Part of Panorama was originally known as Springbank. Today's name was inspired by the views the area offers.
Panorama Through Time
Few people realise that half the suburb of Panorama was superimposed over the Village of Springbank! In 1848 Edward N Emmett & Co was to auction "the few remaining plots of land in the beautiful Village of Springbank" at mid-day a week before Christmas. The advertisement in the daily SA Register continued, "Springbank lies about four miles to the south and can be reached by half-a-dozen miles from Adelaide. Each allotment is partly enclosed, containing from five to ten acres of rich cultivated land, from which a fine view of the sea is enjoyed." The results of the auction are unknown but two years were to pass before any titles were issued for most of the allotments. Marshall MacDermott, as manager of the Bank of Australasia, (on behalf of solicitor Alfred Hardy) sold 16 of the 29 allotments by 1853. It took the rest of the decade to sell the remainder. The Town and Country Building Society bought a couple of the blocks but it may have been in relation to their surveyor, Robert Stuckey who also purchased the remaining 8 blocks in his own name. It is interesting to note that in 1848 Adelaide and Suburban Building Society was the only one in existence, but by 1850 there were 15 building societies.
As the name Springbank suggests, springs rose from the backdrop of hills and flowed in a north westerly direction in the form of two or three shallow creeklets joining into one before crossing Goodwood Road and contributing to flooding down Daws Road as the land was cleared and the water-table rose.
By the time the first Council rate assessment was done by 1854, there were five huts and five, 2-room dwellings, seventy years later there were only half a dozen more. Only three of the original 17 purchasers had settled on their blocks when the first Council rate assessment was taken and they were Michael Colbert, Robert Walker and Patrick Fennell. In fact Patrick and his wife Mary nee O'Callaghan were the first to have a baby whom they named Honora, recorded as being born at Springbank on 4 Nov 1851.
No records have been discovered about the names Rose, Martha and Eliza who were to have their names for streets in the original Village of Springbank, since then some the street names have changed and only Eliza remains.
In 1846 John O'Dea and his growing family had already settled on Section 1073 to the south of Springbank calling his property "Spring Gully" as it nestled on the west side of Hogarth Road. In the late 1850s he was able to purchase adjoining Sections 1074 and 1080 into the foot-hills as the Land Grants became available.
In between Springbank and "Spring Gully" was Section 261 which was rented by Benjamin Colbert from absentee land lords from 1865 until it was bought in 1868 by Patrick Callaghan who had been in the district since 1851.
Isaac Skinner who arrived from Devonshire in 1850, had purchased block 4 in the Village of Springbank and built four huts and possibly a dwelling for his family by the time the Council Clerk rode by recording the first assessment in 1853. Isaac was a publican for three or four years during the 1860s including a year at the Lady Macdonald Hotel within walking distance of his home. This hotel operated from the corner of Ayliffes and South Roads, St Marys between 1857 and 1909, its ruins where still there in the 1960s. He appears to have been the only resident who built tenantable houses to supplement his income and his descendants remained on the property for over 100 years. No public buildings were built in Springbank at this early time.
Springbank pioneers were a close knit band, resident Tristram Bath and agent, Marshall MacDermott both later took part in public life at Burra. The Considene family linked most of the other early families of Springbank together through marriages to the O'Neil, Kelly, James, O'Dea, O'Callaghan, Fennell, Sawyer, Ellis and Skinner families. Two Hoelscher sisters married the Weil brothers and another sister married Friedrich W Temme and as neighbours all lived south of Martha Place/O'Neil Street on 41 acres for the next 30 years. Friedrich was a water carter for Adelaide and one wonders if he carted water from Springbank, later his family went to Hahndorf. Later both families became involved in the quarry operations around the Mitcham foothills, near John Fisher Drive and in the vicinity of the CC Hood Reserve.
The small rural properties remained a feature of Springbank until the 1920s when suburban subdivision began. Meanwhile on the opposite side of Goodwood Road Household a rubbish dump existed. It was sorted through by pigs with the hard remnants being raked into the creeklets. To improve disposal a rubbish destructor was installed.
Five subdivisions in 1924 divided the north half of today's suburb of Panorama signalling a change for the area. By the end of the decade there were eleven subdivisions across the old village of Springbank. Frank E Parsons and Joseph J Moyle were the surveyors for all eleven. The Great Depression and World War II discouraged any more speculation for twenty years.
In 1948, a century after the original Village of Springbank was offered, another spate of subdivisions of the last remaining five or ten acre blocks began. It continued for the next 20 years with Jordan Court being one of the last in 1969. Today only two or three buildings from the Village of Springbank survive.
In line with post-war encouragement, small business were established on the old blocks along Goodwood Road. One of the most unusual businesses in the district is the utilisation of the old railway tunnels for the commercial growing of mushrooms. The tunnels built in the 1880s were abandoned when the railway was altered during the upgrading of the system in the 1920s. During World War II they were used to store the State's treasures from the Art Gallery and Museum and Government papers. Since then various companies have managed mushroom farms in the dark tunnels.
One of the first commercial enterprises was a motor service station on the corner of Springbank and Goodwood Roads by Tom Best. Due the shortage of building materials in the early 1950s, he bought and erected an old airforce hangar on the site. When the Tuberculosis Association bought land from the Chester estate in 1949, it severed one of the longest family links with area of 95 years. Bedford Industries developed the area with their sheltered workshop being opened in 1965. The Panorama Trade School, now TAFE opened the same year. In 1960 J Grove and Son, builders, bought part of the Chester land and erected another old airforce hangar, from which to run their operations. The only parcel of land intact since 1956 from the old properties is that bought and still owned by the Electricity Trust of South Australia. It consists of two 5 acre blocks that were occupied by the Considene family 1862-1926 and the McMahon family 1865-1915.
Drive-in, open-air theatres were being opened across the suburbs in the 1950s as cars became a status symbol for the pre-TV audience of the time. After much discussion the location for the only one opened in the City of Mitcham was decided in 1956 at Panorama, just south of the Florist shop in an area zoned at the time for factories.
Once the Centennial Park Cemetery opened for burials in 1938, there was an opportunity for selling flowers. The shop opposite the cemetery began from an old outbuilding of J Weil, tinsmith of Springbank who settled there in 1858. It is one of the few buildings left from the old Village of Springbank.
Panorama Estate was originally the name bestowed in 1924 on the southern half of the present-day suburb. The town planning principles required the provision of open-space, even if, taking into account the terrain, it was only along the creek lines. It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that the demand for residential land encouraged people to build up the slopes which had the advantage of panoramic views.
The railway loops across the southern part of the suburb, and to preserve some of the Hills Face Zone, identified in the 1960s, Sleeps Hill Reserve was created east of the railway in 1970. This adjoins the National Trust's Watiparinga Reserve which links it with Shephards Hill Recreation Park. Walks up the gullies will lead you to Belair National Park or over the ridge into suite of old quarries revealing significant geological features and panoramic views of the district.
See Panorama Chronology (3198 kb) for more information.