Moculta South Australia


Some of the earliest leaseholders in the Moculta area were migrants from Ireland, England, Scotland and Germany. Amongst the very first were Joseph Keynes of North Rhine, now Keyneton, William and Abraham Shannon and Pulteney Murray, all from Gumeracha but originally from England, Ireland and Scotland.

Joseph Keynes arrived in 1842 followed by William Shannon in 1843. William's son Abraham, although he had migrated before his father, settled in the Moculta area in 1845. Pulteney Murray arrived in 1847 and took up land next to the Shannons.

By the early 1850s land was also taken up by German migrants who had already settled at Hahndorf, Hoffnungsthal and Bethany. Several of them had been previously known to each other as they had sailed to South Australia on ships like the Skjold, La Rochelle, Zebra, Prince George and the George Washington.

One of the first German families to settle in the Moculta area was that of Gottlob Linke in 1853. They called it Grunberg. The Schilling family soon followed, became large land holders and were to play an important role in the district. Within a short time many other German families also settled in the area and religious services were conducted in private homes until a church was built at Grunberg in 1859.

Another Lutheran Congregation was formed during this time and they built their church and named it Gnadenberg. As land became hard to get after the 1860s new farming land was surveyed by the government during the 1870s and 1880s. Many of the Schilling children and grandchildren followed the rush to the newly opened up Hundreds and aquired land in such places as Booleroo, Bendleby, Belton and Pyap. Some of them settled along the River Murray, Yorke Peninsula or even as far away as Victoria, New South Wales or Western Australia.

Abraham Shannon, originally from Ireland, arrived in South Australia in 1839 and first lived at Gumeracha where he was later joined by his brother David. In 1843 their father William also migrated, with his second wife Mary Moore, his first wife Jane Hopkins having died in England, and settled near Angaston on land which they called Duck Ponds.

The Shannon family soon became very friendly with their neighbours, the Murrays. They had a school built on the border of their properties and employed a teacher to educate their numerous children. Three of Abraham's eldest children married Murray children. Abraham did well. He leased and bought more land and built a substantial house of 11 rooms. Abraham married Eliza Mahood, fourth child of John Mahood and Catharine Wallace.

Abraham tried his luck at the Victorian gold rushes and was later appointed a Justice of the Peace. Abraham also had part of his property surveyed, by Carl von Bertouch in 1865, for a township which was called Moculta. The blocks went on sale on 21 October 1865. Some of the earliest residents were, Franz Brezinsky, Eduard Cowland, Hermann Dannenberg, C. Jacobs, T. Jaehne, B. Kraft, Annie Winter and August Linke.

Within two years, J. August Linke, a blacksmith by trade, had established a workshop. Eventually this grew into a large implement factory which operated until the early 1930s. For many years it employed as many as 45 men and often produced some 80 strippers a year. It also provided the services of blacksmith, wheelwright and carpenter. Many of the young local boys learned their trade at the Linke factory.

Abraham also planned to build a family mausoleum on his property, but died before it could be realised. It was his wife who carried it out. The 20 sided mausoleum was completed in 1876 and has room for 80 internments. So far only 24 have been interned, the last one, Gladys Jean Dean in July 1962.



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