Welcome to the historic settlement of Peake – what a surprise.
Like most travellers passing through communities like Peake on the Mallee Highway, I slow to the designated speed limit, have a quick look of what’s around from the highway and proceed to increase my speed as I busily rush to my predetermined destination – but not last week.
Thanks to a photographic assignment for the Coorong District Council, I had the opportunity to slow down, step off the Mallee Highway at Peake and back in time – I was more than pleasantly surprised.
After an interesting and informative chat with Darrell Lauterbach at the Peake Post Office, I was off exploring Peake’s historic walking trail – using an old and very helpful Coorong District Council ‘Welcome to the historic settlement of Peake’ brochure.
First stop was the Peake Cemetery, followed by How Park before I dropped into the new (well new in 1929) Peake School.
Before I could even get my camera to my eye, Sonia Allen, the current owner of the old/new 1929 Peake School, offered me a refreshing cuppa and a snack – it became obvious that Sonia is an extremely proud resident of Peake.
I found the Peake Store, now The Overlander Tavern, Polly’s Well, the old Town Hall, the original Peake School, the town’s Butcher Shop and the well preserved Bakehouse/Baptist Church.
A short one kilometer drive east of town and I met Geoff Bell at the ruins of Tee’s Windmill House – you can still see the old bore casing that indicates the spot that Mr Tee’s Windmill entered his house. (Yes…. Mr Tee cut a hole in the roof, bought a Windmill and actually put it through the roof of his house – causing many comments and laughs about town)
The Station Master’s House is situated on the other side of the old rail track near the town’s silos – built in 1912, the last Peake Station Master, Jozeff (Joe) Suchon died alone in this house on January 8, 1990 – he was 78 years old. As Joe had been dead for about a week before he was found the lino, where he was lying, had to be cut out to remove his body from the house – this can still be seen in the house to this day.