Oliventhal later Olivedale near Birdwood, South Australia.


Oliventhal, on section 6594, was laid out by JC Aberle and JG Lindner. In December 1857 they had bought land from George Fife Angas in the Hundred of Talunga. After all the papers had been signed they subdivided part of it into large farming blocks for German settlers and established the town of Oliventhal, Valley of Olives.

Among the first buildings to be erected were the Copper Smelters for the nearby mines in 1868. Three years later the Census listed 77 people in 18 houses. By the late 1870s Gustave Berling was living at Oliventhal and running a good business. In April 1879 he advertised his coach painting and trimmer business where all repairs were done on the premises with promptness at moderate charges. A few months later he was trying to sell timber.

In March 1880 the local paper published his new 'invention'.

In October 1880 S Manning opened his general store. In February 1881 Mrs Egel was fined 10 plus 2 cost for selling wine which was then consumed on her premises. In March 1882 W Sturm was finally granted a Storekeepers' Colonial Wine Licence. He had tried earlier but it had been rejected.

In September Joseph Jene gave notice that he intended to build a hotel and apply for a licence, but this was opposed as there was already a hotel about a kilometre away in Blumberg. In October 1883 Sturm was fined 1 plus cost for allowing disorderly conduct in his shop.

Joseph Jene completed the building of the Oliventhal Hotel on the Main Road and as stated before he now applied for a licence. It was refused. Sometimes it seemed as if the powers to be did not want any kind of development in Oliventhal. During 1884 several petitions had been circulating for a post office to be erected but once again it was not to be as the Postmaster General, Charles Todd decided that it should be in nearby Blumberg.

Meanwhile Gustave Berling had taken his son into the business in April 1882. This step, it was hoped, 'will, no doubt, enable the firm to extend their business, and to carry out the various branches of coach painting and building, and general repairs, to the entire satisfaction of their numerous customers. The firm have already manufactured some thirty of their patent moveable-seat buggies, for which they are justly renowned. Three of these have been sold for the other colonies. We congratulate the new firm, and wish them all the success they really deserve'.

In December 1884 Berling & Co. offered for sale 2 nearly new Tilbury Gigs, some Spider buggies, a Tray buggy, a German waggon and Spring drays. Customers came from as far away as Bunbury in Western Australia. Barely six months later, in July 1885 FAG Berling gave notice that in consequence of severe illness and other causes his business would now be carried on by AF Weidenbach.

By October 1885 things really started to fall apart as Friedrich Adolf Gustave Berling was declared insolvent. If that was not bad enough, he, and his wife Phoebe also suffered the death of their 18 months old daughter Charlotte Mary Julia.

The above add appeared in the Chronicle of 18 December 1897. In September 1898 James Whamond filed plans and an application for a wine licence. As anywhere else, most people worked hard to make a living, but some tried to do it the easy way. Arthur John Kenny admitted having stolen a bicycle valued at 12 belonging to Alfred Jenkinson and also a quantity of clothing the property of SJ Sears on 3 October 1902. In December he was sentenced to 4 years hard labour.

In August 1903 TC Watson placed this add. In September 1904 it was transferred to R Stoodley. In March 1916 his wife Letitia Stoodley applied for a storekeepers' Australian Wine Licence, but withdrew it after several objections had been raised.

This one was posted by Robert Stoodley on 18 September 1908.

On 20 February 1914 Johann Joachim Christian Prueter died at the home of his niece, Mrs H Kretschmer, aged 89 and a colonist of 58 years. By this time the 'town' of Oliventhal had become almost part of Blumberg. During the First World War the name of Oliventhal was changed by the South Australian Government to Olivedale 'to erase blots on the map'. Today it is part of suburban Birdwood.

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