What is significant?
Wattle Park, situated at the intersection of Hartwich's Road and Hensley Park Road, Strathkellar and about 5.0kms from the centre of Hamilton, dates from 1855 when the land was purchased by J. C. Hartwich. Johann Carl Hartwich (1812-1898), known as Carl and his wife Anna Rosina, nee Raschke (1818-1874) were German Lutheran immigrants who settled first in South Australia before moving to the Hamilton area via Portland. They probably built a traditional lehmwickle dwelling immediately, similar to those which survive in the community at Gnadenthal near Penshurst, as well as other working structures. A section of the original barn survives using the traditional construction, although in poor condition and somewhat altered overall. The timber stables and another timber barn are more conventional weatherboard framed buildings. They appear to date from the 1860s and survive in fair condition with only minor alterations. The present house appears to date from late in the nineteenth century. It was modernised during the Interwar years, principally by the replacement of the original verandah by a verandah using short cement columns on brick piers. It remains in good condition. The exact date of the house is not certain but it may date from about 1898 when Carl Hartwich died, some 24 years after his wife. One son had died at the age of 17 in 1873 and their daughter married, who was born at Wattle Park in 1857, migrated to the Wimmera, a common event in the German Lutheran community in the mid-1870s. Their son Johann Diengott Hartwich, known as John, inherited and developed Wattle Park. By the mid-1930s he was considered one of the best farmers and graziers in the Hamilton District. Wattle Park has remained in the Hartwich family and is now held by the fifth generation.
How is it significant?
Wattle Park is of historical and architectural significance to the southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
Wattle Park is of historical significance for its direct connections with five generations of the Hartwich family and its branches, and particularly with Johann Carl Hartwich, Johann Diegoht Hartwich, Leslie Hartwich, Ronald Hartwich and Timothy Hartwich and their wives and children. Specifically, it demonstrates the steady success of five generations of German Lutheran migrants in the area to the south and east of Hamilton in the face of great personal difficulties. The complex is of architectural significance as a group of traditional buildings and, in particular, for the vernacular Lehmwickle technique demonstrated in the barn. The mature garden setting of the homestead enhances the overall significance.