“Springvale”, Gumeracha – Then and Now

“Springvale”, Gumeracha – Then and Now

Springvale” is one of those places I call “HOME”. It’s not where is I live now, but it is where I grew up. It’s a place on a dirt road, a little out of the tiny town of Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills and is surrounded by rolling green hills (though they’re very brown in summer), and has cows as neighbours. Trust me it’s very picturesque, and the surrounding hills, creeks and hay sheds were my playground.

Here’s a question for you: when you have a house name, are you naming the house or the land? In my case I think it is the land, as there were two houses on the land called Springvale, but for this post I’m just writing about the lower house.

Growing up, I never knew our house (or land) had a name, and thought it was completely awesome when I discovered that it did. Not that my family ever used it. I still thought it was nice though!

Anyway recently I’ve been doing some house history, and delving into the history of the “Springvale” which started back in the 1840s with the Randell family, then the Green family, then the Butler’s, and then Phillips’ (well, that is the very condensed version of it). I still haven’t worked out who actually built the house, or who actually named it – the Randell’s or the Greens? Either way it has a history that dates back to at least the later 1800s.

For this Then and Now post, I have to say a HUGE thankyou to Glenis Reid who compiled the “William & Fanny Green and their Descendants” book, and is connected to the Green family that lived in this house before I did. (To be technical they actually had it in-between, since I’m related to the first owners – the Randell’s, the the later owners the Butlers, and of course the Phillips’ – but we’re not getting technical here are we.) The old photographs of the house come from her, and she has allowed me to use them here.

So I’ve gone through her old photographs, and have compiled some then and now type shots from photos I have of the property. Can you can see the resemblance.

Sadly the original house had to be demolished in 2008, with a new house built on the same land. And while the new house is lovely, and doesn’t leak, it won’t ever have the charm that the old house had.

26. Spring Vale Gumeracha

Springvale, Gumeracha, early 1900s

26a Spring Vale house

Springvale, Gumeracha, 2008

demolishing the original house, it was sad to see it go, 2008

demolishing the original Springvale house in 2008, it was sad to see it go

The most certainly don't make it like they used to, with foot thick stone walls and 12 foot high ceilings ... it was a beautiful old building, 2008

The most certainly don’t make it like they used to, with foot thick stone walls and 12 foot high ceilings … it was a beautiful old building, 2008

Fanny Green with daughter, Ida Green and sister Polly Nield, early 1900s at Springvale, Gumeracha

Fanny Green with daughter, Ida Green and sister Polly Nield, early 1900s at Springvale, Gumeracha

looking through one of the windows at Springvale

looking through one of the windows at Springvale

So while the house has changed, the land has stayed the same, as has some of the other parts like the trees, the front gate, and the original wooden fence posts – love those! I call the house/land Springvale II now. 😉

front gate at Spring Vale

front gate at Springvale, Gumeracha, early 1900s

front gate at Springvale, 2013

front gate at Springvale, 2013 (excuse the fact the the grass needed a mow)

Springvale, Gumeracha (note the big pine tree)

Springvale, Gumeracha (note the big pine tree), early 1900s

Springvale, Gumeracha (note the big pine tree again)

Springvale, Gumeracha (note the big pine tree again), early 1900s

Springvale, Gumeracha, 2008 (same big pine tree)

Springvale, Gumeracha, 2008 (same big pine tree)

daffodils under the walnut trees at Springvale, Gumeracha, early 1900s

daffodils under the walnut trees at Springvale, Gumeracha, early 1900s

there's no daffoldils now, just lots of grass. But the beautiful huge walnut trees are still there, 2013

there’s no daffoldils there now, just the same wooden fence (on the left) and lots of grass, as well as the beautiful huge walnut trees, 2013

view of both houses on the land called Springvale, Gumeracha, early 1900s

view of both houses on the land called Springvale, Gumeracha, early 1900s

view of the new house from the road

view of the new house from the road, from a similar angle, 2008

old wooden fence post

love the old wooden fence posts! – taken 2013

[Note: I haven’t given the actual address of “Springvale” on purpose for privacy reasons. Family already know it, and some who know the area might too. If you do know, please don’t write it publicly].

[And one more note: Springvale, has also been written as Spring Vale in various documents and newspaper articles. As for which is actually correct? Who knows. But I am generally sticking with the one word option for now.]

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  1. Trove Tuesday: 1 March 1954, The Day the Earth Shook South Australia | lonetester HQ - [...] going back a few years to when I was eight years old, my family moved into the “Springvale” property…
  2. A Discovery in the Fireplace | Memorabilia House - […] lived in at Gumeracha was built, but it was easily before 1900. You can read more about this house…

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