Laneway to be dedicated to pioneering Eudunda family
Words by Samuel Doering
On 20 November 2022, a laneway in Eudunda will be dedicated during a historic afternoon event in the Town Gardens.
The 750m laneway, which is the brainchild of the Eudunda 150 Committee, will be called ‘Appelt Lane’ to recognise the pioneering achievements of the Appelt family. The Appelt family played a key role in the foundation of Eudunda in the 1870s, and continued to serve the community in the following decades.
The laneway, which has never been named, crosses the breadth of the town, starting at the Eudunda Preschool Centre, running past the Railway Station, through the Town Gardens, and ending opposite the former Laucke Mills building.
The lane will recognise three generations of the Appelt family. The earliest, Ernst David Appelt, was a pastor who trained at Dresden, later working in India, before travelling to South Australia in 1859. He administered to flocks of Lutheran believers in the Eudunda area before churches were constructed, often conducting services in believer’s homes.
His son, Friedrich Gotthilf Ernst Appelt, established the first general store in Eudunda in 1874, when the town was still a frontier hamlet. ‘F.G.E.’ as he was often referred to, also served the community as a Chair of the District Council of Neales, a Justice of the Peace, Choirmaster at Emmaus Lutheran Church, Treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia, postmaster, chemist, and businessman. He was noted for manufacturing Appelt’s Magentropfen (Appelt’s Stomach Drops), a cure for indigestion and heartburn.
F.G.E.’s wife, Emilie Appelt (née Temme), was a witness to her husband’s pioneering work. Her greatest legacy is her diary written between 1904 and 1914, which provides an intimate, unparalleled insight into Eudunda a century ago. She describes the establishment of Eudunda in great detail, her devout Lutheran beliefs, her daily life, and experience as a mother – including the loss of six of her thirteen children.
One of F.G.E. and Emilie’s sons, Friedrich Theodor Appelt, dedicated his life to the advancement of Eudunda. He was a correspondent to The Advertiser; served as Secretary for the Liberal Party, Rifle Club, Eudunda Club, and Hospital Board; and worked as Editor for the Eudunda Courier. In addition, he was a member of the Football Club and a record-breaking County Light cricketer. So dedicated was he that he died at his desk at the Eudunda Courier. The town shut shop for his funeral in 1941.
Two of Friedrich’s brothers, Arthur and Ernst, studied in America to become pastors. They both become leading churchmen, assuming high positions in NSW, New Zealand, and Canada. Victor (Vic), was the youngest son of F.G.E. and Emilie. He taught piano, organ, singing, choral, and orchestral work at Concordia College and later opened a music store in Eudunda.
The project to name the lane ‘Appelt Lane’ has been supported by the Regional Council of Goyder, who have organised signage fabrication, and, in the coming weeks, will complete installation
The Eudunda Community, Business, and Tourism (ECBAT) Committee have also lent their full support this project. Judy Partington, Chair of ECBAT, said of the project: “The establishment of such an historically named lane in Eudunda’s centre will, we believe, contribute to local heritage tourism, and the lane will add greatly to the rejuvenation of the railway precinct by adding special significance.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend the dedication of Appelt Lane at an event in the Eudunda Town Gardens on 20 November, starting at 2pm. The day will also include the laying of a time capsule, and unveiling of a specially constructed sculpture by Reimann Manufacturing.
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