Crest of history (Windback Wednesday)
Burnside’s first olive truncheons were planted by Samuel Davenport in Beaumont after being imported from France in the 1840’s. Davenport took his knowledge and applied it to similar soil upon his arrival in South Australia in 1843.
About 25 years later, Beaumont became home to Australia’s first commercial olive oil production. ‘Sir Samuel Davenport’s Virgin Olive Oil’ was sold interstate and was included in many international exhibitions, winning medals in France and India.
In 1873 another olive plantation emerged as The Stonyfell Olive Company began business. The Stonyfell foothills plantation gradually increased in size to boast over 10,000 trees of over 15 varieties. Despite the demand for the plantations’ high quality oil in Australia and internationally, olive oil production was never very profitable. Eventually cheaper imported oils rendered the local plantations unprofitable and production ceased at Stonyfell in1958 and at Beaumont in 1962.
Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold arrived in South Australia with his wife Mary in 1844. A practicing doctor, Dr Penfold had great faith in the curative properties of port.
Together they purchased 60 acres of land at Magill and built a stone cottage which they called “The Grange” (which is today one of Burnside's oldest buildings). They also planted cuttings from French and Spanish vines which they brought with them from England.
It was in fact Mary Penfold and her maid Ellen Timbrell who made the first Penfold wine. In the early days, production was restricted to wines of the port and sherry type, but as demand grew, other varieties were added.
The vineyards and wine making business also grew with the help of Penfold’s son- in-law Thomas Hyland, who married their daughter Georgina. In 1881, the stock of wine at the Magill winery was 107,000 gallons, with two thirds being exported to other Australian states and also to New Zealand.
In 1950, the company made the historic decision to focus on table wines. Shortly after, two of Australia's finest red wines were developed at Magill, namely Grange Hermitage and St Henri Claret. Today all Penfolds Grange vintages are collector’s items.
In the 1980’s most of the land was subdivided for housing. A small vineyard, the cottage and the winery buildings were retained.
The Magill Estate Shiraz is still made entirely from the grapes of this vineyard. The remaining five hectares of vines are almost surrounded by suburbia, providing a unique setting for the Magill Estate Restaurant that opened in 1995.
Glen Osmond Toll House
Constructed in 1841 as a toll keeper’s quarters, the Glen Osmond Toll House is one of the state’s oldest buildings. It was built to enable a cash strapped government to collect fees to help finance the construction of the Great Eastern Road, the main route to the eastern colonies. This was, and still is, the only toll road to have ever been built in South Australia.
The amount of the toll depended on the type of vehicle or animal travelling on the road, with common charges being one shilling for a one horse coach, sixpence for every ridden horse and three shillings for a carriage drawn by six or more horses.
Exemptions included the Governor’s horses and “persons traveling to divine service on Sunday.”
Not surprisingly, the tolls were unpopular and inefficient, as travellers became adept at bypassing this section of road.
In 1847 politician Sir Samuel Davenport successfully moved for the abolishment of the toll and the building became obsolete. The small hexagonal stone building still stands in its original position, now in the middle of a multi-lane highway.
The single toll gate used to block the road was recovered and restored in the early 1950’s, and now stands on a grassed area near the toll house.