In December 1838, Captain Dirk Hahn, Master of the Zebra', arrived at Port Adelaide with a party of 187 German immigrants. He not only successfully negotiated a parcel of land for his passengers but led them up through the Tiers', as the Adelaide Hillls were then known, reaching their destination in March 1839.
The settlers named their new abode 'Hahndorf (literally 'Hahn's Village') in grateful recognition of the Captain's efforts. Due acknowledgement of this was made 100 years later by the erection of a simple obelisk in the Pioneer Memorial Gardens which were established on land donated by Mr George Jaensch, a descendant of one of the original pioneers. A Commemorative Arch at the entrance to the gardens is in honour of the first settlers.
Development of the town took place mainly along the overland route and today many of the houses in the main street are those originally built. A walk from one end of Hahndorf to the other is recommended so that these old buildings can be fully appreciated. The magnificent avenue of cork elms and chestnuts, planted in 1885, and often painted by the town's most famous son, Sir Hans Heysen, is an outstanding feature of the main street.
A renewed interest in the restoration of early buildings has meant that many of the town's old structures which were in danger of being demolished have been given a new lease of life.
Completion of the freeway along the town's southern boundary has taken through traffic from the town and enabled a more leisurely approach to daily living,
(Text: RAA 1974)