South Australia

The Village of Grunthal (now called Verdun) South Australia

The small town of Grunthal was named by its Prussian original settlers around 1840. The township is about 4kms from Hahndorf. By nomenclature it was renamed from its ‘Green Valley’ meaning to ‘Verdun’ in 1917 after after one of the bloodiest battles of WW1, the Battle of Verdun. The battle primarily between German and French troops has become known as the most costly battle in human terms ever in history. Unfortunally that naming of the town was never returned to that set forward by its original colonists.

It would seem that the area was also a meeting place of Aboriginal tribes, with coroborees also taking place in the area. The colonists would have lived alongside indigenous culture. (anthropologysocietysa Journal June 1987)

The feature image is of the Grunthal Mine Today – Boilerhouse, Engine Room and Crushing Plant by Dave Walsh in 2013.

The mine started in 1870 after the discovery of copper.

A study completed by Patricia Sumerling called: ‘Hotels in the Adelaide Hills: patterns of development’, indicates that although the ‘Stanley Bridge’ hotel was licensed in 1853 but it took until 1875 for the township of Grunthal to be surveyed.  It is thought to originally been a travellers’ stop-over for those journeying between Balhannah and Bridgewater.

The hotel at Grunthal started business in 1851 and became know as the Stanley Bridge Tavern. The establishment is ominous in Hoffmann family history terms. I’m not sure though of the origins of the name ‘Stanley Bridge’. There was a town/property called Stanley Bridge. The South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900)  Wed 7 Oct 1874  Page 8 lists a sale:

On THURSDAY, October 15, at 12 o’clock IN WHITE’S ROOMS, ADELAIDE.
JAMES H. PARR has received instructions to sell, as above.
All that PIECE of LAND, situate near GRUNTHAL, being part of Section No. 4083, in the Hundred of Onkaparinga, County Adelaide, containing in all 55 acres 1 rood 20 perches, or thereabouts, together with the Stone Dwelling House thereon.
This property is intersected by the main road to Adelaide, and is all fenced in. There is a good Garden and Orchard, in which there is a never failing spring of Water, and is bounded on one side by the Onkaparinga River. There are two Freestone Quarries on the property, which is known as Stanley’s, near Stanley Bridge Grunthal
The proposed Railway to the Murray will run through part of this property.
This is after the death of John Stanley which is recorded in the The South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900)  Wed 14 Jan 1874  Page 4:
STANLEY. On the 11th January, at his residence, Grunthal, Mr. John Stanley late of Stanley Bridge, aged 64 years. An old and much respected colonist.




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