Macclesfield Community History

Nearby communities - Paris Creek

A Brief History of the Paris Creek Mail, by Norman BARTLETT
The Paris Creek Hall
The Paris Creek Schools, 1876-1948, by Norman Bartlett

Paris Creek was named after a Scottish settler Robert PARIS who was from Leith in Scotland.

Note: Have also added the "BARTLETT Family History, by Norman BARTLETT" here.

UPDATED INFORMATION: - Nat Lemar, while self-isolating over Easter due to the Covid-19 pandemic, researched the Paris Creek School history. She discovered new information that places some doubt on other dates on this website, and lists facts backed up by images found on Trove. Wish we could be time-travellers :)  Very much appreciated Nat.

A Brief History of the Paris Creek Mail, by Norman BARTLETT

Records from the District Council of Meadows show that my father, Albion Edwin BARTLETT, had property at Paris Creek in 1906. This was section 1910 of the Hundred of Kondoparinga. His brother Norman Leslie BARTLETT had sections 1909 and 3319.

Albion married his first wife, Bertha Jane SMITH on 26th July 1906 and had a house built, 'Angel's Retreat'.

Angel's Retreat, Paris Creek unofficial Post Office

‘Angels Retreat’—The Paris Creek Unofficial Post Office

I believe he procured the mail contract about this period and collected the ‘Paris Creek via Blackwood’ mail with a horse and buggy, from either Meadows or meeting the bus on the Paris Creek / Goolwa Road corner. He then took the mail back to their house where it was sorted for the people of the surrounding farms.

It was a free bag with no remuneration, being an unofficial Post Office. The mail was sorted at the Blackwood Post Office hence the address being ‘via Blackwood’. The Meadows bus picked up the mail bags from Blackwood and delivered to centres along the way to Ashbourne, i.e. Dorset Vale, Cherry Gardens, Clarendon, Kangarilla, Meadows, Paris Creek and Bull Creek.

Albion Bartlett Paris Creek Mailman

Albion Bartlett—The Paris Creek Mailman

When dad passed away in 1940, Mavis VIVIAN, our next door neighbour, took over the contract and would call into our house on mail days, being Tuesdays and Fridays. She would pick up the outgoing bag and walk to Jack BURNS’ house on the Bull Creek Road and swap bags from the bus and return for Mum to sort the mail. This was a walk of about 5 miles, rain or shine.

Our kitchen was always unlocked and the sorted mail was placed in different spots where the neighbours knew to collect their mail. For example: WILLIAMSON was on left side of the mantle-piece, L. BARTLETT was left side of kitchen cabinet with HUTCHENS/BLAKE on the right, SCHOFIELD, BARTHOLOMEW, PEARCE, MASON on end of the table etc.

In 1954 I took over the mail contract with the PMG Department and rode my BSA motor bike and side car to meet the bus at the Paris Creek, Bull Creek Road corner. At that time it was ROBINSON ’s bus. When I started driving milk trucks at Meadows, I arranged to drop off and pick up the bag at the Meadows Post Office.

The bag was a canvas mail bag with a reversible metal tag with Paris Creek on one side and Blackwood on the other. The bag also had a lockable leather strap with a padlock. If any registered mail was sent, it would be placed in a red bag, sealed in the early days with string and wax. Later a wire and a lead seal was used. This bag was then put inside the canvas mail bag.

About 1959, I made up a set of ‘pigeon holes’ and bolted these under the back veranda, so people could collect their mail without having to go inside the house.

Around 1968, work commitments made it too inconvenient to continue the contract. I then asked the PMG Department to terminate the arrangement and for residents to get their mail at a post office of their choice.

Albion BARTLETT had the mail contract for about 34 years, then
Mavis VIVIAN for 14 years, then
Norman BARTLETT for 12 years.

I believe our house had been the unofficial Post Office for about 60 years, serving about 18 households during that time.

As properties changed hands in later years some found it more convenient to collect their mail from a Post Office Box in Meadows, Macclesfield or Strathalbyn. When I closed down there were still about 10 households collecting mail. Names of families who collected mail were:


The Paris Creek Hall

After years of fund raising by card evenings in the school, private homes and gymkhanas on Baughan’s Flat, the Paris Creek community had raised enough money to procure an ex-army Entertainment Hut which had become surplus after World War II.

Opening of the Paris Creek Hall c1948

Opening of the Paris Creek Hall on 16th July 1947

This building was dismantled and transported by Gilberts’ Transport of Echunga to a site next to the school, on land donated by my uncle Mores WILLIAMSON. The hall was framed with 1¼ inch pipe welded and bolted together, with galvanized iron walls lined with canite and a jarrah floor on concrete stilts. When the builder need a truss raised into position he would get boys from the school to go over and help pull them up.

The building had one of the best dance floors in the district with a curtained stage, dressing room and kitchen. Working bees were held to paint and put on additions.

The hall was opened on the 16th July 1947. It became the focal point for community events, with the holding of dances, concerts, pet shows, strawberry fetes, birthday parties and weddings. It was lit with 3 kerosene lamps until 1948 when the power to the district was connected.

The hall has since been demolished.


The Paris Creek Schools, 1876-1948, by Norman Bartlett

There were two schools in Paris Creek.

The first Paris Creek School was opened in April 1876 and the Head-Teacher was William HAYES. The first recorded attendance was 19 students and this was the greatest number in the history of the school. The attendance rapidly dropped and the school closed two years later—possibly due to a diphtheria epidemic. Little is known of the school but it seems that it was built of stone with pug mortar. The lime concrete base can still be found on the corner of the fire track and the Paris Creek road, opposite Schofield’s dam.

The ‘new’ or second school was erected next to the Paris Creek Hall and opened in 1905. It was built of corrugated iron with a fire-place at one end by Alexander GARWOOD on his own land and he received 10/- a quarter rental for it. His son, Fred GARWOOD was nine years old when he attended on the first day the school was opened. Nellie BLAKE who was later to become Fred’s wife also attended the school. Some of their memories of the school included: writing on slates and rubbing them clean with a rag, sitting at a six-student desk (with plenty of shoving and cheating) and singing Good Morning to the teacher.

They also attended the opening day and remembered it as a festival occasion with singing and accordion playing. They also recalled the local identity who wouldn’t send his children to Paris Creek but stubbornly drove them past the School to Bull Creek. When he attempted to drive past the festivities that day, the crowd booed and to the fellow’s embarrassment and anger the horse jibbed and wouldn’t go past because of the noise!

Before being closed in December 1948, twenty four teachers and 150 children had passed through the door. School records indicate that the children attended regularly, were neatly attired, had a healthy appearance and were well nourished.

During the thirties, even with the closing of the Bull Creek School, attendances were low; only four scholars attended on the first school day in 1935. The school actually closed for six weeks because of a lack of clients! Funds were raised by holding euchre and bridge evenings. Dances and evenings were also held in local homes. School picnics were regularly held at Milang, Port Elliot and Port Noarlunga. The scholars had some time off! In July 1937, school was dismissed because the whole school obtained 100% in weekly exams and for six weeks in 1938, the school was closed because of an infantile paralysis epidemic.

Back to Paris Creek school closing 1948

'Back to Paris Creek' school event at the time of its closing in 1948

In December 1948 a ‘Back to Paris Creek School’ was held, the school doors were closed for the last time, the materials from the school were used to build a cow shed, the toilet hauled away on a sled and the children were driven to Strathalbyn by Mr Merv WRAY in a school bus.




Catherine COONAN




Nellie GUY


Alfred HACK


Marian SMITH




Hannah HALL










Clarice MURPHY














Doris FRY





1942 - 1948
















Gymkana Paris Creek c1948-1949

Gymkana, Paris Creek c1948-1949


Two horse-teams carting wood from Paris Creek to Bugle Ranges

Two horse-teams carting wood from Paris Creek to Bugle Ranges


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Paris Creek School - Original School, by Nat Lemar, April 2020

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, and lists facts backed up by images found on Trove. Very much appreciated Nat.

"Whilst putting together the information on George Thomas Lemar and his schooling, I discovered some amended and updated information regarding the Paris Creek School. I have included all the information I have found below. It appears to have opened in 1868."


Paris Creek School Examinations

Above: - Paris Creek School Examinations in 1868|||l-decade=186|||l-year=1868



Above: - Paris Creek School Examinations in 1870|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1870



Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Fri 3 Nov 1871 Page 3 MACCLESFIELD|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1871

November 1.
From enquiries made I cannot hear of the appearance of rust in the crops in our district, and it is hoped it may not be seen this year. Some of the farmers have commenced the hay harvest in crops which were sown early or self sown. The latter crops (self-sown) will be rather light this season.

On Monday last, October 30th, the Paris Creek School, under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, was examined by several of the members of the District Council. The attendance was very good, there being 22 boys and 17 girls. The roll showed an average attendance of 32, which is all that could be expected in a place like this, where the population is so scattered, and most of them have to come a great distance to the school. In reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, the 5th and 4th classes showed great proficiency, according to their ages and the length of time they had been at the school. E. Craddock and Patrick Cosgrave took the leading prizes in most of the branches of education mentioned. The younger scholars acquitted themselves well.

The progress made since the last examination reflects great credit on Mr. and Mrs. Hayes for the energy shown on the tuition of the children. In the afternoon the children were regaled with tea and cake, &c. Afterwards a public tea was provided on the green, to which about 60 persons sat down and did ample justice to the good things provided. Following this was an entertainment, consisting of readings, songs, &c. Mr. H. Lewis occupied the chair on the occasion. As soon as the 'lesser light' appeared, various amusements were introduced, into which all seemed to enter heartily,
        "For they danced all night by the bright moon light,
        And went home with the girls in the morning."

I believe all enjoyed themselves thoroughly, and the next event of this kind taking place in that "truly rural'' spot will meet with a hearty response from the surrounding inhabitants. Including the school children there were upwards of 70 persons present. £3 Is. 3d. was collected towards defraying the expense of a new floor, which the District Council will be kindly asked to supplement.


Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Fri 3 May 1872 Page 3 SCHOOL RETURNS.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1872

The following are the annual returns of the different schools in this District — the total number on the monthly roll, and the average daily attendance:-
Paris's Creek W. Hayes 40 32





South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881)
Sat 21 Dec 1872 Page 7 MACCLESFIELD, DECEMBER 16.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1872

The annual examination of the licensed school at Paris Creek, under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, took place on Thursday, 12th inst.

There was a large gathering of parents and visitors, some of the latter coming from a considerable distance. Mr. Thomas Graham, Chairman of the District Council of Macclesfield, presided. The children passed a most creditable and satisfactory examination in all the branches usually taught in schools under the control of the Board of Education.

The Chairman and other gentlemen who signed the examination report expressed themselves highly pleased with the result, which they considered reflected great credit on Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, who have fairly earned the confidence of the parents as successful teachers.

In the afternoon the children were regaled with tea and cake, and afterwards indulged in various games. The parents and visitors also partook of the cheering cup, and in the evening they were treated to readings, recitations, and songs. The latter were given by Mr. A. Leedham, assisted by Mesdames McDermott and Hayes. A most enjoyable evening was spent, and all felt highly delighted.


South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881)
Sat 25 Jan 1873 Page 14 BOARD OF EDUCATION.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1873

Resignation. — William Hayes, Paris Creek, Macclesfield. Accepted.


Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Fri 21 Mar 1873 Page 4 MONDAY, MARCH 17.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1873

Appointments.— Paris Creek, Macclesfield —The Clerk of the District Council notified the appointment of J. W. Bates to the teachership of the school. Approved.


Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Fri 5 Dec 1873 Page 2 Advertising|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1873|||l-month=12

District Council Office, Macclesfield, Nov. 24, 1873.
APPLICATIONS will be received by the District Council of Macclesfield for the MASTERSHIP of the PARIS CREEK SCHOOL up to the 8th day of DECEMBER, 1873.
2-3     Clerk


Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Fri 23 Jan 1874 Page 2 General News.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1874

Paris Creek School. — At the Board of Education on Monday last a communication was received from the Macclesfield District Council notifying the appointment of Miss Robinson to the teachership of the Paris Creek school, and enclosing testimonials as to her competency. The Board ordered the necessary forms to be sent.


South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900)
Tue 14 Dec 1875 Page 7 SOUTH TO WEST AUSTRALIA.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1874

It was stated that applications had been made to lease some of the lands dedicated to the Council by the Government. It was decided that the offers stand over for the present, and be considered with future applications.
Elijah Gold, Hamilton ; Fanny*Fox, a pupil teacher, Laura.
Louisa Robinson, Paris Creek ; John Penalurick, Moonta; Saml. Myers, Lake Plains; Isaac L. Morris, Buchsfelde; Otto Billerbeck, O.B. Flat.


Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Thu 24 Feb 1876 Page 3 District Councils.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1876

Monday, February14, 1876.
Present— All.
W. Hayes's application for Paris Creek school

M. Grady's tender, Lange's road, accepted.
Mr. Gemmell applied to rent road. Granted.
Work ordered for fencing Calaby's Hill.
Clerk to inspect road near Horner's.
Formal business.
Receipts, £12 ; payments, £12.


South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900)
Fri 19 Jan 1877 Page 7 DISTRICT COUNCILS.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1877

Present — All except Cr. J. Cummins.
Mr. R. Robinson wrote asking repairs of road near Sheepwash; to stand over.
Mr. W. Hayes, teacher, wrote stating that the school house at Paris's Creek needed repairs; Mr. Hayes advised to write to Council of Education.
The Chairman (Mr. Austin) appointed to attend the meeting of Central Road Board.
Receipts, £18 9s. 6d.


South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900)
Tue 16 Oct 1877 Page 6 COUNCIL OF EDUCATION.|||l-decade=187|||l-year=1877
NOTE: Around this section in Trove there are many other references to the local areas around Macclesfield.

Paris Creek, near Macclesfield.
Wm. Hayes asked to be transferred to another school. A better school to be given.


Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Thu 11 Aug 1881 Page 3 MACCLESFIELD.|||l-title=373|||l-decade=188

Monday, Aug. 8.
Present — All except Mr. Considine.
Letter received from L. W. Stanton, Inspector of Schools, Strathalbyn, intimating that the removal of Paris Creek School roof will be deferred pending enquiries; also letter received from Central Road Board stating that there are no funds available at present to erect a bridge at O'Connor's Ford, and ordered the matter of making approaches to stand over.


The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954)
Fri 29 Jul 1881 Page 3 MACCLESFIELD, JULY 25TH, 1881.|||l-decade=188|||l-title=714

MACCLESFIELD, July 25th, 1881.
Present - Chairman, and Crs. Fischer, Considine, and C. W. Edmonds.

The audited accounts of the past Council year were laid on the table; inspected and adopted.

Council sat as a court of appeal, when several appeals against the assessment were received and dealt with.

Deputation from Paris Creek waited on the Council to request them to take immediate steps to prevent the disposal of the Paris Creek School.

Council concurred with deputation, and directed Clerk to communicate with the Inspector for the District on the subject.


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