About and History
Dights Forest, named in 1837 was selected by John Dight, a friend of Hamilton Hume, the selection of 44,800 acres stretched from the Murray River in the south to Table Top in the north east. Captain William Hovell passed through this district in 1857 and he stayed in Dights Forest Homestead which is now called “Drumwood”.
Jindera (origin of name is unknown) was gazetted in 1869 with 126 acres set aside for the village. The first Post Office was called Jindera in 1870 and Frederick Baker was the first Postmaster. Jindera soon grew with various tradesmen establishing themselves, these included a general store, (Wagner’s, now the Pioneer Museum), blacksmith, wheelwright, home nursing hospital, butcher, baker, police station, carpenter, dressmaker, public hall, four hotels, bush fire brigade, two schools, brass band, and park where a shelter shed was erected. This park had turnstiles at the entrance, a bicycle track, tennis courts, football oval and cricket pitch. There was also a racetrack for horse racing opposite the location of the original Public School.
Jindera also had a Town Common where most of the village people had a cow for the domestic milk supply. When fifty-six settlers (of German descent) arrived here in the 1860’s from South Australia, they camped at the Four Mile Creek to access a good supply of running water. A Pioneer Cairn has been erected on the site of that original camp. Most of the settlers came to Australia to escape religious persecution and to worship freely according to their faith.
The first Church of England was built in 1868 of mud and sticks with a straw roof, and replaced with a brick building in 1891. The first St John’s Lutheran Church was also built of mud and sticks at the corner of St John’s Cemetery and replaced in 1879 with the present Church.
On 24 February 1872, Mr Frederick Baker, on behalf of the residents of Jindera, applied for aid to build a Provisional School conducted by Mr George Henry Greene. By December 1874 plans for a small brick school were drawn up and a site of two acres had been granted for a school, and a further ten acres set aside as a reserve. On 1 September 1876, Mr Carl Meyer, a Danish immigrant, commenced teaching with eighteen pupils enrolled, the commencement of Public School Education in Jindera.
The Lutheran pioneers of 1886 resolved to have a school, a Christian Day School - “St John’s Lutheran School”. The teaching of the Word of god was to be the centre of the learning programme. Pastor JF Goessling was the school’s first teacher and used only the German language.
The Jindera government “Tank” was made in 1889 and gazetted as a Public Watering Place in 1890.
It was made with pick and shovel, horse and dray. Its capacity is about 18,000 cubic feet, and it has never run dry.
During its heyday Jindera had four hotels. The “Mill Hotel” was built opposite the Church of England, and was destroyed by fire in the late 1800’s. The hotel known as “The Adelaide” was situated opposite the location of the original Public School, where a fig tree is said to have determined its location. “The Forest Hotel”, built in 1870, was first occupied by Mr & Mrs Carl Otto Muller, and later bought by Mr & Mrs Ted Pye. The “Jindera Hotel” was the fourth, and is still operating, but because of a dispute between the owners and the breweries it was closed for two years, and reopened on 10 November, 1967, with Robert Kernaghan as the licensee. Whilst on the subject of hotels, it may be mentioned that most of the settlers had their own vineyards, and made their own wines, which meant fully-stocked cellars at all times.
Over the years Jindera has hosted many interesting visitors including the German Consul in the early 1900’s when the Gilson’s were the licensees of the Jindera Hotel and in 1969 Dame Zara Holt was enthralled with the beautiful Riverina bluebells (Paterson’s Curse) on the road side near Jindera, so picked a large bunch of these beautiful flowers only to have them taken from her at the Albury- Wodonga Fruit Fly block. The then governor general, Sir Paul Hasluck, visited Jindera in 1970, and children from St John’s School and the Jindera Public School assembled at the museum to greet him. Sir Paul was so impressed with the museum that he returned there to record his Australia Day speech for the year 1972. In April 1971 Dr Herman Kessler, the Oberburgermeister (Lord Mayor) of Nordlingen, Bavaria, and his entourage visited Jindera.
Jindera has a powerful sense of its past with a number of buildings of historical significance. Located on the western side of the main street is the Jindera Pioneer Museum, a past winner of the Museum of the Year Award for museums in country NSW. The museum was opened by Sir Russell Drysdale on 5 October 1968, on the occasion of the Jindera Centenary celebrations. Shortly after this the museum complex was classified by the National Trust. The award winning museum has a wonderful complex of buildings, including the original Wagner’s Store, a reconstructed slab hut, the old Huon post office, early farm machinery and a blacksmith’s forge. The shop building is pre-eminent in NSW for its original shop fittings and furnishings and plays host to many hundreds of visitors throughout the year.
Jindera’s main recreation reserve is also centrally located with facilities for football, cricket, tennis, netball and swimming. A golf course is located northeast of the town.
The Jindera Wetland area has been developed by a local committee and is approximately 2.5 acres located in the heart of Jindera. Access is via the Jindera Football Oval or the Jindera Tennis Courts. The area is flat with undulations for water catchment and is a haven for native birds and animals as well as a relaxing recreational walk.
Jindera has a proud pioneer history, and this identity is preserved in the award winning Jindera Pioneer Museum. Step back in time and explore the original town store, a pioneer hut and an array of local farm machinery.
Relax and enjoy the facilities at the recreation reserve which include netball courts, football field, cricket nets, skate park, swimming pool, tennis courts with lights, children’s playground and free electric BBQ.