Riverton Heritage Walk

Western Side of Riverton:

Starting at The History & Information Centre at 21 Torrens Road, and walking south:

  1. HISTORY & INFORMATION CENTRE – Built in 1879 as the English, Scottish and Australian Bank and residence the building was purchased by members of the Riverton R.S.L. Branch in 1959 as club rooms. It is now owned by the Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council. In 1997 the building underwent total restoration including the façade and was divided into office suites, meeting room and History Centre with public toilets and other necessary amenities added.
  2. N.Z. BANK – Opened 1915 with the original bank becoming the manager’s residence, with a new residence built in Washington Road in 1956.
  3. RIVERTON HOTEL – Erected 1854 as the Riverton Arms and licensed in 1857 by Frederick and John Hannaford, it underwent restoration in 2004. The name was changed to Riverton Hotel in 1876. This building is listed on the State Heritage Register.
  4. SASSY LASS – Originally the Savings Bank of S.A., it was opened in 1930. Additions in 1982 were made by local stonemason Jack Griffiths which included the identical window at right, front.  This is now a Ladies Wear shop and private residence
  5. RIVERTON AGENCIES – This original building was the office of Goldsbrough Mort, now Studio 31 Hairdressing Salon. The adjacent hardware store was built in 1880 by Henry Snelling, Tinsmith. The original façade remains whilst the interior has been extended and altered over the years. A cellar on the north side opened on to a laneway where the office is now sited. The Wunderlich (pressed tin) ceiling above the entrance is original as are the windows. This building was listed on the State Heritage Register in 1982.
  6. THE OLD EMPORIUM & PRIVATE RESIDENCE – Built c1874 as an emporium, various sections have been added over the past 130 years with its many different departments selling a variety of merchandise from millinery to ironmongery and gowns to groceries. This is now the EMPORIUM BAKEHOUSE, a very popular coffee shop
  7. MOUNTING STONE – This piece of local stone was placed in the 1850’s for “ladies” to board and alight from horse-drawn vehicles or when riding side-saddle. In 1996 this little piece of history was moved to the northern side of Masters Street to avoid further damage. Heritage listed 1982.
  8. STUFF N NONSENSE – The first section and residence were built in 1857 and leased by shoemaker and saddler, James Pain. During its long history, the store has been listed as selling harness, tin-ware, boots and shoes, groceries, machinery, ironmongery, drapery, ladies unmentionables and ‘fine’ millinery. This is now a  Secondhand store.
  9. RIVERTON DELI – Built in 1859 and leased to Mary Pain who sold fresh fruit, vegies and sweeties. Mary, wife of James, shoemaker, were the parents of the first white male child born in the area. This shop has been the venue for – a bicycle shop, dressmaker’s boutique, fruit and vegetables, ice-creams and lollies, café and more recently, a super-deli and video hire. With a little cosmetic work to the original façade, the building has been nominated for local Heritage Listing.
  10. THE COTTAGE & HOTEL CENTRAL – Built in 1854 by James Mason Elliott, blacksmith and veterinary surgeon as his residence with his business covering the adjoining 16 acre allotment. C1900, Richard Burrows, coach builder and blacksmith, who specialised in wrought iron work, purchased the business. The cottage and adjoining block was then sold to The Lion Brewing Co. who built the Hotel Central which opened in 1908. It was then leased to Mr. Press. The first Licensee was Mr. Kellett. This whole complex is on the State Heritage Register.
  11. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 43 Torrens Road. Built 1885 as the National Bank and residence. Since its closure in 1930 the building has been used as a printery, tailor shop and office suite. The original Bank vault remains behind the entrance door.
  12. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – Built c1876 and known as The Nimble Nine pence. Since that period it has been a ham and sweets shop, fruit & vegie outlet, barber’s shop, fish & chip cafe, dental surgery, craft and bricabrac shop, hairdressing salon and video outlet. This store is now closed, and privately owned.
  13. UNITING CHURCH, SUNDAY SCHOOL & HALL – The present Church was opened in 1964, the former Sunday School is now a successful ‘Op Shop’ and the Hall built in 1869 as the Wesleyan Church, is now used as a meeting hall.
  14. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 55 Torrens Road. Built c1869 by the Horner family, Arthur Horner, Station Master, his wife and family lived here prior to the station house being built.
  15. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 67 Torrens Road. This private dwelling was built on the adjacent site of the first store and post office. The original building built 1856 remains and is now used as a garage and store room. Mary (Granny) Horner was the first Post Mistress and her husband, John Jubb the first Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths for the District of Gilbert.
  16. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – Turning left into Horner Street, so named after the Horner family, it has a mix of new and old homes. On the south west corner at 45 Swinden Street is a substantial home built circa 1909. In 1930 this home was bequeathed to Mrs Laura Walter who with her husband Walter resided there until 1950 when it became ‘home’ to succeeding ministers of the Uniting Church.
  17. Continuing along Horner Street, turn right into Kelly Street – This fine PRIVATE RESIDENCE on the left was built in 1923 by the medico, Dr. Robert McMahon Glynn. During WW11 the beautiful, spacious gardens were the venue for many fundraising parties. In 1953 Dr. Mallen who was then the general practitioner, agreed to the exchange of homes with the Convent of Mercy situated at 10 Washington Road. When the convent closed in 1961, this residence was sold.
  18. Turning left into Moorhouse Terrace THE RIVERTON & DISTRICT SOLDIER’S MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, erected 1923 by the community as a memorial to the men and women who enlisted from this district during WW1. It was originally a 38 bed surgical, medical and maternity hospital. Today it is divided into three wings – acute, long stay and an aged care facility with an Accident and Trauma Theatre. The adjacent Nurses Home was built in 1954.
  19. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – McPHERSON HILL COTTAGE – 24 Moorhouse Terrace. This cottage built c1880 by a shepherd, Alexander McPherson, for his wife and large family. McPherson’s widow sold the land to the newly formed board of management in 1923 on which the hospital now stands.
  20. Continuing west to the T-junction, turn right into James Street, passing Mallen Court on the left, named after distinguished medico Sir Leonard Mallen. Then turning right into Masters Street where the recent sub-division, JAMES MASTERS ESTATE, comprising 42 blocks, is now being established.
  21. Continue east along Masters Street to the 27 bed GILBERT VALLEY SENIOR CITIZENS’ HOME on the left, with it’s adjoining 17 units.
  22. On the right is the CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, built in 1904 by the Catholic parishioners. It was refurbished in 2004 prior to the centenary celebrations.
  23. Turn left into Swinden Street and, on the left, is the RIVERTON PRIMARY SCHOOL, opened in 1866. The original head teacher’s residence and school room are now the administration area. This building is currently before Council for listing on the Local Government Heritage Register.
  24. Continuing along Swinden Street, many of the homes in this area were built around the time of Federation (1901) whilst others were earlier dwellings with very few additions to the facade.
  25. At the end of Swinden Street turn right into Washington Road. THE LEVEE WALL on the left extends along the Rhynie Creek. It was built in 1984 by local stonemason Mr. Jack Griffiths assisted by men working under the R.E.D. Scheme (Community Employment Programme). A plaque was unveiled in 1987 by The Gilbert Valley Lions Club to honour his fine craft.
  26. The nine hole GOLF COURSE has evolved on the area which was previously glebe land where the Anglican Rector’s horse and cows grazed.
  27. At the cross roads, turn left onto Barrier Highway and travel through the AVENUE OF SUGAR GUMS planted by the community in July 1906 as an Arbor Day project.
  28. Two hundred metres north, on the Barrier Highway, turn left into the grounds of the HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, built 1858 by James Masters and other local pioneers. It has a beautiful hand made wooden staircase leading to the gallery. Following the sale of the former Parish Hall, the Anglican parishioners built the adjoining premises, naming it The James Masters Hall. The private residence on the left was the originally the home of the Rector.
  29. The GOLF CLUB HOUSE standing amongst the gum trees is near the site where the Ngaduri people held their corroborees.
  30. Retracing your steps to the Barrier Highway, turn right and on the left you will see a six lane, twenty five metre SOLDIERS MEMORIAL SWIMMING POOL opened in 1965. The site of the children’s playground and caravan park was originally the railway dam which stored water for the steam trains.
  31. Also on the left is the RECREATION GROUND, established in 1909, when 200 gum trees were planted on the perimeter. Football, netball, croquet, tennis, hockey and cricket clubs have all used this facility. The swimming pool, caravan park and playground together with barbeque facilities, were established in latter years by many dedicated volunteers, a reflection of this community.
  32. Crossing over the bridge, continuing south, on the corner of Torrens Road and Strickland Street is a PRIVATE RESIDENCE at number 5 Torrens Road. This home, known as “Sandal Magna”, was so named by James Scholefield’s widow, after their native village in Yorkshire. James Scholefield was the District Clerk of both the Gilbert and Rhynie Councils from 1873 – 1920. James resided here with his family and died whilst enjoying an “after dinner pipe” in the front parlour. The austere colonial cottage with its shingle slate roof was built by Mr. Sara in 1871. Originally it comprised four upstairs bedrooms whilst downstairs there were two smaller bedrooms, a parlour and breakfast room with a slate cellar under the latter room. The detached kitchen, a large stone room which stood approximately three metres from the corner of the house has a baker’s oven and built-in stove. These were renovated in 1976. The lean-to wash house (laundry) and wash room (bathroom) were attached to the back of the building. The small stone room on the front boundary was originally the ‘tack-room’ (for harness) and a small section of the original stable wall can still be seen at the rear. In the 1940’s it was a boarding house for students attending Riverton High School when it was affectionately known as “Carries’s Castle”, Carrie being the spinster daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Scholefied. Later the building was divided into two flats. In 2004, an elegant glass conservatory was added under the guidance of heritage architects. This building is listed on the National Heritage Register.
  33. PRIVATE RESIDENCES – 7 & 9 Torrens Road. These two cottages were restored and refurbished in 2004. They were built in c1890.
  34. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 15 Torrens Road. This large homestead on the corner of Torrens Road and Light Street was built circa 1938 for the local butcher and baker, Mr. Bert Roberts, who, folklore has it, wished to name it “Carlton House” because of his uncanny success with Carlton Brewery shares.
  35. BAKERY & COTTAGE – 17 Torrens Road. Built pre 1871. The original cottage, butcher shop and bakery were remodelled in the late 1960’s and together with the bake house and smoke room was heritage listed in 1982.
  36. LANDMARK – Built in 1963 for Bennett & Fisher, Stock Agents, it has seen many changes, the most recent in 2003 when major additions and alterations to the facade were made.

Eastern Side of Riverton

Starting at The History & Information Centre at 21 Torrens Road, cross over to the Scholz Park complex:

  1. SCHOLZ PARK MUSEUM – August Scholz commenced his wheelwright business here building the four roomed cottage in 1874. Some twelve years later he purchased the adjoining blacksmith shop from William Sanders. The complex remained in the Scholz Family until 1966 when the District Council of Riverton purchased it for a nominal sum from grandsons, Norman and Harold Scholz. A dedicated committee restored the buildings and contents. Opened as a working Museum on March 15th, 1981, the complex is now a static display and opens weekends and public holidays, or by appointment. This property is on both the State Heritage and National Estate Listings. (See separate Brochure for details.)
  2. POST OFFICE – Built in 1876 as a Post Office and Bank Agency. First Postmistress was Mrs. Shoebridge, whose husband was Postmaster at Darwin but drowned when returning to South Australia aboard the “Gothenburg” which sank off the Queensland coast in 1875. The Telephone Exchange was added March 1910 and the automatic system commenced in 1982. The original façade remains the same. It is now privately owned.
  3. POLICE STATION – Erected in 1972 on the site of the original court house, police station, residence, stables and cells which were built in 1866. The first Clerk of the Court was a one-legged man who it is recorded was a ‘very well informed and helpful chap’ Contents of the original time capsule and other memorabilia can be seen in the cabinet on the wall in the station foyer. The cairn depicting the original Victoria Regina insignia, was unveiled by Police Commissioner Mr. D.A. Hunt in 1988 to commemorate 150 years of policing in South Australia.
  4. RIVERTON NEWSAGENCY – Built circa 1866 by A. Darby and sold to watchmaker, “Clocky” Reymond in 1885, it remained a jewellery shop until the 1950’s. The southern section was originally a saddlery.
  5. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 38 Torrens Road. Built in 1856 by George Henry Brown who leased it in 1872 to Fritz Ritter, a general storekeeper. Other occupancies have included a chemist, deli, Save-Way grocer, chicken takeaway, TAB Agency, and fast food outlet.
  6. DECISIONS TAKEAWAY – 40 Torrens Road. Built early in the twentieth century as a private residence and saddlery, this building has been used for many other trades including plumbing, carpentry, building supplies, sporting goods, craft outlet and currently a pizza and Takeaway shop.
  7. VALLEYTECH – 44 Torrens Road. Built as a garage c1910 it was purchased by A.A. Brice who established a creamery, and following the decline of local dairy herds in the area it was sold and later became a craft shop then used as office suites, and now an IT  and computer business. Prior to the erection of this building large billboards fronted by a hitching rail, used to tether horses by local farmers when they came into town.
  8. Crossing over Elizabeth Street, on the left is the COMMUNITY HALL. Erected in 1874 as a single storey Institute at a cost of ₤1,000. The stage was added in 1914 and in 1930 the supper room and kitchen were built from funds raised at the successful ‘Back to Riverton’ celebrations held in 1929. The additions erected during the State’s 150 Jubilee in 1986 at a cost of $250,000 were officially opened by the then Governor of South Australia, Sir Donald Dunstan. Funding for this project was raised by government grants and the local community.
  9. THE COFFEE PARLOUR, now a PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 48-50 Torrens Road. Built c1906 by Arty Cole, a local builder, using cinders and cement for Richard Burrows, coach builder, blacksmith and farrier. The first floor comprised six bedrooms and a parlour with a bathroom, whilst the ground floor had a small grande entrance hall, kitchen, large dining room and other amenities. A cellar under the original dining room has been used by various clubs including the local R.S.L. and over the years has suffered the same fate as many cellars when the town has been flooded. This building has been previously used as a boarding house, furniture store whilst the front rooms were leased for a betting shop, chemist, shoemaker, dental technician and hairdresser.
  10. SCULPTURE STUDIO – 54 Torrens Road. This building built c1916 as a garage, it is currently undergoing major restoration to be opened in 2007 and will include an art gallery.
  11. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 56 Torrens Road. This bungalow style house was built c1890. In the mid 1940’s it was transformed into three individual flats and in 1992 was restored to its original style.
  12. RIVERTON GALLERY – 64 Torrens Road. Formerly an iron monger’s store and residence built for Henry Bollenhagen, wheat and grain merchant in 1866. This building has been “home” to several families including Miss Davis, Mr. & Mrs. Will Cairns and Mr. & Mrs. Jordan and family; office suite for accountant Mr. H.H. Du Rieu, electrical store, and more recently the Robert Hannaford Gallery.
  13. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 66 Torrens Road. Built c1870 by Mr. Ferrier, who leased it to his sister Mrs Mary (Granny) Dickson, widow from Scotland who taught french and music to the young ladies of the district. Granny Dickson died 1931 after which the house was sold and since then has been “home” to many families including Mr. & Mrs Alex Keast.
  14. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 68 Torrens Road. This Federation style home built in 1909 for Mr. H.A. Davis and named “Glenferrie” It has leadlight doors and windows throughout. The house was lit by gas lamps until a private generator was installed, which was also used to light up the street in the front and at the rear of the property and extended to the little office in Frederick Place. The return verandah once boasted the popular ‘striped’ look.
  15. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 70 Torrens Road. Built on the former site of the Mill Inn, erected c1865. In 1908 when the licence was transferred to the Hotel Central, the Inn was purchased by Mrs. Flynn who established a lying-in home (maternity hospital). This closed when the new hospital was erected in 1923.
  16. Crossing over Mill Street. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 80 Torrens Road. The home of several former general practitioners, it was built c1880 and remained as such until 1923 when Dr. Glynn built his new home. Since that time it has been a boarding house, railway barracks and private dwelling.
  17. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 84 Torrens Road. Built c1880, the cottage was purchased by a registered nurse who opened it as a “Cottage Hospital” c1909 and continued to care for surgical, medical and obstetric cases until 1923.
  18. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 86 Torrens Road. Built for Mr. William Legoe of Macaw Creek, former vigneron. Mr. & Mrs. Legoe retired from their property on the corner of Nobby White’s Hill and Macaw Creek Road c1915. Donated to the Helping Hand Homes for the Aged, North Adelaide by Mr. & Mrs Len Molineux in 1951, it was remodelled to house aged citizens. When the Gilbert Valley Senior Citizens’ Home was opened in Masters Street c1974 this facility returned to a private dwelling.
  19. Retrace your steps to the intersection of Torrens Road and Mill Street. Turn right and after crossing the railway line, on the right is a PRIVATE RESIDENCE built 1889 as a Cheese and Butter Factory by The Limited Liability Company. Successive dry seasons caused its closure by the turn of the century. It has remained privately owned ever since.
  20. On the left is THE OLIVE PRESS – Built in 1997 by Mrs Lee Hallett, the Press is now well established and used by growers from as far away as Broken Hill.
  21. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – Mill Street. Built c1900 by Mr. Will Fisher, chaff merchant following his marriage to Edith Horner. Recently this home has been totally revamped. Returning to the intersection of Mill Street and Frederick Place turn right.
  22. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 30 Frederick Place. Federation style home – “Bonnie Doone”, built c1898 by Mr. H.A. Davis. The original lattice work still adds charm to this residence.
  23. PRIVATE RESIDENCES – 28 and 26 Frederick Place. Built late 1860’s to house some of the large number of railway employees who were hired to lay the line and erect the bluestone engine shed and workshops.
  24. PRIVATE BUILDING – 24 Frederick Place. Erected 1895 by H.A. Davis & Sons. This office building is now privately owned together with the adjoining chaff mill which opened at the same time.
  25. PRIVATE BUILDING – 22 Frederick Place. Established in 1931 by Mr. L.H. Ellis, farmer of Hamilton, the flour mill reached the height of its production during WW11 when the owner won the contract to supply allied forces with various breakfast lines. At this point of time many women were also employed at the mill, working three eight hour shifts. The mill closed 1980 and was later used to produce pottery sold under the label Down to Earth Pottery with outlets at Hahndorf and Rhynie.
  26. Crossing the road to the PRIVATELY OWNED, heritage listed “ROW COTTAGES” 21 & 23 Frederick Place. Built circa 1870 by Joshua Darby, whose daughter was the first white girl born in Riverton and who, on April 6th 1872 was afforded the honour of opening the first bridge over the River Gilbert on the Marrabel Road.
  27. PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL SITE – Frederick Place. Currently a brick kiln formerly the Golden Fleece fuel depot.
  28. On the north east corner of Elizabeth Street stands the PRIVATELY OWNED SMALL STONE SHED built c1900 to house kerosene and like products which were sold in wooden boxes (kerosene cases) for lighting and general use.
  29. TENNIS COURTS – These lawn courts were laid 1930 in time for the first Easter tennis tournament which has now become a popular annual event.
  30. This PRIVATELY OWNED wood and iron structure was built 1920 by Mr. Oliver Colmer who was the local carpenter and undertaker. Old residents remember the plumed horses drawing the elaborate hearse from the building in readiness for the funeral processions. This building, now air-conditioned, is the office suite of the local accountant.
  31. Turning right into Hannaford Terrace passing the new Doctor’s residence on the left you will see the current PRIVATELY OWNED former RAILWAY STATION COMPLEX which opened in 1869 for rail traffic. The first Station was a wooden structure, burnt down in the 1870’s after which the current building was erected and added to from 1875 to 1905. The platform was the scene of the first ‘political assassination’ (as reported by the media in Australia), on March 22nd 1921. The bullet holes are still visible in the wall. The last scheduled passenger train passed through in 1988. Following the sale and upgrade of the complex in 1990 it was opened as a Gallery and Tea Rooms. In 1996 the complex was refurbished with bed and breakfast accommodation in the ‘Red Hen’ carriages. The occasional train bringing tourists to the area remains a highlight on our calendar.
  32. PRIVATE RESIDENCE.  Retracing your steps turn right into Frederick Place and on the right you will see the FREEMASON’S TEMPLE which opened in 1928. However, the Wooroora Lodge was established in Riverton in 1878 with meetings held at various other venues.  The Temple closed in 2016 due to declining member numbers and is now a privately owned residence
  33. Continuing along Frederick Place the BOWLING GREEN, opened in October 1930. The original club house was opened in January 1936 by H.A. Davis Esq. In 2000 Mr. Clyde Atkins, a retired farmer, etched past and present members’ names in the pavers which now surround the greens. The greens on the western side were planted in 2006.
  34. Turning right into Oxford Terrace we view the original stone building of the RIVERTON & DISTRICT HIGH SCHOOL which was erected in two stages. On the right, of the entrance, these rooms were erected in 1921 whilst the eastern wing was built in 1931. The school community gymnasium and adjacent class rooms were opened in 1990 with the latest additions including administration area and science block, opened in 2000. The recreation facilities on the opposite side of the Terrace including the oval, established 1909, plus the netball and tennis courts are all utilised by the students.
  35. Returning to the intersection of Oxford Terrace and Torrens Road. On the left is a PRIVATE ART STUDIO, built in 1872 as the Parish Hall on the site of the original wattle and daub Anglican Chapel. It was also the venue for the first secondary classes which commenced in 1913 when 32 students were enrolled on April 1st. Purchased by renowned artist Robert Hannaford (our very own illustrious son) in 2000, it was the venue he used when he painted the re-enactment of the first sitting of Parliament in 1901, the year of Federation. The painting now hangs in Parliament House, Canberra.
  36. PIONEER GARDEN OF MEMORY– Established in 1856 as the Anglican cemetery it later became the general cemetery when the Gilbert District Council was established in 1866. It was dedicated as a Memorial Garden to our Pioneers when the town celebrated its Centenary in 1956. Eighteen of the original headstones including one which was brought in from the Macaw Creek Wesleyan Cemetery now stand at the rear of the garden as testimony to these men, women and children who were among our early settlers.
  37. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH – Built 1874 as the Bible Christian Church and following amalgamation with the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists in 1900 it became the Methodist Church. Sold in 1964 to the Lutheran congregation when the Pioneer Methodist Church was opened in Moorhouse Terrace.
  38. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 8 Torrens Road. Built c1860 as the manse for the first Bible Christian minister, it has had some changes made to the façade. Adjacent to this was the original Bible Christian Chapel built c1860.
  39. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 10 Torrens Road. Built as the Adelaide Bank c1880, the original vault can still be accessed by lifting a panel in the kitchen floor. This building has been occupied by numerous families over the years.
  40. THE ALLAN WEBB SCOUT HALL – Built as a private residence in c1912, it was purchased by the Scout Group in 1965 as a memorial to scout leader, Rev. Allan MacLaren Webb, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, who established the 1st Riverton Scout Troop in 1909, just 12 months after Sir Baden Powell had founded the movement in England.
  41. COMBINED EMERGENCY SERVICES CENTRE – 16 Torrens Road. Opened in 1974 on the site of the former Riverton Council Depot, unique in that all emergency service groups shared the facility, a first in South Australia. In early 2006 the building was sold by the St. John Ambulance Association to the Country Fire Service and is now managed by the local Brigade.
  42. PRIVATE RESIDENCE – 18 Torrens Road. Built by the Scholz family as an additional residence it was home to both Harold and his sister Ida.

Produced by:

The Riverton Community
Management Committee Inc.
October 2006 and updated November 2017

Riverton History Centre
Mrs. Rosemary Shearer
Mr. Rob Millhouse
Riverton & District High School

Reprinted: October 2007