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Freshwater Creek / Waldkirch 140th Anniversary

by Glenys Wollermann

The Freshwater Creek (formerly Waldkirch) congregation celebrated the laying of their church’s foundation stone on 19 November 2006.

As early as 1849, Dr Alexander Thomson, one of the founders of Geelong, was instrumental in bringing a number of German families to the Geelong area. They first established vineyards and market gardens at Germantown, now Grovedale, and gradually other settlements followed. By 1859, a community at Freshwater Creek, south-west of Geelong was well established. Some early German pioneers of Freshwater Creek include Johann Seiffert, Johann Schmidt, Johann Einsporn, Johann Leibhardt and Karl Rau.

St. David’s Lutheran Church and Cemetery (originally “Waldkirch”) was the community centre and final resting-place of most of the pioneer families of Freshwater Creek. In November 2006, a service was held to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the present bluestone building, on 15 April 1866.

St. David’s Lutheran Church and Cemetery are listed on the Heritage Register and on the National Trust, for their links to the earliest German settlers in the Geelong region. We thank Gladys Knight for giving us this information on the history of Freshwater Creek.