Forest Range was settled by timber sawyers, cutting stringybark trees for timber and charcoal. In 1854 alluvial gold was discovered with a minor gold rush resulting. Gold-seekers rushed to the region but few took much gold away. In 1887 further gold was discovered and shafts were sunk. A nugget to 48oz and later another of 16 oz seem to be the only large finds.
Initially Forest Range was a larger region however in 1917 a new township, Lenswood, was proclaimed.
After timber cutting cleared the land fruit and vegetable farming commenced and continues today. Apples and cherries form the main crops with growers marketing through local packing sheds or, in the case of some cherry growers, offering ‘pick-your-own’ options. Being so close to Adelaide this is very popular during the weeks leading to Christmas.
Forest Range sits on the top of a high range and is still heavily wooded. See map. The township of Forest Range is now very hard to identify as businesses moved away, however a post office remains. Forest Range oval still hosts a cricket team, although not from the district. A hall and a tennis court are also sited at the oval. In days past two teams played from this small town, one playing on a small sports ground (Common Ground) sited on the road between Adelaide and Lobethal at The Ford. This is a very beautiful part of the Adelaide Hills and many families take advantage of the rural lifestyle while the proximity to Adelaide supports and easy commute. There is no public transport and children attend the Lenswood Primary School (originally named Forest School).
There are two memorials to war in Forest Range. One at the Common Ground is a memorial to World War I while another at The Ford commemorates World War II. A recent book details the soldiers of the district who fought in World War I.
How to get there
Adelaide to Forest Range via Greenhill Road