FOUNDING THE TOWNSHIP OF STRATHALBYN
The Angas Special Survey, purchased by Captain George Hall and William Mein, was approximately 20,000 acres of land located around the lower River Angas. Among the beneficiaries of the Survey were brothers – John and William Rankine.
Matthew Rankine’s 1903 memoirs (William Rankine’s son) tell of John Rankine starting the first cattle station in the district. In early 1840 cattle was yarded onto the ‘peninsular’ (where the Soldier’s Memorial Garden Rotunda is) and graziers camped on the hillside (the land between the River and Colman Terrace).
The Adelaide Chronicle of 26 August 1840, reported the area as the Strath-Albyn district, and that it was especially well stocked and incorporated 12 stations, with many sheep, cattle and horses, and a town with an inn and store had just been laid out. The inn, known as the Strathalbyn Hotel was located where the Terminus Hotel is now.
By November 1840, William and Jane Rankine, three sons, two daughters and a Miss Patterson (who was under their charge) had settled in temporary accommodation on a property they named Glenbarr. By 1842, a substantial two-storey stone house had been erected replacing the earlier dwelling, which still remains today.
On 16 November 1841, James Dawson and William Rankine took joint and official ownership of Section 2600 (160 acres), the site of the township of Strathalbyn, and became responsible for further leading the development of the town. (Source: Old Strathalbyn and Its People)