At the Fritzoneum, Lobethal

David & Ben outside the Fritzoneum

David & Ben outside the Fritzoneum

The day after Christmas, we were invited to go to Lobethal to visit friends David & Ben. They spoilt us rotten with food, drinks, presents, home-baked goodies and more. They also had three lovely little dogs that I just adored.

David & Ben live in this big ‘ole house on a huge block of land in Lobethal which is a country town outside Adelaide. Ben came into town and picked us up and drove us back to Lobethal which was very nice. We also got a life home as well. V.v.civilised!

The big excitement of the day for me was when I found out David & Ben’s home is the very house where Fritz was invented! I zoned out there for a while, I just about pooped my pants with excitement. The House of Fritz. The Fritzoneum. The Museum of Contemporary Fritz? I immediately had visions of escorted tours of the house and busloads of “in the know” tourists descending upon Lobethal to pay homage.

Only very few in South Australia would not have experienced a "Fritz & Sauce" sandwich.

What does Wikipedia say?

Devon is a type of manufactured meat product sold in Australia and New Zealand. It is usually served in a sandwich, often with tomato sauce and can also be fried in slices. Typical commercial preparations list the major ingredient as “Meat including Pork”. It is usually composed of several types of pork, basic spices, and a binder. One popular brand, Primo, uses the same ingredient list for both Luncheon and Veal German, with the exception being the addition of red wine powder to the latter, a more expensive, product.

It is referred to as “Polony” in Western Australia, “Luncheon” in Queensland and northern areas of New Zealand, “Fritz” in South Australia and far western areas of New South Wales, “Belgium” or “Rokeby Roast” in Tasmania and southern New Zealand and “Devon” in Victoria and East New South Wales.

Devon would be classed as “Luncheon Meat” in the UK. It is similar in appearance and taste to boloney. Originally known in some parts of Australia as “German sausage”, this name fell out of favour during World War I when Australia was at war with Germany. Gelbwurst, a Bavarian sausage, is also very similar to Devon.

And what of Lobethal?

LOBETHAL (Meaning Valley of Praise) is set in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, about 40km SE of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

At the close of an open-air Thanksgiving Service on the 4th of May 1842 Pastor Fritzsche, The Founder of Lobethal, quoted the 26th  verse of the 20th chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles: “Am vierten Tage aber Kamen sie zusammen in Lobethal: denn darselbst lobten sie den Herrn. Daher heisset die Stätte Lobethal, bis auf diesen Tag.”

Which in Luther’s translation of the Bible reads:

And on the fourth day assembled themselves in Lobethal: for here they blessed the Lord. Therefore the name of the same place was called Lobethal unto this day”

To this day Lobethal has remained rich in the history of its German pioneers.

The popular smallgoods FRITZ (peculiar to South Australia), was named after Fritz Eisenberg, an early butcher and sausage maker, who first made it in his Lobethal Main Street shop. The shop which was built in the mid 19th century and added to in the late 19th century, still remains and is now a private home.

The famous Onkaparinga Woollen blankets were originally made in Lobethal, and the site is now used as weekend markets, as well as being a Business Incubator.

The Lutheran Manse, built for pastor Dr. Loessel in 1867, was the first two storey built in Lobethal, and is now used as a Christian Book Shop, and teachers residence. Behind the Manse is the original Lutheran Church, built in 1843-1845,for Pastor Fritzsche, and known as “Zum Weinberge Christi”. It is the oldest Lutheran Church, still being used, in Australia. Between the old Church and the Manse is a Museum, which is built over the original Lutheran College, which was built in 1845 by Pastor Fritzsche, and was the first seminary built in Australia. The Museum contains much memorabilia and early artefacts.

The “Lovers Trees”

Behind the church is Pastor Frizsche’s grave and nearby Lovers Trees. It is said that in the early days of Lobethal’s settlement two young lovers were to be married, however a week before the wedding the bride-to-be died, and was buried near the church. The bridegroom was devastated, and pined away, dieing of a broken heart a month later. He was buried next to his wife-to-be and they shared the same tombstone. A short time later, two pine trees began to grow above their graves, with there branches intertwined. Today these two trees still stand as a tribute to their love and are over 65feet tall.

There are many other old buildings and reminders of Lobethal’s history that form a total of 24 locations that can be viewed by following:
a. The Lobethal Heritage Walk (around the town)
b. The Lobethal Heritage Drive (around the surrounding district)

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So David & Ben are living right in the middle of all this history…their basement was where the experiments and development of Fritz began. I didn’t go down there but I imagine you could just feel the history. Well, if you were a South Aussie like me! 😉

It turned out to be a really enjoyable day for us – with a bit of history thrown in!

thefritzoneum

The House of Fritz, Lobethal

Dogs of the Fritzoneum

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9 Comments

  1. Do you realise that your section;
    “And what of Lobethal?”
    is in breach of copyright laws as it is taken from a webpage that is
    © Bill Chartres 1998 – 2009

  2. Ohhh fritz, I miss you even more than frog cakes! My Uncle Stan Colley and his partner Frank (who I swear were the first out couple in Nairne in the 40s) both worked at the nearby Geo Chapmans Smallgoods. They considered any food other than hors d’oeuvre too suburban, so dinner there never went past the serving platter and cocktail stage – they may not have even owned cutlery. One of their hobbies was tizzying up fritz in an attempt to make it a sophisticated canape, and then asking guests to try to guess which of the assembled dainties concealed the fritzy ingredient. The last one I recall was being served was fritz arancini, but over the years there were fritz wontons and fritz pate in choux pastry. But my all time favourite was the variation on the breakfast theme…. they’d cut out small, thin rounds, pan fry them until they formed the cup shape, and pop in a dollop of the chutney that they’d made from their home grown toms.
    Thanks so much for your blog, I very much enjoy reading it.

    • What a great post…thanks Margaret. Small (fritz) world!

  3. I need to produce Fritz ‘sample bags’, Fritz merchandise, Fritz t-shirts, all available of course at the Fritzoneum as part of ‘Fritz – The Tour’.

    Now I feel like a poor host for not having any Fritz available during your visit. I’ll know better next time!

    • No need to worry about the Fritz…you had the living history there, that was the most exciting thing. There should be a plaque on the pavement in front of your place! Has Lobethal Council considered the merits of Fritz-Related tourism???

  4. I don’t think we have Fritz on the northern beaches…our knobs are a little more extravagant….

  5. It was called Byron Sausage in Northern NSW. I think it’s beause it was made at the Norco factory at Byron Bay before they went all tofu.

  6. FRITZ! Sounds suspiciously like “SPAM”…that good old mixture of meat (and meat byproducts) that everyone in the America’s will swear they never eat but will bring it home in a plain brown wrapper every now & then! ;-))

    • But Spam is soooooooooo common! Fritz is legendary. Well, at least in South Australia. Just about every kid has gone to school with their lunch box containing Fritz & Sauce sandwiches prepared by their Mum!


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