Our Aim:  “Uncover, preserve and publish the history of the Mount Lofty Districts.”

The Mount Lofty Districts Historical Society takes its name from Mount Lofty, one of South Australia’s best known landmarks, overlooking the city of Adelaide. The MLDHS was established in 1978 at the suggestion of a former chairman of the Stirling District Council, Lloyd Leah, and a group of local residents and councillors keen to preserve local records and uncover the rich but largely unrecorded history of the district.

The name of the Society was broadened to cover the Mount Lofty Districts so research would not be constrained by council boundaries. While our main focus is the history of  Mount Lofty, Crafers, Stirling, Aldgate, Bridgewater, and Mylor, the Society takes a broad approach to the area it covers, and works collaboratively with neighbouring historical societies when topics and research interests overlap.  In 1997 Stirling District Council amalgamated with the district councils of Onkaparinga and East Torrens to its north, and the District Council of Gumeracha, to form the much larger Adelaide Hills Council.  The society still concentrates on the townships listed above.

Recognising that a significant part of the heritage of the Mount Lofty District lies in the Gardens that were developed and continue to thrive in the accommodating climate of the Hills, our collection and research also focuses on this area with our headquarters in the Coventry Library at Stirling known as the Local and Garden History Centre.

The Historical Society is managed by a committee of volunteers with a broad range of skills, experiences and interests. The committee is elected annually at the AGM, held in March or April each year, and meets on a monthly basis.

Our activities include:

  • Assistance to research individual inquiries
  • Special research projects
  • Oral history research
  • Displays and exhibitions
  • Local history walks and events
  • Meetings with other History Groups
  • Regional history tours and site visits
  • Writing and producing our flagship publication, “The Flinders Column”
  • Assisting with the publication of books on the history of the area
  • Maintaining and developing our collection
  • Hosting Special Collections


Our journey to this point has been greatly assisted by the Adelaide Hills Council; the Australian Government through the Regional Partnerships Program; the Stirling sub-branch of the Returned and Services League; “The Hut”;  the generous donations of benefactors; and the ongoing support of the History Trust of South Australia, Coventry Library staff, Friends of the Library, the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants Program, the Stirling Business Association, the Stirling Community Shop and the Stirling Market.