As the town’s shopkeeper, there isn’t much Sue Grieger doesn’t know about Sedan.
But by taking on the of writing the region’s latest history book, The Plains Capital Sedan, her local knowledge has expanded even further.
Initially planned to coincide with the township’s 150th anniversary last year, COVID kiboshed both celebrations and the planned book launch.
“It was actually probably a good thing from my point of view, because I was struggling to get it finished,” laughed the self-declared “history nut”.
“Let’s just say I don’t think it would have been quite as good as it is!”
Having never written a book before or tackled a history project of this scale, Sue used information in the 1970 and 1986 editions of the Sedan history book as a platform for her own research.
“At first I thought, I’ll just do an update, but the more I researched, the more I realised an update wasn’t going to happen, it had to be a re-write,” she said.
“The main reason for that is the internet, and resources like Trove. I realised there was access to a lot more information.”
While on the quieter side these days, Sedan was once a thriving hub for business and travellers, being situated on the crossroad of several important stock routes.
“I have been very lucky, so many people have lent me family history books, and the ladies at the Barossa Library in the history section were fantastic, as were the volunteers at the Cambrai Agricultural Museum,” said Sue.
“Looking at the finished product, I think I did a pretty good job, and I’m happy with the amount of photos I ended up being able to include.”
The book will be launched by radio identity, Peter Goers, who, himself, has connections to the district, and will take place at the Sedan Recreation Park on November 21.
Four hundred copies have been printed, with any proceeds going back to the Sedan Progress Association, Pilgrims of Zion Lutheran Church and the Sedan Recreation Park, who have jointly funded the venture along with a small grant from Mid Murray Council.
While there’s “nothing in it” for Sue personally, the satisfaction of capturing precious moments in history on paper is reward enough.
“It’s important, because I’d like people in 10 or 20 years to maybe update it, just to preserve the stories,” she said.
“I’ve gone and done oral histories, and with that sort of stuff, if you don’t record it now, you’re going to miss that opportunity.”