Macclesfield Community History

Macclesfield Community History Website

Where are we?

Macclesfield is a small town situated in the Adelaide Hills about 50km southeast of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia.

Macclesfield is part of Aboriginal ancestral lands and we acknowledge and respect the region's traditional custodians, now generally accepted as being called the Peramangk. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to the land.

Welcome to our website, managed by the Macclesfield History Group. We are part of the Macclesfield Community Association. The history of the town dates back to 1840.

Betty White, with her friends, has collected historical information about Macclesfield for sixty years. In addition to being closely involved with the publishing of two Macclesfield books, with others she has researched and presented historical articles for many of the 900+ issues of the Macclesfield Newsletter.

We hope to make these, and much of the rest of the collection, available to those interested in the town and region's history.

What's New on the Website

Woven Together, connecting through story and song. A Cultural History Talk and Music Performance, exhibiting art from the Erritja Aboriginal Art Gallery. On Sunday May 22nd 2022 at the Flaxley Uniting Church, corner of Flaxley Road and Strathalbyn Road from 1:00pm till 4:00pm.

"Bridging The History": - We would like to acknowledge and involve First Nations people in our project called Bridging The History. We aim to have a presence on our website that includes awareness rising from the pre-colonial human occupation of our region and the early contact period. The main focus is to identify and collaborate with ongoing Aboriginal associations within our region and to embrace them in a way that creates respect and a documented history for future generations.

Howard Ross and the Trigg brothers: - In 2021 the History Group received a small box of Ross family photos and greeting cards from Brenton Jury, who now lives in Brisbane. (In progress)

The Billion Bees Foundation: An article about Australian native stingless bees.

The Pfeiffer Files. In 2020 Chris Pfeiffer sent us almost 200 images mainly from Maccy in the 1900's, with descriptions as remembered by his 90 years old father. Updated 24 Aug 2021.

Peggy's Album. Recently the History Group received a wonderful donation of an old family album, complete with photographs of members of the Ellis and Pilben families who lived in Macclesfield around 1840, when the town was first settled. (more to be added)

Peter Baraglia has updated some Table Tennis names June 2021.

The Crystal Lake page has been updated with information about the Crystal Park Campsite, and the Olympic Size Pool.

The Institute will be OPEN on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from Wed 10th February, 2021, 2 – 4 pm. Everyone Welcome!

The Early Days - Dulcie Scrutton letter. A thought-provoking account of life in Macclesfield during the years 1911-1917 as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

The Lemar's: - One of the "old" Macclesfield names. A "work in progress", updated 4th Nov.

The Davenport Family established Macclesfield in 1840 - NEW.

UPDATED INFORMATION: - Nat Lemar, while self-isolating over Easter due to the Covid-19 pandemic, researched the Paris Creek School. She discovered new information that places some doubt on other items on this website, listing facts backed up by images found on Trove. Very much appreciated Nat.

Report: 1880 Time Capsule opened May 2000.

Macclesfield CFS: 80 Years Celebration, December 8, 2019. The Macclesfield Country Fire Service is celebrating 80 years of service to the local community with a day of celebration and remembrance. The day will run from 11am until 2pm, with official presentations at 12.30. Location – Davenport Square: 4 Vernon Street, Macclesfield SA 5153.

REPORTS: Our Epic Flight Centenary Exhibition + Strawberry Fete.

2019 Inductees into the Macclesfied Football Club Hall of Fame: Cecil Bernard Alvin YATES, Trevor CALABY, Brenton HANDKE, Wayne EDWARDS, Barry HANDKE.

Our Epic Flight Centenary Exhibition November 23-24  +  Strawberry Fete: Save the Date.

Macclesfield Council Minutes Book 1884-1888. A major exercise, all the official local council minutes from 1884 to 1888, conserved, photographed, then added to this website for anyone to peruse, copyright free. All images/slides are now available for viewing HERE.

The DANCKER family feature in Macclesfield's early history, see here for our writeup. Now Kenan Henderson, an architecture and musician/teacher, has created a website devoted to Frederick William Dancker 1852-1936 and his son Eric Phillipps Dancker 1889-1953, see here.

Mystic Order of the Itching Stitch: Another History Mystery.

Three Brothers Arms: a fuller list of publicans has been added, and some new images.

Biochar Open Day, Saturday 27 July 2019, was a success. Report.

The Great Heritage Family BAKE-OFF: A successful day, enjoyed by all. See the report on the MAIN BAKE-OFF PAGE.

We have produced another walk, the Venables Street Historical Walk 2, an easy 1.4km circular route starting at Davenport Square. The walk brochure can be collected from the local Post Office or Supermarket, or downloaded at home and printed - follow the link above.

Added the three 2018 History Group reports to the MCA (Macclesfield Community Assoc).

From our Museum of Hats Exhibition in November 2018, see the Old Hats page for many preserved photos that were used in advertising the event, and photos that were taken on the day. My apologies for taking so long to get these processed and uploaded.

Free Little Book Exchange in front of the Institute.

Macclesfield School Concert 1954. This may be of interest to the many locals who were in Primary School at this time.

1943 Flaxley Miss Red Cross competition.

Churches: more information added to Congregational and Methodist church histories.

KEPERT Family History - from Louis Kepert, a descendent of Wenzel Kepert and Catharina Anna Elizabeth Kepert (nee Behn), who lived in Macclesfield from 1850 with their children. A major genealogic research project over many years. Thank you Louis for allowing us to add it to our website. More to be added.

Thank you to Sheila Jones for (probably) solving one of our History Mysteries, the loss of the northern chimney of the Macclesfield Hotel. Click HERE for the answer. If you have further information then contact us by email at, or on our online form.

Macclesfield Table Tennis Club history HERE.

Museum of Hats: Report HERE.

The 91st Macclesfield Strawberry Fete will be held on Sunday November 25th on Davenport Square, Macclesfield, from 9:30am.

Started an Obituaries page, the first being Joyce Valerie DAVIS (nee PASSFIELD), 1931-2005.

The Passfield Family, and the story of Bert Passfield's Ute. Updated with other snippets from our archives on 12 Sep 2018.

Our walking map around Macclesfield, starting at St James the Less Church can be downloaded and viewed here.

Further details have been added to the FREEMAN FAMILY HISTORY, thanks to Kerry Anne CORY, and Kevin and Heather WOOD.

"The Trials of Billy Freeman", by former ABC journalist Alan ATKINSON

Report completed for 'Bustles & Bows' from Saturday 26th May 2018.

Further details added to the FREEMAN FAMILY HISTORY, thanks to Cheryl AMBROSE from NSW and Barry FREEMAN from Canberra; both descendants of William & Sarah FREEMAN.

Reports added for:Venables Street Historical Walk' led by Jan Lewis, the ‘Banjo Paterson's Birthday’ event, and 'Pink Stumps Day', all on Saturday 17th Feb 2018. See our Events page.

Dancker family history and residence (immediately south of the Institute Hall)

Added: 2017 Report to the Macclesfield Community Association AGM, held 13 Aug 2017.

Hall of Fame - Macclesfield Football Club, held 13 Aug 2017. Twelve past players and administrators were added to the inaugural Maccy Football Club Hall of Fame.

BOOKLET: St James the Less Roman Catholic Church 150th Anniversary

2017 Strawberry Fete 26 November on Davenport Square + REPORT
+ our exhibition GOOD & USEFUL WORK: A Century of Red Cross in SA.
Anglican Church Hall in Venables Street Fri 24, Sat 25, Mon 27 from 1 - 4 pm
Sunday (Strawberry Fete day) from 10 - 4pm

Genealogy from the early Macclesfield area UPDATED June 28th 2017. We are a long way from getting our database online and searchable, but in the meantime the raw data has been placed on this page. A process for finding your surnames or other keywords has been given at the top of the page. You can also use the "Search Website" button at the top right of each page. We hope it is useful.

LAUNCH of our own Lesley Schack's "At Work - Macclesfield Cheese Factory, 1937-1975" . Based on the 2013 oral history project of the factory, the book will be launched at the Macclesfield Institute Hall on Saturday 27th May, 2017, from 2-5 pm. For more information go to our Events page.

History Mysteries: Perhaps you can solve a History Mystery involving our Macclesfield past? The next concerns the Macclesfield Hotel. When and why was the chimney removed?

National Library Pandora Archive: Our website has been selected for preservation on the Australian National Library Web Archive, Pandora. This means a copy of the entire website will be archived approximately yearly on a national database, for posterity. See here.

Site Map page: Easy navigation and page selection, especially for tablet devices.

Select by clicking on a coloured link.

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Bridging the History

the First Nation people's
living history in our region.


Visit our online store

Visit the new Macclesfield Community History online store and share our passion for local history. Also available in our local Post Office in the main street.

- "At Work, The Macclesfield Cheese Factory 1937-1975 (New Release)" and
- "Macclesfield - Reflections along the Angas" edited by Jim Faull.

Shop now

The Institute is OPEN
on the 2nd Wednesday
of each month
from 2 – 4 pm.
Everyone welcome!

Macclesfield Market

Monthly Sunday,
except January
starting 3rd May

Visit the Facebook page for more information from the Maccy Community Association.

Contact Us

Any information or feedback?
Or would you like to join our history group? Email us at:


using our easy online form.