Captain Dirk M. HahnPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Bryan Cole

The monument commemorates Captain Dirk M. Hahn whose efforts led to the founding of the town of Hahndorf.

Hahn was born and died in the village of Westerland on the North Sea island of Sylt. He was not keen on doing the emigrant-voyage to South Australia, as his one previous experience of emigrants had not been enjoyable.

On 28 December 1838, nearly three years after the official proclamation of South Australia, Danish Captain Dirk Meinhertz Hahn arrived from Altona with his three masted ship Zebra of 350 tons built in 1818, a crew of sixteen and 188 passengers plus all their belongings. He helped the settlers buy land near Adelaide and they named Hahndorf after him.

To mark the centenary of the founding of Hahndorf, celebrations extending over four days will begin on Wednesday when, at 2.30 p.m. a memorial to Captain Hahn and a photograph will be unveiled by Mr. Homburg M.L.C. and Mr. Shannon, MP., will declare open the Pioneer Memorial Gardens. During the forenoon, thanksgiving services will be held in all local churches. An illustrated brochure has been distributed by the committee in charge of the celebrations. It states that "on January 25,1839, Captain Dirk M. Hahn, commander of the Zebra, which anchored in the Bay on December 29 1838, and landed its passengers at Port Adelaide on January 2, 1839, made an agreement at the foot of Mount Barker, with Messrs. Dutton. Pinnis, and Metcalfe,  whereby the latter leased to the immigrants from the Zebra 150 acres where, in March, 1839,  these pioneers founded a settlement, which was named Hahndorf in gratitude to the captain's untiring efforts on behalf of the settlers."

The pioneer Memorial Gardens have been laid out on ground given by Mr G. G. Jaensch. of Tailem Bend. The plans, drawn up by the Town Planner (Mr. H. C. Day), include a Memorial Gateway with a clock. The names of the 52 original settlers are to be inscribed on two marble slabs fixed to the gate pillars. Standing back from the gateway is the memorial to Captain Hahn. Round the central square, provision has been made on the plan for a number of shrubs and trees. These may be planted in memory of pioneer families who arrived later than the first 52 families, and also in memory of those whose services to the township should be commemorated. The trees and shrubs may be marked with a name plate. A portion will be alloted for a children's playground.
Advertiser (Adelaide), 20 January 1939.


Address:Mount Barker Road, Pioneer Memorial Gardens, Hahndorf, 5245
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.027867
Long: 138.808551
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:25-January-1839


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 25th January, 1939
Front Inscription

To the memory of Captain D. M. Hahn of the "Zebra" whose untiring efforts and whose agreement with Messrs. Dutton, Finnis, & Metcalfe on Jan 25th 1839 led to the founding of Hahndorf.

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