagon to Adelaide…. Timber is abundant… There is plenty of stone to be had, suitable either for building purposes or for road metal. Gold has been found in small quantities in the neighbourhood. The population is small and scattered.
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