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History Festival

South Australia’s History Festival is an annual statewide event exploring South Australia’s history.

Held throughout May each year, the History Festival explores the state’s places and spaces, stories, collections and ideas that make us who we are.

We've curated a list of local events for you to explore the fascinating history of the City of Marion.

Main image: Bert Edwards Compton Street tea rooms State Library of SA B 1831

Marion Village, Hills and Coast Bus Tour

Marion Historical Society
Marion Council Chambers car park, 245 Sturt Rd, Sturt
2 pm to 4:30 pm Sunday 2 May
Cost: $10

View and visit over 40 sites, most of them state or local heritage-listed, in the central and southern parts of the City of Marion, with a guide. We will start in the villages of Marion and Sturt, which were laid out in 1838 and 1839 respectively; see old cottages (including one made of mud and straw), churches and a copper mine, among other things, and visit a local museum. There will be stops where we get off and on the mini-bus. Price includes tour notes, a book and afternoon tea.

Bookings essential.

Book via the History Festival website.

Submerged: Stories of Australia's Shipwrecks

Cove Civic Centre
3 to 16 May
Cost: Free

Australia’s coast is the final resting place of over 11,000 shipwrecks! Submerged: Stories of Australia’s Shipwrecks, a nationally touring exhibition, unlocks the fascinating and compelling stories of 14 of these wrecks and remembers those who lost their lives on Australian coasts.

City of Marion Library Service is proud to display this important part of our rich maritime heritage on behalf of the Australian National Maritime Museum and Australian Maritime Museums Council.

Find out more at the History Festival website.

Warriparinga History and Environment Tour

Presented by Living Kaurna Cultural Centre
Living Kaurna Cultural Centre, Warriparinga Way, Bedford Park
10 am to 11.30 am Saturday 8 & 29 May
Cost: $15

This 90-minute walking workshop includes an easy walk through the Warriparinga park and wetlands. Our friendly, knowledgeable Cultural Officer will help you to appreciate the natural environment of Warriparinga and the Sturt River as well as understand the history of the area, significance of the site and Dreaming stories. Warriparinga is a special place for the Kaurna people, local residents and the many visitors that walk and cycle through the area each year, and was also a significant place for early European settlers. Come and get a sense of how things have changed over the years. Bookings essential.

Bookings essential.

Book via the History Festival website.

Extinct suburbs of Marion

Presented by Marion Heritage Research Centre
City of Marion Administration Centre, 245 Sturt Rd, Sturt
2 pm Wednesday 12 May
Cost: Free

Where were Elmwood, Mirreen and Kinedana? They were all in the City of Marion! There are over 30 suburb names that no longer exist in this council area. Where were they, why were they created and where did they go? Come and discover the now-extinct suburbs of the Marion district, in this free, newly-researched and illustrated talk. Numbers are limited, so book early! Bookings required by phone or email.

Bookings essential.

Book via the History Festival website.

Marion Historic Village: Guided Walk and Afternoon Tea

Presented by Marion Historic Village Museum
Marion Village Museum, 9 Township Rd, Marion
1:30 pm to 4 pm Sunday 16 & 23 May
Cost: Adult $10.00 / Child $7.00

The Marion Heritage Walk explores the original Village of Marion and visits many historic sites that remain. The walk is conducted by experienced guides and uses state of the art audio tour guide equipment. You are then free to visit the Marion Village Museum and the historic Wesleyan Chapel (1862), a volunteer-run display, which captures the village history in photos and exhibits. Afternoon tea will be provided in the historic Wesleyan Church hall on the grounds. Numbers are limited so be sure to book. Bookings required by phone or email.

Bookings essential.

Book via the History Festival website.

Who was Bert Edwards, King of the West End?

Presented by Marion Historical Society
Club Marion, Lvl 1, Function room 2, 262 Sturt Rd, Marion
7:30 to 8:30 pm Wed 19 May
Cost: Free

Bert Edwards was born in obscurity in 1888, reputedly the illegitimate son of a famous figure. He grew up in the slums of the west end of Adelaide and eventually became the ‘King’, with connections and influence everywhere. He was a city councillor, parliamentarian and philanthropist, but was imprisoned because of a sexual scandal. Patricia Sumerling will present his colourful life, which she extensively researched for her book, Bert Edwards: King of the West End, published by Wakefield Press (2019), for which the Historical Society of SA awarded her the 2020 Keain Medal. Bookings essential.

Bookings essential.

Book via the History Festival website.

Marion Wesleyan Chapel Heather Latz

Photo: Marion Wesleyan Chapel in the Marion Historic Village taken by Heather Latz