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Published January 1st 2016
Whatever happened to this old farm ?
It was in 1840 when one of Australia's great explorers, Captain Charles Sturt, built a home in the western suburbs of Adelaide. Built on 390 acres of farming land, Captain Sturt named his property 'The Grange' with the word Grange meaning a country or outlying farm with buildings typically associated with a gentleman farmer. However a farm in the expanding suburbs of Adelaide was unlikely to last.
Fast forward 175 years and the property known as the Grange is considerably smaller and consists of a museum, a lake and gardens with numerous information boards explaining the life and explorations of Captain Sturt. But what happened to the remainder of this great property that was built alongside the inland end of the Port River, and was known as The Grange ?
After Sturt's passing in 1869, the property was let for a few years before it was bought by three developers known as the 'Grange Proprietors', and they set about surveying and subdividing the land and developing a village in the Western Suburbs that would have made Captain Charles Sturt proud. Every beachside suburb needed a jetty, and the Proprietors set out to build one of the better jetties on the Adelaide coast. Extending over 1,000 feet the jetty was built primarily from local jarrah wood and was opened in 1878. Still in use today, the jetty is one of the more popular beaches along the coast and at the end of the Grange Kiosk.
Meanwhile over the road is the Grange Hotel, another development by the Proprietors. Opened in 1882, the Hotel has had numerous alterations and additions over the years, with some of the original structure still in place and visible for the discerning eye. Next door to the Hotel is the iconic Marines apartments. Designed as a row of 24 luxury three storey foreshore apartments with each containing 11 rooms, only eight were completed by mid 1883.
Every new suburb needed access to transport and in 1883 the Grange Railway & Investment Co opened a railway from Woodville to Grange. Operated by the Grange Proprietors, the line only lasted 3 years before low custom resulted in its closure. It was subsequently bought by the South Australian Railways in 1893 and continues to operate today albeit on a slightly shortened line.
Former Grange Terminus on Military Road - Steve Hudson
Churches were a must build during the formation of any village / suburb, and by the end of 1890 there was a Baptist Church and an Anglican Church, with a Uniting Church joining the mix in 1911. All three churches reside on land generously donated by the Grange Proprietors and have had minor modifications over the years but remain as fine examples of late 19th century architecture.
A Post Office and General Store were seen as a necessity and these were completed in 1881 while across the road the Grange Hall and Institute building has had many uses over the years including being used as a library, a school, and a home for a host of community organisations.
With everything in place, all that was needed was a few homes and a few residents. There are many great buildings in the suburb, with them built over several decades and decors, but two great buildings sit on the corner of Beach Street and the Esplanade. On the northern side is the former home of the Dring family (transport and horse racing), while on the southern corner is the former home of the Scarfe family (Harris Scarfe). The latter home was particularly appealing as it was designed by a young architect called Kenneth Milne, who also designed the world famous Adelaide Oval scoreboard, a scoreboard that has outlasted numerous Oval redevelopments.
Grange is located approximately 10km west of Adelaide at the end of Grange Road, or at the terminus of the Grange Railway Line. The Henley and Grange Historical Society have put together a short historical walk through the suburb of Grange which highlights the buildings and the history which has helped shape Grange in to becoming one of the more popular beachside suburbs of Adelaide. So if you ever wondered what Grange was really like, why not take a walk and let your mind wander further.
Interesting and informative article.One of my favourite beaches and pubs.Nice walk from the jetty to Henley Beach jetty and back...take the path one way next to the homes and perhaps return on the sandy beach.