What is significant?
Acacia, the Burger family homestead complex, located off the Penshurst-Macarthur Road, in Springfield Lane, 4kms due west of Penshurst was established as a small mixed farm by December 1853. Peter and Agnes Burger migrated from Germany to Adelaide with their children Johann, Magdalene and Andreas and other Lutheran dissenters in 1851. They eventually moved to the German settlement called Gnadenthal near Penshurst associated with Tabor and Hochkirk, now Tarrington. Peter and Agnes are buried in the Gnadenthal cemetery, looking over their farm. The fifth and sixth generations of the family now occupy the property. Some of the earliest structures survive, including the original cottage and stable and extensive animal yards. The first buildings are of particular interest because they use the traditional German vernacular technique of mud and straw on a timber frame called lehmwickel. The technique appears to have been used frequently in the area to the east of Hamilton but very few examples survive, the Burger cottage being the best. Other, more conventional vernacular techniques are used in the outbuildings, animal yards and extensive stone walls. The first woolshed, subsequently extended, also survives. Like many other German families, the Burgers had close connections with the opening up of the Wimmera. The present homestead, similar to those built in the Wimmera, dates from 1917 and is built with materials from the second homestead. All the structures are in good condition and retain a high degree of integrity. The oldest buildings include many pieces of original furniture, such as beds, and other furnishings and paraphenalia, which appear to have been imported from Germany.
How is it significant?
Acacia, the Burger homestead complex, is of historical, social and architectural significance to the state of Victoria and the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
Acacia is of historical significance for demonstrating the early immigration and settlement of a minority German group, specifically the Wends or Sorbs into Western Victoria from South Australia. It is of social significance as one of the best and most intact demonstrations of their lifestyle. It is of further significance for its links with the settlement of the Wimmera. The complex is of architectural significance as a complete small mixed farm and especially for the use of vernacular construction techniques, one of which, lehmwickel is now extremely rare.