Tag Archives: Vallstedt

Why we need a Garden

Different people find different  reasons and uses for a garden. There might have been a few green thumbs in our family but not much interesting evidence shows up as an accessory in family photos.  In this photo it would appear there are some roses in the front garden of Park Farm at Carisbrook in Central Victoria, a spiky sort of bush and a gumtree in the background

Park Farm gardenBut of more interest is what went on in that small patch of lawn between the roses and the house.

Park Farm

Park Farm, Carisbrook

Behind the roses was a patch of lawn where croquet could be played.  You can see the hoops and the mallets.   Seated at the centre of the group is Freidrich Eberhard Fricke (1838 – 1899), surrounded by three daughters and three grandchildren,   From the year of his death and the age of the children the photo would seem to have been taken in 1898 or 1899

Freidrich is the grandson of  Johann Fricke who was written about in Blessing the New House in Vallstedt in 1811

  • Freidrich  came to Australia  with an older brother in 1854
  • Oral history says that when the two of them were making their way north from Melbourne with a horse and dray they passed the troopers returning from the Eureka incident at Ballarat,
  • He and his wife had 9 children, only one of whom died young.
  • He was a farmer at Park Farm, Carisbrook.
  • Oral history says he and his brother had a milk run and wore calfskin waistcoats
  • He was the uncle of poor Henry Fricke who was killed in a train accident in a previous post.
  • Had a term as Shire President
  • Grew an apple tree from  seed which produced apples over 11 cm in diameter. A few trees which are descendants of this tree still exist.
  •  He won prizes at agricultural shows for walnuts, a cow and calf, a two year old heifer, a Roller, 20  bushels of seed wheat,  and  cooking apples,  And that was just  at Carisbrook in 1869.

And he took some relaxation sitting on the lawn in the middle of his garden with its roses and spiky tress.

If we move on to the next generation the garden  was also a good place to record the arrival of visitors.  Freidrich’s eldest son Alfred had taken over the farm.  Here he is on the right of the photo.

PICT0071On the left is the third son, Fred, who we met before when he had a dunking in the flooded Yarra River.  Doing well in his Government job, Fred was on a visit to his brother on  the farm where he grew up.  Once again we can see some of the lawn and those spiky palm (?) trees which were plentiful in the garden,  They look as though they would be sharp.  I’m guessing that someone will tell me what they are  !

It looks as though Alfred hadn’t  got dressed up for his visitors.  I wonder if he knew they were coming.  Remember last year we  had the use of braces as one of our themes.  In Defending Australia with Braces I wrote about how the braces were also used to thread through loops on underpants  I think  we can see an example of this with the top of Alfred’s white undergarment  rolled up at the top of his trousers.  He looks so happy.  I only remember him with his failed memory thinking that I was his sister-in-law, my grandmother.

PICT0069And another photo on the same day, with more of the garden showing,. At the moment I am sure enough to name the ladies. I need to do some consulting.

Some beautiful gardens can be seen through the links on Sepia Saturday



Blessing the new house in Vallstedt in 1811

Background  – From the time of King George I  in 1714 until the death of King William IV in 1837, Great Britain and The Electorate of Hannover shared  their ruler as the King of England was also the ruling Duke of Brunswick-Lueneburg of Hannover. After the Napoleonic Wars it became the Kingdom of Hannover.  Unfortunately William IV only had one child, a daughter, and Hannover wasn’t prepared to have a woman as a ruler.  Bad luck, Victoria.

About 30 miles from the city of Hannover is the village of Vallstedt and the Fricke family were in that village for all the time of the shared ruler.

This was the home of my great-grandfather’s grandfather.   That’s my ggg grandfather.  It is in Vallstedt  and this is what it looks like in more recent times. But when he built it in 1811 he had had no idea that in 1852 his 16 and 20 year old grandsons from his second marriage would come to Australia to start a new life and a new family.


The house was built by Johann Heinrich Christoph Fricke  in 1811 after previous houses on that side of street burnt down. Johann had been born in 1768 in Vallstedt but he popped over to Adersheim in 1805 to marry his second wife Anna Sophia Juliane Brandes.

I have been told that  the roof is built now with concrete tiles but in past times was built with burned clay tile.

The house  was built  in the centre of Vallstedt and the land  was outside of the village. He was a big farmer with large landed property. In that village he was a rich man. He was also described as  ” Huf- und Waffenschmied auch Grosskothsasse” which I believe is Blacksmith and Armourer and large landowner.

Now this is where the house becomes interesting. There is a beam with a carved  inscription along both the front and the back of the house.


At the right hand end of the front beam  it says Johann Heinrich Fricke, Anna  Sophia Brandes geborne aus Adersheim.

Isn’t that just wonderful, the original owners of the house stating their right to the house for all to see. You can see how it goes along the whole of the house in the first photo.

The full text of the two beams is at the end of the post and I don’t have an accurate translation but I understand that apart from giving the names of the original owner and his wife they give thanks to God and ask for blessings on the house and its occupants.

Luftbild Teil3



These photos come about due to the wonders of the internet.  I didn’t go looking for them but from the early days of the internet I had these names available to anyone who searched for them online.  Apparently the house stayed with the Fricke family until after WWII and it was a later resident who idly googled the names on his house, found me and contacted me to inquire about my interest in the family.  His grandfather had bought the house from the Frickes in 1954.  He then sent me these photos in 2004.

The front beam says

Bis hierher hat mich Gott gebracht, durch seine große Güte, bis hierher hat er Tag und Nacht bewahrt Herz und Gemüte, bis hierher hat er mich geleit, bis hierher hat er mich erfreut, bis hierher mir geholfen. Gott segne dieses Haus und lass es sicher stehen, bis endlich alles muß in dieser Welt vergehen. Johann Heinrich Fricke, Anna Sophia geborene Brandes aus Adersheim.

And the beam at the back of the house says

Wer an den Weg bauet hat viele Meister, der eine wills so haben, der anders wills so haben, aber ich will es so haben. Ich habe nicht gebaut aus Hochmut und aus Pracht, sondern die Feuersnot hat mich dazu gebracht.

2013.10W.07And for more stories about homes and houses go to the links on Sepia Saturday 201