Mount Pleasant was laid out by Henry Glover in the 1850s. Previously the township consisted of Totness and Hendryton with Mount Pleasant between the two settlements on the eastern bank of the Torrens River which has its source about five kilometres to the north.
Glover arrived in South Australia in 1838, worked as a harpoon whaler for the South Australian Company and later did some farming. When the Victorian goldfields were attracting all the attention Henry went to have a look as well. He returned in 1854 with enough gold to buy land in the Hundred of Talunga at Chain of Ponds and on another section laid out Mount Pleasant. He died in 1862 when he was the publican at the Wheatsheaf Inn at Kersbrook. Henry is buried at the Kersbrook Cemetery.
Gold was also discovered at Mount Pleasant by Tungkillo farmers William Kendall, George Pym, Jonas Scholes and William Bartholomew in 1869. Mining the gold was first tried in August and many experienced diggers on their way to South Rhine visited the area and spoke very highly of it.
George Barlow, farmer of Mount Pleasant, found two ounces of gold on his own land and without any delay had his sons digging for more. He tried to keep the discovery quiet but within a few days about 30 men were digging next to his farm. They must have been in luck as it resulted in the formation of the Mount Pleasant Gold Mining Company. With a nominal capital of £6,000 manager Arthur Boyle and the committee, made up of Anthony Hall, James Randall, Edward Meade Bagot, J.K. Hawthorn and F.H. Nason, were soon able to sell more than 900 ounces of gold to the local bank and a further 500 ounces elsewhere. Most of this had been the result of Captain Albrecht’s hard work when he was in charge of the mine.
On 17 October 1870 William Kendall and his three friends wanted to know if any reward was available for the discovery of the Mount Pleasant goldfield, ‘as it was the means of a great deal of employment and the finding of several reefs’. He was out of luck like so many before him; no rewards were paid although some £4,000 worth of gold had been taken from the field during 1869 and about £8,000 worth before July 1871 when only about 30 men remained on the field.
The Mount Pleasant Gold Mining Company had some excellent results and during the first days of August 1871 it obtained an extra 13 ounces from puddling. After the death of Captain Albrecht in May 1872, production declined rapidly and at a special meeting it was decided to make four calls during the next six months. Regardless of the number, or amount of calls, the company was unable to locate enough gold to pay its expenses and eventually was liquidated. However, a further 1,100 ounces were found by 1883.
There are three cemeteries at Mount Pleasant.