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Sedan's Heritage Trail

Sedan Heritage Trail

The Sedan Rural Community Access Service proudly presents

Heritage Trail through Sedan

Historically Sedan was a place to pass through. With no surface water it was only visited seasonally by Aborigines who lived along the River Murray or those who lived in the hills. White settlers lived seasonally in little huts that dotted the countryside.

They visited in the spring and winter, fed their stock and returned to the hills when the feed ran out. The Overlanders, using the ‘Old Sydney Track’, which was the stock route between the Eastern States and Adelaide, passed through Sedan.

The Hundred of Bagot was proclaimed on the 19th of April 1860. It was one of the many land releases of the time, relieving pressure on the Adelaide Plains and Hills for the developing Colony. People were then able to cultivate the land and settle permanently.

Early settlers were the Germans, seeking religious freedom, from Silesia and the British who sought better living conditions. With much Community effort by people with foresight our town and our heritage is what it is today.

Sedan Walking Trail Map

Sedan, South Australia

1. J.W. Pfeiffer House c1870

In 1869 Johann Wilhelm Pfeiffer came to this region in search of new land. He founded the township of Sedan and sponsored many new settlers, providing dwellings and workshops for the trades people needed in the new town

By 1883 at least twelve businesses were trading and a school was established. Wilhelm lived in this pug and pine cottage with his wife Johanne Louise. They came with seven children and had twins three years later. Note the limestone cornerstones carved out of the bedrock, which lies just below the surface of half the town.

2 Coach Lane

The lane was formed for the convenience of the mail coaches picking up mail from the school master’s house. In 1891 the Post Office was located in the Lutheran School, now the Church Hall.

3 Lutheran Church Hall c1876

The Sedan Lutheran Day School was conducted here from 1876 – 1917. All classes were conducted in German. The nearest Public school was at Towitta.

4 Pilgrims of Zion Lutheran Church

The Church was dedicated on the 23rd November 1873 with sixteen foundation members. The first Pastor was J Auricht 1870-1907. Later a much larger church was built to replace the first, with the addition of a front porch, tower and bell. On completion, dedication took place in 1923. The vestry attached at the rear of the building remains as part of the original. The distinctive spire is visible for many kilometres and the bell is rung regularly. The first church services in the town were held in Pfeiffer House.

5 The Original School Masters' House c1873

Mr. Zschorn ran the Post Office from here. He was the second Post Master appointed. Now a private residence.

6 Congregational Manse c1897

The Reverend Duncan McNaughton served both the Pine Hut and Towitta Churches. Now a private residence.

7 The Bank of Adelaide Building c1912

The building later became the ANZ Bank and closed in 1993. Now a private residence.

8 The House of H.A. Zadow

'Pappa Zadow' was the Clerk of the District Council of Sedan from 1902 - 1946. His residence also housed the first council office for Sedan. Now a private residence.

9 Sedan Water Storage Tank c1920

Built by Carl E. Rasmus, and instigated by 'Papa Zadow' during the time he was Clerk, the tank was filled with a bore supplying water of poor quality, but it was certainly a bonus for the community, and the stock passing through.

10 The Sedan Hotel 1881

The hotel was originally licensed in 1881 by Mr. R. Fotheringham. He or his descendants held ownership until 1950 when the South Australian Brewing Company purchased it for £11,000. In the 1980s it reverted to private ownership.

11 The Town Obelisk

The central sign post was built in 1946 after the war. Built by Carl and Jack Rasmus together with the Sedan Progressive Association

12 The Commercial Bank Premises c1883

The building was leased to the bank by J.W. Pfeiffer in 1884. It was later used by the Sedan Mens Club (1912) for organising local events, and was for many years the Post Office. Now a private residence.

13 Pursche's Cottage

Johann Wilhelm Pursche and his wife Maria Ottilie Agnes (nee Zilm) lived here. They were blessed with nine children.

14 Sedan Steam Flour Mill c1881

Built by J.W. Pfeiffer with the assistance of mason Latz. The clay for the bricks came out of what is now the nearby dam. Operation commenced 6th January 1882. Pfeiffer owned and occupied the mill for a number of years until the spring water became insufficient.

Buckerfield increased the size of the well and installed a gas engine fuelled by charcoal. This ran until 1928 when a Benz Diesel/Oil Engine was installed.

It had many owners and modifications. In 1958, the mill was powered by electricity. It produced good quality flour for 80 years, closing in 1966. Now a private residence.

15 Police Station and Cells c1912

District Constables were appointed from respectable ratepayers by the District Council and given responsibility as laid down by the Crown Solicitor in 1865. In 1912 responsibility for law and order was placed in the hands of the South Australian Police Force.

The Police Station was manned by Mounted Constables until 1948 when First Class or Senior Constables upheld the law. The station was closed on the 8th July 1971. Cells are at the rear of the property. Now a private residence.

16 Agriculture Implement and Machine Factory c1882

A most useful workshop to make and repair wagon wheels, wagons and farm machinery. It later became Tamke's Blacksmiths Shop. The cottage nearer the road became the home of blacksmith, Mr. F. Zilm and his family. Now a private residence.

17 Sedan Primary School c1918

Supported by parents and community the school is well equipped. The first wheelbarrow purchased by the Mother's Club is mounted in the front yard. Mr. Lesley was the first teacher.

18 Sedan Hall c1912

The Hall was opened in 1912 on land donated by Mr. Martin Lehmann. A plaque on the Hall wall commemorates those involved.

It was the location of the first Public School which ran from 1912 - 1917, when a new purpose-built Primary School was built in John Street. It housed the first library and the RSL Club for many years.

19 Woolford Memorial Methodist Church c1919 - 1953

In later years it was used as the R.S.L. Club and then a local Museum. It is currently used by the Sedan Country Fire Service.

20 The Storey Dwelling & Warehouse c1894

Originally built for Mr. Schwanefeldt by mason Nicolai. It was intended as a guest house for the railway passengers. The first train arrived in 1919 the station was located further out of the town than anticipated. It has had many uses - Zerner's Butcher Shop being a more recent one. Now a private residence.

21 Petney's Garage c1920

Jim R. Petney opened the first motor garage and sold T Model Fords. He was succeeded by his brother Art. From 1956 to 1981 it was Ray Stiller Motors selling GMH Holdens and Fergusson tractors.It is now Sedan post office and Secondhand and Collectables store with fuel and shop.

22 Marshall's Tea Rooms, Corner Store & Residence

After a number of years Gottleib Lehmann sold part of Section 41 to Phillip Marshall,who ran a boot and harness repair business. It has been used for several enterprises over the time, including Doctor's rooms. Now a private residence with corner room Red Cross Shop.

23 Oasis Garage c1927

H. A. Zadow engaged c Emil Rasmus to build the garage to provide better premises for Tony Ohlmeyer's mechanical business, which started behind Marshall's Tea Rooms. The late Les Tamke ran this garage after World War Two for fifty years.

24 Sedan Lutheran Cemetery

Holds the graves of many of our early settlers. Many of the early head stones are written in German. The oldest recorded grave is of Hanna Marschall in 1874.

25 Sedan Recreation Park & Sports Club Inc c1916

Formed on land donated by the late Hermann Seidel, the Park is run by a committee, to provide facilities for various activities. The local Football and Netball Club play here. The Park has been used for many community events, and bicycle racing on the track, which is evident as the raised area around the inside of the oval.

The Rotunda 1935 stands as a memorial to the Brass Band days. Sedan's Town Band was a competitive group and won the 1937 Street March at the Nuriootpa Show. Before the rotunda was built, practice was held in Adolph Seidel's home, last house on the Blanchetown Road, eastern side.

26 The site of the Sedan Railway Station c1919

The first train arrived in Sedan at 12.34 pm on October 13th 1919 and departed the next day at 1.50 pm. Many trains loaded with wood, lime, wool and wheat went to Adelaide and returned with super phosphate and heavy goods. The line closed in 1964 but reopened in December 1966 for twelve months, to bring pipes and water for the laying of the Swan Reach to Stockwell Pipeline. The Railway Dam which fills after good rains, provided water for the steam trains.

27 The Lime Kiln

The kiln was operated by Mr. Hunnerup for many years from the early 1920's producing both agricultural and builder's lime. It was taken over by the late Mr. Hugh Glastonbury who employed five or six men until it closed in 1971.

Other historical walks in the area:

Museums in the area:

  • Swan Reach Museum - Phone (08) 8570 2019
  • Cambrai Agricultural Museum - Phone (08) 8564 5013. Open 1st Sunday of the month 11am-3pm.
  • Mannum Dock Museum - Phone (08) 8569 1303
  • Old Days and Old Ways - Mannum - Phone (08) 8569 1852
  • The Old Engines Museum - Mannum - Phone (08) 8569 1852

History Books for the area:

(from which much of the information for this walk was taken)

  • History of Settlement, Rhine Villa - Cambrai and Beyond, Compiled by Heather Schirmer.
  • Keyneton .......... 1839-1980 G B Saegenschnitter.
  • Prosperity and Failure - A brief history of the Murray Flats and surrounding areas from 1836 -1900 R S Munchenberg
  • Sanderston...Where's that? compiled by Helen Maxwell.
  • Swan Reach South Australia Small Town - Big History. A Social Reflection 1846 - 1996. David and Christine Tuckwell.
  • The History of Sedan and Area 1866 - 1986. C Royal updated by H. Glastonbury
  • Truro - The Travellers Rest, R S Muchenberg.

Site signs, including the map, with support from the Mid Murray Council.
Trail information proudly presented by the Sedan Rural Community Access Service Inc
Brochures are available in Sedan and at various tourism outlets in the region.


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