This region is very old. There is evidence about 20km from Second Valley at Glacier Rock in Inman Valley that goes back at least 500 million years, along with fossils of now extinct megafauna.
While nowhere nearly that long ago, it is very likely that the Kaurna (the ‘K’ is pronounced like a ‘G’) people , the First Owners and cultural custodians of this land, had been enjoying and being nurtured by what is now Second Valley for more than 40,000 years. Kaurna oral history credits the land forms of the Southern Fleurieu to the travels of a grieving Tjilbruke as he carried the body of his nephew from just south of now-Adelaide down the coast to Cape Jervis, and then on to Goolwa, his tears forming fresh water springs along the way. Most of the original Kaurna place names have been lost.
The Kaurna lost control of their ancestral lands in the 1800s. In 1802, which in the scheme of things is like a blink of en eye ago, both English and French expeditions (led by Matthew Flinders and Nicholas Baudin respectively) were exploring this coastline, looking for productive land. Even though Flinders arrived first, the French name for the peninsula, Fleurieu, stuck. Second Valley got its current name from Colonel Light (South Australia’s first Surveyor General) who in 1836, in search of a suitable place to build the new state’s new capital city, had firstly landed at Rapid Bay, which he named after his ship. Second Valley was his second stop.
The first dwellings and the flour mill were built in the 1840s at the sheltered top of the valley – originally named Randalsea Village. Second Valley Cottages, over the track from the mill, began life as’Poplar House’, the ever expanding family home for a Scottish immigrant Alexander Florence – and his family, including 16 children. Mr Florence received the title for the land on 9 September 1852.