Last week as part of Global Studies we had a  visit from Mr David Jarman who has been researching the history of Oaklands House.

Built in 1844 by Samual Kearne. It was one of the earliest mansions to be built in South Australia.
Samuel purchased his own ship the”Joseph Albino” to transport his family from Liverpool to Australia. Samuel had purchased a large plot of agricultural land with a river running through it, sight unseen.  Not knowing what to expect or what building materials were available in the New Colony. He loaded his ship with bricks, slate, glass and wood, his wife, 2 sons, housemaids and farm hands and set sail to  South Australia.  Samuel was disappointment when he found  that  Sturt River was a tiny stream that ran dry in the summer and instead of sailing up river to his property he had to dock at Port Misery (Port Adelaide). He  had to then transport all his belongings by bullock wagon to his property.
Oaklands House consisted of 22 rooms including a ballroom, large cellar, grain storage, food and wine cellars,stables later used for race horses, barns, dining room, office, school room, sewing room,butcher shop, laundry, kitchen and well inside the house maids quarters.
There was a water well inside the main house, along with ventilation shafts for the cellars, wide veranda’s for cooling rooms downstairs in summer. The property also had pig pens, machinery sheds, horse yards, jockey rooms, duck and geese yards.
All that remains are a few grape-vines, 4 oak trees, Palm trees, a pepper tree and a magnolia tree.
The building was sadly demolished due to vandalism and is now the car park at Oaklands Reserve. Although some of the slab from the laundry and butchers room still remains.

Student Feedback from the talk have included:
I felt it was good.  I like learning about Adelaide’s history and especially about the Sturt River (before it was a stream not a concrete valley).

I agreed it was good and was interested in the way the land was changed, bought and sold over the years.