The historic town of Hahndorf lies within a gentle and undulating expanse of the Adelaide Hills, 28 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, only 20mins up the freeway.
The German history of Hahndorf can be traced back to 1838 when George Fife Angas, a director of a South Australian company, made a trip to London to promote colonization. During his trip he met Pastor Kavel who was trying to help German Lutherans, being persecuted by the King of Prussia, to immigrate to safer places.
On the 28th of December 1838 the 344 ton ship "Zebra" carrying 187 German Lutheran immigrants (38 families) arrived in Port Adelaide. For more information on Hahndorf see the towns homepage.
Johann George Haebich, who was born in Stuttgart-Botnang in 1813, arrived in Port Adelaide with his wife and three children in October 1846 on the 'Heerjeebhoy Rustomjeepatel'. He was a blacksmith who shoed horses, made nails, nuts and bolts and farm machinery.
The smithy (now Birkenstock) as it was known, was built in 1880 by August Haebich, who had taken over the blacksmith business of his late father, George Haebich, in 1872. It was still functioning in the 1920s and has been depicted in some of Sir Hans Heysen’s drawings. He moved his family and business to 71 -75 Main Street in 1855.
As transportation by horse and cart gave way to the automobile, petrol pumps appeared near the footpath. The abandoned old red gum smithy in the backyard remained unchanged, but the stone building at the kerb-side was used as a garage until 1972 when the arts and tourism industries gave it a new life.