1930 to 1950s: Almond Blossom Fairyland
Did you know many locals courted under the beautiful almond blossoms?
This information is part of Stories of the Sturt River, an interpretive trail where you can listen to the history of the Sturt River at six state-of-the-art signs along a 3km stretch of the Sturt River Linear Park walking and cycling trail from Warriparinga to Oaklands Reserve.
- Find out more about Stories of the Sturt River.
Almond blossom tours were a popular attraction in Marion from around 1934 to 1955.
|Visits during war time 1943|
Bus-loads of interstate visitors came to see the spectacular blossoms during July and August.
This is worth coming 600 miles to see&, one visitor said. So thick were the petals blown onto a neighbouring field that visitors remarked, just like snow.
- THE ADVERTISER, 8 AUGUST 1939
By 1952, this way of life was under threat
As a writer for the Guardian newspaper wrote:
"The beauty that once made Marion district a famed tourist attraction is fast disappearing. In place of colourful almond groves which were annually visited by thousands of visitors during blossom time and the well laid out vineyards, a residential area of prefabricated homes is being developed."
During the 1930s the Marion district produced one third of the almonds grown in Australia.
Most growers in the Marion area had almond trees on their properties, ranging from a few trees to large plantations.
Many local couples courted under the blossoms, which they described as a fairyland.
The soil was perfect for growing almonds
The alluvial soil on the plains adjacent to the river was perfectly suited to almond growing.
The almonds were either planted as an orchard, or as a wind-break around vineyards and gardens.
Oh! Lovely South Australia
Oh! Lovely South Australia
Now the almond blossom sways;
And each proud tree her floral crown,
A land transformed surrounds us,
For beauty has passed this way,
And decked the groves with pastel grace
In clustered, sweet array.
Each dainty petal but a part
Of Nature’s artistry,
Pale as the first faint flush of dawn,
God’s gift — for all to see.
Gentle as snow on the leafless boughs,
Caressing with whispers of spring;
Oh! Glorious almond blossom time
And the new-born hopes you bring.
- K M WILLIAMS 1939, THE MAIL (ADELAIDE)
You can listen to all this on a video on YouTube:
History and cultural heritage
The City of Marion recognises the importance of preserving our cultural heritage, valuing the past and planning for the future.
Our cultural heritage is precious and irreplaceable. It includes stories, memories, events and traditions as well as landscapes and places, buildings and objects that have significance to our local community.
- Find out more about Marion's History and Cultural Heritage