The Hahndorf Old Mill is a testament to the innovation of South Australia’s early settlers. In the early years of the colony, the Mount Barker district was known as the granary of South Australia. Hahndorf’s settlers were the first to grow grain crops in the region and to supply neighbouring farmers with seed grain. Their hand and foot operated mill was soon inadequate, prompting the enterprising businessmen amongst them to develop other alternatives.
The Mill established in 1854 operated as a steam mill servicing farmers as far away as Victoria for over 60 years and producing various brands of flour including ‘pride of the hills’. The huge red gum pillars were erected by master carpenter, Johann Carl Friedrich Faehrmann and the roof was of slate.
A decade after establishing the mill the son of the previous owner doubled this mill’s capacity by installing the windmill’s French Burr grinding stones as depicted in the current Old Mill logo.
Later in its life, the Mill turned to producing chaff and processing wattlebark for the tanning industry. In 1923 all milling operations were closed down and the building was used as a wood and grain depot. In 1971, it became a German-style restaurant, ‘The Old Mill Restaurant’ and motel units were built at the rear.