Bookpurnong Lutheran Church and Cemetery, South Australia South Australia


The Hundred of Bookpurnong, in County Alfred was proclaimed on 15 June 1893. Its name comes from two Aboriginal words, bookani-to swim and purnong-the wide place. The Bookpurnong run was established by Richard Holland in 1868, lease number 1658 on country originally held by John Chambers.

By the turn of the century there were several Lutherans living in the area and they established what became known as the Pilgrims of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. They had been worshipping in the home of the Pfeiffer family but in 1901 a pug and pine building was erected to serve as church and school.

A proper Lutheran Congregation was founded with the help of Pastors L.E. Kuss and his son M. Kuss in 1910. Among the founding members were the Pfeiffer, Nitschke, Schwarz, Quast, Hombsch, Obst, and Rothe families. Adolph and Minna Schwarz were among the first to start farming at Bookpurnong. Their descendants celebrated 100 of farming at Bookpurnong in June 2007.

A new church/school building was completed on section 27 and opened on 27 April 1913. This served for just over ten years after which the foundation stone was laid for the present church which was dedicated on 7 September 1924. The school closed in 1943. The nearby cemetery on section 58 was laid out in July 1920 and the first registered burial was that of Johann Albert Obst, age 27 on 20 April 1922.

Below are SOME of the headstones of the Bookpurnong Cemetery. In an attempt to save as much space as possible and increase the speed of downloading, only part of the stone is displayed. Flinders Ranges Research has a full photograph of each of these, and many others as well.


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