What is this place called Baker’s Flat?

Baker’s Flat is the site of a nineteenth century Irish settlement near the town of Kapunda in the mid-north of South Australia. It is also the focus of my Masters in Archaeology research project.

Kapunda is about 70km north of Adelaide. In the mid-nineteenth century, copper was discovered there, which led to the establishment of a mine in 1844. Over the next ten years, many Irish migrants arrived in the area, probably attracted by labouring work available at the mine.

The area immediately south of the mine was known as Baker’s Flat, and this was where the Irish migrants lived. To begin with, they built rough shelters. Later on, they built Irish-style stone cottages with thatched roofs and whitewashed walls. The site was occupied right through to at least the 1900s, although numbers varied over this time.

Bakers Flat cottage 19th century

Irish-style cottage on Baker’s Flat in the 19th century

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4 Responses to What is this place called Baker’s Flat?

  1. Hugh says:

    Sounds exciting. Good luck with the research.

  2. Leoni says:

    I have many records of O’Callahan and Trewartha family members living at Baker’s Flat Kapunda. Good luck with the research. I live not far from there and would love to come and watch/help. Leoni

    • sarthure says:

      Hi Leoni, that’s really interesting, I would love to talk to you more about your records. Any photos? I am up and back to Kapunda fairly frequently, so we could catch up and have a chat? Susan

      • Leoni says:

        Hi Susan, I have in front of me a Marriage Certificate for my Great Great Grandparents Dermott and Mary Liddy residents of Bakers Flat. They were poor Irish who could not read or write and lived and worked in “Little Dublin” as it was also known of back then. My other set of 2x G/Grandparents Elisha and Elizabeth Trewartha, also miners, lived at Helston. My favourites though were my 3x G/Grandparents who ran the Commercial Hotel in the main st of Kapunda and were also Convicts, William and Ellen Supple. Liddys being Irish, Trewarthas being Cornish and Supples being English I have quite a mixed bag but they all started off in the same district which I find fascinating !! I have a photo of Mary Liddy and one of Elisha Trewartha but unfortunately that is all. I also have their Family Trees so it would be nice to catch up one day. I am interested in Bakers Flats because it was just all poor Irish Families and it would have been very difficult times indeed. Cheers Leoni

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