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Wild Horse Plains School

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Government

Town or locality: Wild Horse Plains
Date established: 1882
Ceased operation: 1938
Business or purpose: Education
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With the influx of settlers and their young families during the 1870s it was obvious that education was a primary concern to all. After approaches to the Minister of Justice and Education the department saw fit to purchase the Wild Horse Plains town allotment 52 in January 1882 for the purpose of erecting a teacher's residence and classroom to accommodate 40 pupils. Within weeks a tender for the sum of £477/15/0 was accepted to erect the building which was completed on 6 September 1882 and opened in November the same year.

Mr A. A. Wickstead, who served the school for five years, was the first teacher. Initially 13 pupils attended. During the 56 years the school functioned, the attendance varied from daily average of 14 to 16 pupils and up to 31. At its height some 66 pupils attended in one year.

With the lack of enrolments in 1888 it became a provisional school. This school, which also served Port Lorne, was under the watchful eye of the Dublin Board of Advice for many years.

One of the highlights of the school calendar was the inter-school sports day held at Port Parham, the first held in 1886.

In 1938 due to a lack of pupils the department considered it was uneconomical to maintain the school. Subsequently it was closed and pupils at this time continued their education at Long Plains. At a later date that year the school was used as a residence by two former pupils, a Mr Walt Zanker and his wife Phyllis (nee Worsley), and has continued in private ownership.

Children are now educated mainly at Balaklava schools and taken there by bus.

Date Appointed
Arthur Aitkin Wickstead
Leila Anne Jervis
1891--Jan to March
John Charles Noack
Gertrude Emma Swannell
Carl August Christian Uhrlaub
Alice Maud Anderson
1899--Oct to Jan
Lily Constance Anderson
Fred Mullett
Edith Rose O'Reilly
1902--March to July
Ethel Margaret Purdie
Ethelwyn Maude Pascoe
Frances Gertrude Armytage
Frederick Wilkins
Edna Beatrice Cosh

Related Articles


  • Data held at Mallala museum
  • University of SA web site

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