Aberfoyle Park

European history and heritage - suburb profile

During the early 1850s, Christian Sauerbier, who had arrived in South Australia in 1845, aged 31 years, after a journey from Germany through Scotland to New South Wales, purchased land south of Adelaide, near Happy Valley. By 1856, Sauerbier held eleven sections of land in the area.

Local settlers saw themselves part of the 'Happy Valley–Clarendon' region and, by the 1860s, the district was described as ‘agricultural’. Certainly, in later years the Sauerbier family themselves, were renowned for the quality of their stud stock and for the orange grove that was attached to their property.

Nearby to Sauerbier were other farmers, like Richard Gibbons, who had purchased Section 796, Hundred of Noarlunga before 1844. In time, Gibbons built a farm house on what is now Crossings Road.

By 1890, the decidedly agricultural nature of the district was altered when the Mount Malvern Mine was reported as being in operation. Unfortunately, the mine was worked with little success and by the early 1900s had closed.

Christian Sauerbier died in 1893 and the property was taken over by his son, John Chris. During the First World War, when anti-German sentiment was at its height in Australia, John Chris changed his surname to Aberfoyle – possibly a reference to the area of Perthshire, Scotland where his father had lived for a time. In 1923, John Chris died and portion of his estate was subdivided and sold by James Henry Browne.

While agriculture remained the core of the district’s economy, there were also a number of notable vineyards. Inevitably, the farmland was subsumed into suburban expansion and the suburb of Aberfoyle Park was proclaimed on 10 July 1980.

Suburb profile - Aberfoyle Park

First built for Christian Sauerbier by Threadgold of Kangarilla, probably in the 1870s, the house had by the early 1980s become neglected. As new subdivisions arose around its now narrow boundaries the house looked forlorn and was a magnet for vandals.

A community group, encouraged by local government, saw the homestead’s restoration as an important task. Aided by a Bicentennial grant, the local government oversaw a program of conservation and restoration. The homestead has once again become a local landmark.