The Garage & Blacksmith Building

Most farmers had their own “smithy shop” for simple welding and bending but special work and horse shoeing was usually done by the blacksmiths, although because of the sandy soil most working horses were never shod.

The blacksmith shop was built near the bore reserve in 1912 by Mr Allan McLaren of Bowhill and the shop was relocated to Allotment 6 on Railway Terrace.

In 1923 the Male Brothers, Louis and Claude, purchased the blacksmithing business. They had a large business as machinery and carriage manufacturers in Murray Bridge. Soon after they demolished the old timber and iron workshop and built a much larger stone building with a showroom on the street frontage and a workshop behind. They sold machinery parts, furniture, hardware and battery powered wireless sets when they were first introduced in the late 1920’s as well as being agents for HV McKay farm machinery, Geo Wills and Co superphosphate, cornsacks and livestock sales for Goldsborough Mort and Co. Livestock sales were held in the sale yards behind the premises.

When the Depression hit, the business was scaled back and Mr Claude Male returned to Murray Bridge and his son, Frank, took on managing the business. By the 1930’s oxywelding was replacing forge processing and blacksmithing ceased to be part of his business late in the 1930’s.

Frank returned after the war and by the end of the 1940’s many farmers had changed from horses to tractors many of which were sold by the business. The business was sold by the end of the 1950’s.

Murray Lands Agricultural Services, Dermody Petroleum and Elders ran businesses out of the building. Currently the building is the Karoonda Fuel Stop, Laundromat and Farmhouse and Co café.

The building of the combined blacksmith and motor garage was completed in Pioneer Park in 2007. Some Baltic pine flooring from houses demolished in the 2005 storm have been used in the building of the garage and store next door. The building was given a revamp in 2018.