Origin of House and Building Names
The names of the houses that Magill Primary School has used for many years and more recently building names have associations with the very early history of Magill. They are of men who had widely differing backgrounds and characters, who sought a living in the new colony of South Australia.
Chosen from William Ferguson, who was one of the first land owners in the Adelaide foothills. He bought his land in 1838, just two years after the founding of the colony, and set to work to clear the Stringybark Forest. Some of his first workmen were runaway convicts from New South Wales.
Ferguson Park, on Stoneyfell Creek, was donated by a Miss Ferguson and serves as a reminder of Magill’s earliest pioneers.
Chosen to commemorate Alexander B. Murray, who arrived in South Australia in 1839 and bought a piece of land on St. Bernard’s Road in 1862. Murray enlarged the original house and called it Murray Park. It remained the home of the Murray family for 80 years. In that time, Alexander Murray became a member of both Houses of the South Australian Parliament and a very prominent citizen of Magill. Murray Park Recreational Ground was donated by Alexander Murray to the community. Murray Park is now part of the University of South Australia (Magill Campus).
A name associated with Magill since 1844 when Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold settled on land purchased from William Ferguson. Dr Penfold planted vine cutting brought with him from Europe to make wine for tonics for his patients. The vines flourished so well that the Penfold family have been winemakers ever since. The original cottage on the land, built of local stone, was used and later enlarged by Dr Penfold. The cottage is now kept as a museum of the early days of the wine industry.
Chosen from Alexander Tolmer, who lived in this area and was a real “character”. He was the first inspector of Police in South Australia and led many chases through the Adelaide Hills after escaped prisoners. Tolmer often managed to get in the news with his daring manner and dashing appearance. He saved the young colony from bankruptcy when he led the first gold escort from the Victorian Goldfields back to Adelaide. The gold was dug by South Australian men who left to find wealth in Victoria, leaving their families behind.