Pioneer MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Nancy Alford

Memorial commemorates the German settlers who settled in this area when it was known as Germantown.

In December 1849, Dr Thomson (one of Geelong's first settlers) arranged for at least 20 German immigrants (and their children) to come to Victoria aboard the "Emmy" and establish a German village within the neighbourhood of Geelong. Those aboard include the Bieske, Baensch, Kerger, Winter and Boehm families. The area soon became known as Germantown and the new settlers purchased their land from the subdividers.

Vineyards and market gardens were soon established and the produce carted to Geelong in wheelbarrows. Most of the settlers were Lutheran, from a small area of Prussia, east of Berlin on the River Oder, but others were from various parts of Germany. The political climate, economic hardships and lack of religious freedom seem to be the main reasons for them leaving their homeland. The original settlers soon encouraged other family members and friends to join them in the colony. A school was built in 1854 and in 1859 the Lutheran Church was built.

The records of the church no longer exist prior to 1894, and details of burials have been gleaned from existing headstones, death certificates and death notices from the "Geelong Advertiser". Most of the older headstones inscriptions are in German and are headed "Hier Ruhet in Gott "which means "Here Rests in God". Birth dates, as well as death dates are usually inscribed. There are some misspellings on the headstones probably due to non-German stonemasons doing the engraving.

In 1915 the name of Germantown was changed to Grovedale.



Address:Church Street, Germantown Cemetery, Grovedale, 3216
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.205556
Long: 144.344444
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 10th September, 2006
Front Inscription

In memory of the early German pioneer families who settled in this area known as Germantown and are buried in this cemetery.  Many of their descendants still live in Grovedale.

These four families were in the first group to be settled here by Dr. Alexander Thomson :  Bieske -  Baensch - Winter - Kerger

Other settler families were :  Adresson - Rossack - Kosseck - Hartwich - Pacholke - Renzow - Heyer - Schultz - Baum - Momm - Jasper - Lorke - Schneider - Hermann - Klemke

Placed 10th September 2006 by the Rotary Club of Grovedale and dedicated by the Rev. Rolf Lungwitz

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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