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The Sedan Heritage Trail

Home > Adelaide > Day Trips | Escape the City | Family | Free | Fun Things To Do
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au/
Published March 8th 2014
A little town with a lot of history
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A Gargoyle Watches Over a Building in the Town of Sedan


The town of Sedan situated north east of Adelaide is at the crossroads. Predominantly a farming community, it has always been a small town located between larger destinations - the Barossa Valley and the Riverland.

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At the Crossroads, Near the Sedan Hotel


Standing at the cross roads by the Sedan Hotel, there is still a large amount of commercial traffic passing by. But while the town's commercial centre has shrunk significantly over the years, many of the buildings remain intact for visitors to see and explore on the Sedan Heritage Trail.

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A Map of the Sedan Heritage Trail


The Sedan Heritage Trail is a guided walk around the town, visiting many of the places significant to the history of Sedan. There's a shelter next to the Sedan Hotel where a heritage map is displayed, together with the history of places to visit.

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The Sedan Hotel - a Community Hub For More Than a Century


Originally the arid land around Sedan was used only by transient aboriginals and then later as pasture in the 1840's. By the 1860's the number of farms in the area was growing steadily with settlers of Germanic origin arriving from areas including the Barossa Valley. An enterprising farmer (J.W Pfeiffer) then subdivided some of his land to create the town of Sedan, named after a battle in the Franco-Prussian war.

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Sedan Milling Co. Flour Mill


Pfeiffer built a flour mill in 1881 which became known as the Sedan Milling Co in 1934 and still stands today. The Sedan Hotel also opened in 1881 and has been an important community hub for the area ever since.

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The Pilgrims of Zion Lutheran Church


The Lutheran church at the centre of the town opened in 1873, and children attended school there until 1917.

Saddlers and blacksmiths, a storekeeper, butcher and postmaster had all arrived by 1900 when the Directory of South Australia recorded the town had around 26 houses and a population of about 120 - a little more than today's population of around 100. "Communication with Adelaide" was described as Coach daily to Freeling, thence train.

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The First Train From Adelaide to Sedan in 1919 (Courtesy SLSA B23072)


The one thing that the people of Sedan missed was a railway. In 1883 The Advertiser reported that a deputation had asked the Commissioner of Works for a branch on the Morgan railway line to be built to Sedan. It wasn't until 1919 that the Monarto South to Sedan railway line was finally built, and you can still see one of the original railway bridges south of Cambrai. In 1921 the Railway Commissioner predicted that 40,000 bags of wheat would be transported from Sedan, while goods such as superphosphate fertiliser came back on the return journey.

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A Two Storey Dwelling and Warehouse (1894)


The railway line gave Sedan a new injection of life, and by 1925 there was a primary school, two churches, two banks, and two Justices of the Peace, with trains running to Adelaide on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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A Railway Bridge Remains South of Cambrai


From the 1940's farming in Sedan began to decline due to arid conditions, and the Sedan railway line was eventually closed in 1964, although it re-opened briefly in 1966 for the laying of the Swan Reach to Stockwell pipeline. The town's industry suffered a steady decline through the 1970's leaving only farming as its mainstay.

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Former Police Cells (1912)


Sedan was in the limelight briefly in 2002 when it was found that Bradley John Murdoch, the convicted murderer of Peter Falconio reputedly transported marijuana between Sedan and Broome.

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Marshall's Tea Rooms & Corner Store


Today the main signs of activity in Sedan are at the supermarket and the Sedan Hotel, and they still support a significant local population in the area between the Barossa Valley and the Riverland.

There is something of a ghost town feel as you follow the Sedan Heritage Trail in the footsteps of people who lived a hundred years ago. But I think that adds to the attraction, don't you?

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Why? See SA country history
When: Anytime
Where: Sedan, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Fascinating, obviously well researched article... Makes you wonder what else is out there in SA. Ditto, great photos. Terribly atmospheric, Dave.
by curiouser&curiouser (score: 2|525) 1318 days ago
Hi David ,did you take all these pictures , and if so how recently . They are awesome by the way
by sylvi (score: 2|295) 1319 days ago
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