Fifty years of the Herbig Family Tree

Herbig family members from across the country will come together for a ‘Herbig Family Reunion’ on Sunday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their ownership of the 500 year old river red gum tree.

Over 120 family members and a few special guests from around the region will celebrate with a thanksgiving ceremony at the tree, led by Pastor David Kuss and an official luncheon.

Mr David Herbig, Springton, lives in his house overlooking the tree.

He sat near the window with nostalgia  family history.

David is the great-grandson in the long line of descendants that have links with the Herbig Family Tree.

It began when Johann Friedrich Herbig immigrated in 1855 from Germany to South Australia.

Hoping to set up in the Adelaide Hills, he got a job at a dairy while leasing some land to farm in his free time.

Penniless on his arrival he decided to set up camp in a large, hollow red gum.

The tree had been hollowed by fire and is around seven metres in diameter, with the opening facing away from Springton Road.

Friedrich married Caroline in 1858 and lived in the tree together where the first two of their 16 children were born.

In 1860 the pair moved out of the tree into a pug hut, and the family continued to use the tree as an outstation for watching stock at night.

The first official recognition of the tree known locally as ‘The Old Gumtree’ was in 1945.

In 1968 a meeting was called for Herbig family members to consider purchasing the area around the tree after the original owners moved into Angaston.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.
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