Our Branch History

The beginnings of this branch of the National Trust of South Australia can be traced back to November 1964, when Coromandel Valley Primary School held a fundraising event in support of its swimming pool project.

One of the most popular activities on the day was an Historical Exhibition, which brought together for the first time, family heirlooms from around the district. Interest in the exhibition was high.

As not all contributors to the exhibition wanted their artefacts and memorabilia returned, the organisers Rosemary Magarey and Lillian Archibald, (who were orchardists, neighbours and good friends), decided to found the Coromandel Valley Historical Society. These two visionary women both recognised the value of preserving local history, and the risk of it being lost due to lack of attention.

The Society’s goal was the permanent safeguarding and display of the Valley’s heritage.

Wind the clock on to 7th May 1970 and we find that the Historical Society joined the National Trust, becoming Coromandel Valley & Districts Branch.

According to an article written in February 2005 for the National Trust by the late Hugh Magarey, one of Rosemary’s five sons, great progress was made from that time on.

Hugh wrote that the new branch was full of energetic and enthusiastic people who took on projects including:

  • establishing Winns Bakehouse Museum (1971)
  • Wattiparinga Nature Reserve
  • Mackereth Cottage, Scott Creek
  • Belair Railway Signal Cabin
  • Celebrations to mark the Centenary of the Hills Railway (1983)
  • leasing Gamble Cottage (1986)

 And that was where this all began.