Blacksmiths of Mount Pleasant

Blacksmiths could be found in each busy country town.  They created and mended implements, wagon or carriage wheels and were often the undertaker, constructing the coffin and organising the burial.

This blacksmith shop is situated on Saleyard Road, Mount Pleasant, but it wasn’t the first blacksmith shop for the town.

George Pople

was a blacksmith during the 1860s-1870s.  Son William, also became a blacksmith, but then settled on being the mail driver at Eden Valley.

 

Polden brothers

George Polden was a wheelwright and his brother, James a blacksmith and undertaker.  They were in business between 1884 and 1917.  George belonged to the Institute and Show Committees and was Secretary of the local Oddfellows Lodge.  During the 1890s another brother, Thomas, was also briefly a blacksmith at Mount Pleasant, before moving to Blumberg.

 

John Hendry

operated as a blacksmith in the early 1860s.  In partnership with John Godlee he expanded the existing smithy facilities into an engineering plant, for the manufactur of agricultural implements and other iron structures, including the Harrison Creek bridge on the Tungkillo-Palmer main road.  John Hendry was a member of the first management committee of the Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, formed in 1866.  He surveyed Hendryton, in 1865, which became the western section of the town we now know as Mount Pleasant.  He eventually moved to Georgetown in the mid-north before retiring to Adelaide.

 

Alexander W. Loveday

settled at Mount Pleasant in 1885.  He established the blacksmith shop pictured, a business which diversified as a wheelwright, enamelling, sign writing, paint & varnish manufacture and coach & waggon construction.  He was also an undertaker and provided a veterinary service.  He also became a gold buyer for the alluvial gold discovered in the neighbourhood and made a properly labelled collection of Australian gemstones collected on regular prospecting safaris. The Loveday business premises became the booking office and terminus for Hill & Co’s coach line.

Alexander served on the Show Society committee, the Institute and installed the town’s first lighting system.  In 1906 there was a special meeting conducted by the Show Society to discuss the erection of a tank…. reported in the Mount Barker Courier…

A special meeting of the members of the Mount Pleasant Agricultural  Society was held in the institute-hall on Friday last to consider the question of building a tank on the show grounds.

Mr. F. Thomson (president) occupied the chair.

Mr. Hughes tabled an offer from Messrs. Loveday & Co. to erect a galvanized-iron tank to hold 3500 gallons and connect same with galvanized pipe to a horse trough on road near the office, the connection to have two taps, one for the trough and one at some other convenient spot on the ground. The conditions were that the cost of the tank be defrayed by the contractors, who should have full control of the supply for two shows and if they had by that time reimbursed themselves the tank to become the property of the society, and if not Messrs. Loveday to take half of the proceeds from the tank at the following show or shows until their claim be settled; the charge for water during this time not to exceed 1d. per gallon.

Mr. R. T. Melrose moved-“That a brick tank, with a capacity of 10,000 gallons, as suggested by the sub-committee, be constructed.” Mr. G. Bradford seconded and Mr. G. T. Melrose supported the motion, which was carried unanimously.

Mr. R. Godfree moved-“That the offer of Messrs. Loveday & Co. to erect a tank be accepted.” Mr. G. B. Sketheway seconded.

It was decided that the funds for tank be raised by subscription and that the sub-committee carry out the work.

In 1918 the business was sold to his son-in-law, Mark Talbot, who gradually turned the premises into a motor garage.

In 1934 the following article was found in the Mount Barker Courier, advising of the sale of the business to Mr H. Dohnt…

 

References

The Quiet Waters By, Reg Butler

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