Black Hill was first settled in 1890. The township is situated some 110 kms north east of Adelaide, nestled in a valley on the River Marne, between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Murray River.
Black Hill, which was named FRIEDENSTHAL (Valley of Peace) prior to World War One, was first owned as a station by Thomas R Reynolds. In 1891, this land was subdivided and purchased by families, many of whom still have descendants living at Black Hill today.
The new hall at Black Hill was opened on Friday, June 28. The weather was perfect, and a fair company of people from the immediate and surrounding districts was present. The opening ceremony was performed by Mr H Mickan of Rhine Villa. During the afternoon a sale of gifts was held. A brisk business was carried on for several hours. Mr M Bax, of Messrs Bagot, Shakes & Lewis, conducted an auction sale of gifts and some good prices were realized. The total auction sale amounted to £23 2/6.
A concert was held in the evening, at which the Rhine Villa public school children rendered valuable assistance. The festival ended with a dance in the new hall. The total takings for the day were £60 6 2. [Ref: Kapunda Herald (SA) 12-7-1912]
October 23 – The Black Hill athletic sports were held last Friday on a nicely situated piece of ground the property of Mr J Pannach, kindly lent for the occasion.
The double event of the Sheffield Handicap and Hurdles was secured by F V Maynard of Sedan. It was an ideal day and traps and motor cars came from the neighbouring towns fifteen miles distant.
In the evening a concert and ball was held in the Black Hill hall, which was well patronized. The Sedan Dramatic Co gave a dialogue, which was greatly appreciated by the audience. [Ref: Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark (SA) 31-10-1913]
Hayward’s Hill and Black Hill combined and held an Australia Day effort at Black Hill on August 16. We were favoured with a fine day, and proceedings started with the children of Hayward’s Hill and Black Hill saluting the flag. After luncheon, which was served in the hall, the two schools headed a procession to the grounds. Business was not very brisk on the grounds during the afternoon. Cool drinks, sweets, bran dip, and numerous guessing competitions were among the chief attractions on the grounds.
Tea was served in the hall at 6 pm, after which a grand concert was given.
Then came the auction sale of supper baskets and gifts. The sale raised £26. Altogether the total receipts were over £117. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 30-8-1918]
On Friday, September 19, a combined repatriation day (Black Hill and Hayward’s Hill) was held at Black Hill, on grounds kindly lent by Mrs Schrapel. The children saluted the flag and sang the National Anthem at the school, and then the procession marched to the grounds, where sports were held, and did good business.
At 5.30 the people gathered at the hall, where tea was provided, and in the evening a most successful concert was held.
The secretary (Mr Robinson) worked hard to make the day a success. After supper a dance was held.
The proceeds showed £36 clear. The secretary has some spare buttons left at 1/ each. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 3-10-1919]
April 15 On Easter Monday the Lutheran Church congregation held their Sunday School anniversary. The weather was ideal for this outing, and races for the children were indulged in.
Dinner and tea were served in the Black Hill public hall. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 23-4-1920]
Under the supervision of the head teacher (Mr W A Robinson), Empire Day was celebrated at the Black Hill School on Friday, May 21. The school was nicely decorated with flowers and flags, but owing to very cold weather and sickness there were only four of the school committee members present – Mr F A Kubank (secretary), Mr and Mrs F C Rochow, and Mr J G Jantke. Patriotic songs and recitations were given by the school children, and they were addressed by Mr E A Kubank and the teacher.
At 12 noon they all assembled in the playground to salute the flag and sing the National Anthem, and then stood with bowed heads as a token of reverence for the fallen soldiers. Lollies were provided by the teacher. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 28-5-1920]
On Tuesday, May 25, a welcome home was tendered to Corporal Gerhardy in the Black Hill Hall, and despite the cold frosty weather, the hall which was tastefully decorated by the teacher and his assistant, was crowd with visitors coming from Wongulla, Hayward’s Hill, Fairview, Walker’s Flat and Kongolia. The school children formed a guard of honour, and as the soldier stepped into the hall, they sang "Home, Sweet Home."
Speeches were delivered, and the school children under the direction of the teacher rendered songs.
Corporal Gerhardy was presented with a gold medal, after which he suitably responded. Supper was provided by the ladies and afterwards games and dancing were indulged in. Mr P Gerhardy as MC [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 – 1954), Friday 4 June 1920
Black Hill – On Friday, August 13, arbor day was held at the school in fine weather. Nine trees were planted from the nursery, also some fig trees given by Mr Winton. After the trees were planted dinner was served in the hall, after which races were held. Lollies and oranges were distributed by the teacher, and after the races afternoon tea was served. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 27-8-1920]
Black Hill – On Friday, October 29, the hall was crowded to witness a concert in aid of the school funds and tennis club, arranged by Mr W A Robinson, the school teacher and his assistant, Miss Y M Winton. The hall was beautifully decorated.
The school children, with Miss Y M Winton as pianist, rendered nice action songs and a dialogue. Supper and a dance, followed. Mr C P Gerhardy was MC and Mr Bartsch supplied the music. The takings were £7 4/3. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 12-11-1920]
On Thursday, August 18, a party of Mannum performers motored to Black Hill to give an entertainment in aid of the Mannum Hospital.
During the concert a machine gun (war trophy) was unveiled by Mr J A C Gerhardy, and Mr Pannach delivered the opening speech. The school children (local) rendered three songs, which were greatly appreciated.
Supper was provided, and dancing followed. The first waltz was played by the Mannum Orchestra, and the rest of the music supplied by Messrs Bartsch and Nuske. The door takings were £10 4s, which all went to the hospital fund. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 2-9-1921]
Black Hill to Wongulla Telephone Connection Jan 11
Mr Bradshaw (line foreman) with five other assistants, started the erection of the above line on Tuesday, 3rd, and for the five days of last week finished two miles of poles. The gang are chiefly returned soldiers, and have proved by the above accomplishment that they are true diggers. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 13-1-1922]
On Thursday, March 9th, a farewell social was tendered to Mr W A Robinson in the Black Hill Hall. Mr Kubank, chairman, spoke of the esteem in which Mr Robinson was held in the district. He will be greatly missed, and the children will long remember him, he having been with them as teacher for nearly three years, and loved by them all. Mr Kubank’s remarks were heartily supported by Messrs Ramm and Koithan, and a musical programme was given.
Mr Robinson was presented with a purse of silver and thanked the people for their kind words. He said he would ever remember Black Hill, as he had learnt to know them all, and look upon them as friends. The good times he had spent amongst them would always serve as pleasant memories. An excellent supper was provided, and dancing followed till the wee hours of the morning. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 24-3-1922]
Mannum Concert Party – A concert party gave a most successful concert at Black Hill on Saturday night last in aid of the funds of the local hall. The hall was crowded and the programme submitted was more than favourably received. Those taking part included the Mannum Orchestra.
After the concert a splendid supper was provided and partaken of. Dancing was then indulged in.
The announcement made by Mr A Withers that the party would return in about two months with an entirely new programme was received with pleasure. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) Friday 9-2-1923]
A delightful evening was spent by the parents and friends of the Black Hill School children on Friday night last, when Mr Zadow, the headmaster presented a very fine program of songs, farces and dialogues in the local hall. A large crowd congregated early, and at 8.15 the local orchestra opened the evening with a sparkling overture, Miss V Zadow occupying the seat at the piano.
Supper and dancing followed and everyone declared they had had a good time. The takings at the door amounted to £7/5/6. The money is to be devoted to the purchase of books for the school library.
UNCROSSABLE — Our Black Hill correspondent reports that the Marne Creek has been practically uncrossable for the last three months, and that motorists especially find it very inconvenient to take the back track, especially as this track is partly under water when there is a big flood on. [Ref: Leader (Angaston), SA 5-10-1923]
BLACK HILL SCHOOL Attendance Declining
Mr H D Young ascertained from the Hon L L Hill (Minister of Education) in the Assembly today that there had been a school at Black Hill for years, and the average attendance for the last five years had been as follows:-1920, 31.5: 1921, 32; 1922, 26.8. 1923, 23.1: 1924, 24.
Scholars, added the Minister, were accommodated in a building rented from Mr Ramm. Accommodation was sufficient for requirements, and as the averages indicated the school was declining in attendance it was not at present proposed to take any action with regard to the erection of a Government building.
July 12 – Mr W R S Wallis, head teacher of the Black Hill public school, was accorded a farewell social in the district hall last week, prior to his departure for Willow Bank, to which place he has been transferred.
Musical numbers and elocutionary items were rendered by local artists. Mr Wallis was given a serviceable travelling rug, presented with all good wishes for future success and God speed by Miss Eileen Giersch on behalf of Black Hill residents. Local ladies provided a dainty supper which was followed by an enjoyable dance programme.
The proceeds of the evening have been donated to the local school fund.
Mr Wallis is a valued member of the Forster-Black Hill Football club who exceedingly regret the loss of his stalwart services. [Ref: Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark), SA 27-7-1928]
OPENING OF THE NEW SCHOOL AT BLACK HILL
The new school building at Black Hill was officially opened on March 13 by the Attorney-General (Hon H Homburg MP).
Mr Homburg, who was introduced by the chairman of the school committee (Mr E A Kubank), said that he felt honoured at being asked to open the new school. He was, he said, familiar with the district.
He was not going to fatigue those present with a long speech on the progress of education at Black Hill but would mention a few points only.
The first school was opened, he said, by one, Mr J F Schulz. in 1894. He wished the scholars of the school success in their education. He had much pleasure in declaring the school open.
Mr Homburg was presented with a silver key as a momento of the occasion.
The children, under their head teacher (Mr G N Stott), sang the "Song of Australia" and the National Anthem. A dance was held in the hall in the evening.
New Building – This one-roomed school is similar to many now being built throughout the State, and is constructed of stone, with brick dressings. The site measures 464 feet by 198 feet. The classroom measures 24 feet by 25 feet and has south-east lighting, with perflation windows on to a verandah on the northwest side. This verandah extends around two sides of the building, and portions are enclosed for a woodwork room and hat and cloak room. Suitable seating for the children is arranged along the walls. Dual desks are used throughout. The contractor was Mr J P Miegel, of Mannum.
The first Government school at Black Hill was opened by Mr J F Schulz on the 30th July, 1894, in an old hut on the property now owned by Mr E Sander, and 20 pupils in three grades attended. Eventually accommodation in the old school became insufficient, so the residents erected a grant-in-aid building of stone. Mr Schulz remained in charge of the school until December, 1899, and the average attendance during his stay was 25.4. Mr F B Budrian was the next teacher in charge, and he remained for a period of 16½ years. The average attendance during this period was 23.7.
In 1916 Mr Budrian was transferred to Leigh’s Creek, and Mr H P Keough succeeded him. The attendance had by this time considerably increased, and an agitation began for a more commodious building. Mr Keough resigned during 1917, average attendance during his head teachership was 30.8.
The Education Department then entered into an agreement with the trustees of the local hall and this building was rented for school purposes. Mr T M G Cameron was the first teacher to take charge of the school in the hall. The average attendance for 1917 was 35. Mr Cameron was transferred to Grace Plains, and his place was taken by Mr G N R Wheeler, who came from Hog Bay. Mr Wheeler remained at Black Hill until October, 1918 when he resigned, and the vacancy was filled by Mr J J Guiney.
In 1918 the average attendance was 39.9, which is still the highest on record for the school. Mr W A Robinson, of Hacklin’s Corner, was appointed to the school in July, 1919. Mr Robinson was an enthusiastic gardener, and his school became one of the beauty spots in the district. In 1919 the average was 31.1.
Black Hill then for the first time had a lady teacher, when in March 1922, Mr Robinson exchanged schools with Miss L Lovely, of Harrogate. The average attendance for 1922 was 24.9.
1923 saw Miss L M Pain in charge of the school. Her stay was, however, a short one, as she left in April of the same year, and her place was taken by Mr H L Zadow, who was here for about four years. The average attendance during this period was 23.9. Mr Zadow was at one time, for a period of four weeks, relieved by Mr Hamilton. Mr Zadow was transferred to World’s End Creek in August 1927, and the vacancy was filled by Mr W R S Wallis. The average attendance for 1928 was 27.6. Mr F R Roy succeeded Mr Wallis, who was transferred to Willow Bank.
It was during 1928 that the parents petitioned for a new school building, which was approved by the present Government in 1929, when the average attendance was 28.4. Mr R M LeMaistre commenced teaching at Black Hill in February 1929. He was succeeded by the late Mr L R Pannell, who was unfortunate enough to meet with a fatal accident.
The present teacher (Mr G N Stott) has been in charge since October 1929. During the first few weeks this year the school was held in the hall, and the new building was occupied on February 17th.
Briefly, the Black Hill School has been open 36 years, with an average attendance of 25.6 pupils. The highest yearly average was 39.9 in 1918. and the lowest 19.9, in 1914. The school has been conducted in four buildings by 16 teachers, and the first committee was formed in September 1916.
The activities of the school committee at Black Hill have been various during the last three years. The present committee. which consists of Mr and Mrs Kubank, Mr and Mrs Nelson, and Mr Traeger, is helpful and energetic. The school picnic sponsored by the committee is an annual affair.
With reference to the new building, the school committee has worked untiringly and generally given up much valuable time in order to assist the Education Department, amongst other matters, in choosing a site for the school. Money has also been raised by means of various entertainments and used for the benefit of the school.
The committee has been of assistance to the present teacher who was appointed in October.
The new school ground has been cleared with the assistance of the parents, and a residence obtained for the present teacher. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) 21-3-1930]
1st Black Hill Races Saturday
Mr W G Allen (sec) reports that Black Hill Club is set for a big day on Saturday at its initial Races and Gymkhana. The 15-event programme opens at 12.30 and carries plenty of variety. Black Hill CWA ladies are catering for luncheon, and there will be the usual booths. A social and dance will follow. Proceeds of the effort are to be devoted toward Black Hill Hall improvement. [Ref: Leader (Angaston) SA 18-9-1952]
The plans for the Xmas social on Dec 19 were made. All the families of the district will be invited, musical items, games and dancing being arranged.
Mr Carolan, Adelaide, has consented to act as MC, he is also a magician and ventriloquist. Balloons and sweets will be provided by the CWA for the children. Collection will aid the proposed Hall Kitchen fund. Mrs Gillard and Mrs Baker are secretaries. The afternoon tea was in charge of Mrs O Hunter and Mrs P Jantke. [Ref: Leader (Angaston) SA Thursday 17-12-1953]