Hoffnungsthal Lutheran Cemetery

Lyndoch Valley Road




The article is taken from the publication "Lyndoch, Barossa's First Settlement"
by the Lyndoch & District Historical Society Inc. and was written by the Local Historian, Anne Hausler.

On 17th March 1847, thirteen German families on board the "Heloise" arrived in the colony of South Australia following a voyage of some five months in cramped conditions, enduring sickness, death, storms, and lack of fresh food and water. It is believed that the group spent a short time at Bethany until, joined by several other families, they were able to move to Sections 567 (390 acres) and 568 (350 acres). These sections were leased from the South Australian Company for a period of fourteen years at an annual rent of 6/- per acre. The settlement was named Hoffnungsthal meaning Valley of Hope. By September of that year fifteen huts were erected, wells dug, 166 acres planted to wheat, 8 to barley, 2 1/2 to potatoes and 2 for hay. Soon afterwards a church 60 feet long and 30 feet wide was erected on a low rocky knoll at the southern end and was used as a school during the week. At the northern end was the communal cemetery and between these two sites was the street where most of the houses, made of wood plastered with clay and a roof of straw, were erected.


Life at Hoffnungsthal is explained in the diary of Otto Tepper. Our cottage was built of round and split wood, plastered with clay, whitewashed and thatched with straw, with at first a kitchen with small hearth, oven, chimney of rough stonework, fixed and plastered with clay, a rather large room serving as sitting, eating and chief bedroom, and two much smaller rooms each on the back and northern end, the former for mother's use the other as a store room for wheat ... Then father first got a pair of goats for milk, with kids, which we boys had to mind during the day. Sometime later he added yards for two cows and later yet, got also two bullocks and a plough. We also had a fenced garden for the cultivation of seeds and a bigger strip further away for vegetables as well, on the black soil flat.
Tepper Cottage

He also described his daily routine as being from 8 o'clock, after breakfast, in school till 12 p.m. among and with the older children, and after dinner helping mother, or in the garden and attending to the livestock. Paul (brother) went to school in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. then with him playing or working till the evening, getting in the cattle or milking, and after supper learning lessons, parts of the catechism, bible verses, tables, reading story books, and the German newspaper "Deutsche Zeitung" all in German print.


A letter written by August Israel also provided information about living conditions at Hoffnungsthal. You needn't clear the forest because the trees stand very sparse but big and strong ... The trees are green all year through and the wonderful parrots are green, yellow and red and there are a lot of other beautiful birds that I don't know ...Our food consists of meat, white bread, tea and coffee. We don't eat a lot of vegetables and everyone brews his own beer. Wine and rum is in every house as much as we need ... We don't have any wild and harmful animals, apart from the scorpion. But we have never heard of a mishap ... In addition the savage people are well disposed to us. Sometimes they beg for some bread ... travelling through the bush, often in a group of fifty.




TEPPER, Christoph Martin                     22.1.1851          MEYER, Carl Benjamin                     4.2.1859

MACKENZIE, Hulda Magdalena                      1852         HAUSLER, Maria Elisabeth               5.2.1859

MENZEL, Maria Dorothea                       12.4.1853          HAUSLER, Johann Friedrich            20.3.1859

ZWECK, Auguste Wilhelmine                   1.2.1854          BECKER, Johann Carl Wilhelm      23.11.1859

LEMM, Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm           18.2.1854          MENZEL, Maria Emma                  24.11.1859

SEMMLER, Pauline                               8.10.1854          HAUSLER, Johann Christoph           19.2.1860

ZERK, Friedrich Johann Christian            15.3.1855          BECKER, Rosina Dorothea            29.11.1860

BECK, Caroline                                     20.9.1855          SCHWARTZKOPFF, Gertrud           14.5.1862

KRIEG, Juliane Henriette                       25.12.1855         HABEL, Johann Gottfried                 22.9.1862

VOGT, Maria Christiane                            8.2.1856          BLOCK, Carl Heinrich                        8.6.1862

TEPPER, Johanne Wilhelmine                18.2.1856          RAU, Christiane                              19.6.1863

ZWECK, Elisabeth Maria                        1855/1856         BECKER, Gottlieb                            9.9.1863

KRIEG, Samuel Benjamin                         4.4.1856          LEMM, Clara Wilhelmine E            22.12.1863

FECHNER, Stillborn                               12.4.1856          ZEUNERT, Johann Friedrich             14.2.1864

SEMMLER, Stillborn                              11.5.1856          TEUSNER, Pauline Rosalie G          14.3.1864

SEELANDER, Paul Reinhold                  12.5.1856          TEPPER, Louise Hermine                16.3.1864

SCHMERL, Johanna Juliane                   20.6.1856          ZEUNERT, Johann George               15.4.1864

SCHULZ, Maria Louise Agnes                   6.8.1856          GNIEL, Pauline                               21.4.1864

HABEL, Johanna Christiane                   25.11.1856         TEUSNER, Emma Emilie R             24.4.1864

MEYER, Gotthard Joseph                       28.1.1857          SEMMLER, Ida                               20.7.1864

BECK, Maria                                           5.4.1857          LESKE, Maria Christiana M             22.7.1864

VOGT, Johann Friedrich Ludwig              1.11.1857          TEUSNER, Emma Emilie R             18.1.1865

LESKE, Samuel                                    4.11.1857          HAMPEL, Maria Christiane E           30.3.1865

KUSE, Gottlieb Johann Heinrich             13.11.1857         MATTNER, Emilie Emma                  1.7.1865

HAUSLER, Friedrich Wilhelm                  25.1.1858          KOHLHAGEN, Carl Gottlieb             27.7.1865

JACKOBY, Maria Elisabeth                    19.2.1858          LEHMANN, Johann Friedrich C        25.1.1866

SCHULZ, Heinrich                                  21.2.1858          SCHWARTZKOPFF, Johannes        19.4.1866

TEPPER, Lydia Elisabeth                         5.3.1858          TEPPER, Emanuel                           1.5.1866

FAESE, Henriette Maria                           6.3.1858          ELIX, Anna Dorothea                       15.5.1866

LEMM, Heinrich August Wilhelm             25.4.1858          LEMM, Maria Pauline                        7.2.1867

GORMANN, Johann                               17.8.1858          BECKER, Paul Heinrich                  12.1.1867

MEYER, Johann Christoph Friedrich        22.9.1858             SCHULTZ, Caroline Agnes                    3.3.1867



The settlement was in existence for six years but just as it began to expand, disaster struck. In September 1853 thunderstorms producing torrential rain continued for a week with a vast sheet of deep water covering a large part of the settlement. Unable to prevent future flooding those in the low lying areas gradually moved away and settled elsewhere. The church and cemetery continued to be used until 1867 when facilities were established on the Independent Chapel premises, previously used by the Baptists, on the road to Williamstown. The former Hoffnungsthal congregation became known as St Jakobi.


Hoffnungsthal Lagoon [Photograph taken in 1971] 


These pages were produced by P.Applebee for Lyndoch & District Historical Society Inc. ©2009