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Sedan's Heritage Trail

Sedan Heritage Trail



Heritage Trail information proudly presented by the Sedan Progress Association formally the Sedan Rural Community Access Service. Details of the sites on the Heritage Trail have been updated in 2021 to reflect new information from the book “The Plains Capital Sedan 1870-2020”.


Historically, Sedan was a place to pass through. With no permanent surface water, it was only visited seasonally by the local Ngaiawang Aboriginal tribe who lived along the river.

Pastoral leases covered the area from the 1850s. Small huts were built for shepherds. Drovers also traversed the area, with the overland Sidney Track and Station Track intersecting just south of Sedan. In 1860 the Hundred of Bagot was proclaimed. New agricultural land was needed for settlers from the Adelaide Plains, Hills & Barossa which were becoming crowded. The first land sales & grants were in 1869. Some of the early settlers would come down from the Barossa to clear the land and plant crops. They then settled here once they were more established. Early settlers were of German and English extraction. By 1880s, the town was flourishing.

With much community effort by people with foresight, our town & Heritage is what it is today.

Download the Trail PDF

1. JW Pfeiffer House c1871

In c1870 JW Pfeiffer took up land in the newly proclaimed Hundred of Bagot. He had some land sub divided for the town and helped new tradesmen get established and is considered the “Father” of the town. By 1883 there were at least 12 businesses and a Lutheran School & Church. Wilhelm lived in this house with his wife & family, his sons also taking up land at Sedan. Part of the house is pug & pine, with later stone additions around the central chimney. The area abounds with limestone, used in building many early structures. The stone warehouse (left) was added later.

2. Coach Lane

The lane was formed by Paul Zschorn for the convenience of the Mail Coach & continued this use later when the Post office was moved to the School House in 1891. It was removed in 2019.

3. Lutheran Church Hall 1876

The Sedan Lutheran School was conducted here from 1876-1917 when it was closed by the Government. Towitta was the nearest public school until 1912. The Church has used it as a Sunday School and Hall ever since.

4. Pilgrims of Zion Lutheran Church

A Lutheran congregation “Zions Pilger Sedan” was formed in 1871 with services held in members’ homes including Pfeiffer’s and Kaseler’s. The first church was dedicated in Nov 1873. A vestry and Porch were added later. In Nov 1923 a new larger building with a fine bell tower & bell was dedicated. The Vestry remains from the first church. Pastor JC Auricht was the first minister. The distinctive spire is visible for many kilometers and the bell is still rung every service. In 1988 the RSL Memorial was built on the front corner of the Church property.

5. School Teachers House c1878

The Head teacher of the Lutheran School lived here. From 1891-1916 the Post Office was also conducted from here. It has been used as a rental dwelling since the 1930s.

6. Zschorns Store & Congregational Manse c1881

Paul Zschorn built this as a store in 1881 & was the second postmaster 1873-1891. He arranged the first rain gauge for Sedan. From c1907-1941 the Congregational Church rented it as their Manse. The building alongside was a wheat store then used for Sunday School for some years.

7. The Bank of Adelaide Building 1913

Built for the Bank with a house for the manager, it later became the ANZ bank & closed in 1996.

8. The house of HA Zadow 1908

Built for Papa Zadow, a room was rented for the Bank from 1909 until a building was completed up the street. Papa Zadow was the District Clerk 1902-1946. He was a very community minded man, lobbying for the telephone, town bore, flood mitigation, railway, and many other improvements for the district.

9. Sedan Water Storage Tank

CE Rasmus built the tank for water storage. A Bore had been sunk behind in 1906 and provided the town with a low quality, low volume but assured water supply for stock. The Travellers Rest and Public toilets are modern additions.

10. The Sedan Hotel

Built in 1881 for licensee R Fothringham on 1 acre purchased from JW Pfeiffer and owned by his descendants until 1950s. Additions were made in the 1930s. About 10 years ago, it reverted to freehold. A large Pepper tree used to stand at the front right corner.

11. The Town Obelisk

Built in 1939 to help with traffic flow. The unusually wide road here was due to the meeting of numerous roads in the centre of town. In 2010 for the towns 140th Anniversary a mosaic was added.

12. Commercial Bank premises/Wine Club/ Post Office c1883

Leased to the bank in 1883 by EF Pfeiffer, it closed after 18 months and was then the Sedan Wine Club 1891-1919 & the Post Office 1919-1992.

13. Pursches Cottage

Johann Wilhelm Pursche & his wife Marie Agnes (nee Zilm) lived here with their nine children.

14. Sedan Flour Mill 1881

Built for JW Pfeiffer by Mason Latz, operations commenced in early 1882 under Mr Cunnigham then W Tucker. A large well had to be built for water. It closed for a number of years in the 1890s due to insufficient water. (drought) Buckerfields took over in 1903, enlarged the well & changed to a gas fired charcoal engine. In 1928 CH Glatz installed a Benz diesel/oil engine. This was changed to electricity in 1958. It closed in 1966.

15. Police Station 1906

First used a drapery by P Klose from c1906, the government purchased the building for a Police Station in 1913. Before this, law and order were provided by District Constables who were locals, selected for each area on a one-year appointment. The first officers stationed here were Mounted Constables and later First Class or Senior Constables. In 1971 the Station closed. The ”lock up” is now at the Cambrai Agricultural Museum.

16. Agricultural and Machinery Factory 1882

Built by Linkes of Moculta and taken over by Fritz Zilm in c1884, he did black- smith work & made agricultural machinery. The gates of the Lutheran Church stand as examples of his work. Fred Tamke took over in 1913 until it closed c1950. A house was added later.

17. Sedan Primary School 1918

Built on land donated by WJ Lang, it was necessitated by the forced closure of the Lutheran School during WW1. It was al- ways a well-supported and equipped School. It closed in 2008 due to low num- bers. The plough mounted for the 50th Jubilee in 1968 and the school bell are now in front of the Lutheran Church.

18. Sedan Hall (Institute) 1912

Built in 1912 on land donated by Martin Lehmann, the first public school was held here 1912-1918. The Congregational Church used it for services 1912- 1919. A supper rooms was added in 1953 and the foyer & toilets in 1970 for the towns Centenary. The old tennis courts are behind the hall (tennis is now played at Sedan Recreation Park).

19. Woolford Memorial Church 1919

Built in 1919 for the Congregational Church and closed in 1953. Later used by the RSL & for a museum, the CFS station was built along side in the 1980s.

20. Two Storey Dwelling c1894

Built for Rudolph Schwanefeldt by Mason Nickolai, he was not happy with the mortar one end and had him rebuild it! It supposedly was to be a boarding house for the Railway but the Railway was further out & only opened many years later. It was a warehouse & later uses were a Butcher, Pool Hall and a Takeaway.

21. Petneys Garage

First business on the site was a Saddlery owned by Schaches 1897-1907. James R Petney then built a Garage by the 1920s. From 1956—1981 it was Ray Stiller Motors selling GMH Holdens and Fergusson tractors. The garage continued until 1992 when the Post Office moved here.

22. Corner Store c1880

Built for the Lehmann’s who were leather craftsmen and who later ran a mixed business. In c1901 P Klose had a Drapery here and Philip Marshall had a Saddlery 1913-1929. His nephew Ralph ran it as a Deli and tea rooms. It closed in 1974. Since the 1960s it has also been a doctor’s rooms Red Cross Shop & Antiques shop.

23. Oasis Garage c1927

Built for Tony Ohlymeyer for his mechanical business, it was then run by several other from the 1930’s then Les Tamke c1948-1996.

24. Sedan Lutheran Cemetery

Burials commenced in 1874. Many early settlers are buried here. Many of the early head stones are written in German. The oldest recorded grave is of Hanna Marschall in 1874. A Stone Wall was built in c1891, replaced in 1970 by a brick one & then metal one in 2021. The gates are replicas of ones stolen in 1993.

25. Sedan Recreation Park 1914

Commencing in 1914, early sports were moved here after its completion. Football and cricket were played in early years and Cycle racing until c1960. The buildings have been upgraded over the years. In 1985 Football resumed after numerous years and netball. This ceased in 2007 due to watering costs. Tennis is still played here. The Rotunda: Built by Rasmus’ in 1935. The Sedan Brass Band was in existence c1884-1913, then c1923-c1958. They won the street march at Nuriootpa in 1937.

26. Sedan Railway Station

After many years of lobbying, the first train arrived in Sedan 13th October 1919. (Sedan was the Terminus). Many trains loaded with wood, lime and grain were carted from here & heavy goods brought in. A Station Masters house was added in 1920 and a reservoir (dam) for water for the steam trains. In 1964 the line closed from Cambrai but opened for 12 months in 1967 to cart for the Swan Reach Stockwell Pipeline. In the 1970s the line was removed.

27. The Lime Kilns

The Lime Kilns were operated by Louis Hunnerup from c 1926. Hugh Glastonbury took over in 1951. Five or six men were employed here until it closed in 1971.


Stone Walls—Sedan Hill (Stott Highway), Pine Hut Road
Ruins (Stables)—View from Tamkes Road or Ridley Road
Memorial Garden—Sedan Park (Ridley Road)
Travellers Rest—Bank Street
RSL Memorial—Town Centre in front of the church
School Bell—Town Centre in front of the church
Ruins—Corner of Whitehouse Road and Stott Highway

Download the Trail PDF



Sedan, South Australia



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

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 Progress Association
Brochures are available in Sedan and at various tourism outlets in the region.


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