The Mount Lofty Ranges Local History
The town of Mount Lofty Ranges is located in the Adelaide Hills region, South Australia. The area was first inhabited by the Peramangk Aboriginal people who lived a semi-nomadic life hunting and gathering food in the rugged terrain. The first European explorers to visit the area were Colonel William Light and Charles Sturt in 1838. They named the region Adelaide Hills after the wife of King William IV.
The first European settlement in the area was in 1839, when John Harvey opened a general store near Mount Torrens. This was followed by the establishment of several other stores, a post office, and a hotel. In the mid-19th century, mining for gold and copper started in the Adelaide Hills, and the town of Mount Barker became an important commercial center for the area.
The Mount Lofty Ranges were also a popular location for summer residences for wealthy families in Adelaide. They built grand mansions with expansive gardens to escape the city's heat and enjoy the fresh mountain air. One of the most famous of these residences was Urrbrae House, built by the Waite family in 1891. The house still stands today and is part of the University of Adelaide's Waite campus.
During World War I, several German families living in the Adelaide Hills were interned by the Australian government. They were held in a detention camp located in the town of Mylor for the duration of the war. After the war, many returning soldiers settled in the Adelaide Hills and established orchards and farms.
In the 1930s, the Mount Lofty Ranges became a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to enjoy the scenic beauty and explore the region's historic towns. The Heysen Trail, which runs through the Adelaide Hills, was established in the 1960s and has become a popular hiking trail for locals and visitors alike.
Today, the town of Mount Lofty Ranges is a vibrant community with a rich history and strong connection to the natural environment. The area continues to attract visitors from around the world who come to enjoy the region's stunning landscapes, vineyards, and cultural attractions.