Rising like a phoenix

James Lerk | Bendigo Weekly | 11-Jan-2018

BAGATELLE: One of the many entertainments FW Kraemer provided.

Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer on two separate occasions became insolvent and somehow, phoenix like, he was able to re-establish himself. Did he spend his money wisely?

It will be recalled, that he arrived in South Australia a few years before the Victorian gold rush, came over to German Gully and in a short time had accumulated a good quantity of gold. 

He returned to Adelaide to fetch his family and brought back supplies so that he with his wife could operate a store, this too was very successful.

In 1854 Frederick acquired land at The Junction and began to develop his Sydenham Gardens and Hotel. 

Over a 14-year period he invested some £6000 in his much-loved gardens and hotel facilities, although the actual valuation for the whole property was given as £1653.

Following a prolonged drought he became insolvent for the first time. Not long afterwards he managed to re-acquire his original property once more and brought the gardens back to life. 

Following his second insolvency, he perhaps wisely decided to do something related, taking on the licence of the Baker’s Arms Hotel in Bridge Street.

While still running the Sydenham Gardens, Kraemer initiated various sporting activities such as pigeon shooting, sparrow shooting and junior football competitions.

During the warmer months he encouraged the playing of cricket, having an area set aside for this very English game. 

A one time President of the Deutscher Verein, Kraemer was highly respected by its many members. 

In 1881 he was elected to the association’s “mining committee”, this was not surprising given his involvement in mining companies as a shareholder and director.

On the political front Kraemer was active in supporting and campaigning on behalf of candidates. 

When William C Vahland was standing for the Bendigo council in 1870, Kraemer made the ballroom of his hotel available for Vahland to address the ratepayers of Jackass Flat and White Hills. 

Kraemer was involved with the support committee for the election in 1881 of William Stanbridge as MLC for the North Western Province; Stanbridge positively romped home over his opponent McKenna.

There was the charitable side to Kraemer, donating to the Benevolent Asylum, Hospital, Hospital Building Fund and the cemeteries. 

In 1873 W Humphreys, a miner in the Union Jack mine at Golden Gully, lost his arm in a mining accident. 

Following a meeting in central Bendigo a committee was elected, including Kraemer, in order to help to relieve the distress of Humphrey’s widow and her five children. 

An entertainment was organised with bands and artists giving of their time in order to raise money so Mrs Humphreys could be placed in a more independent position.

Frederick went into business selling wine and spirits at an outlet in Howard Place. 

His friend Albert Bruhn, an award winning vigneron from Emu Creek, was the chief supplier. 

Kraemer became naturalised in 1857, he had married Johanna Augusta Frederika Conradi in 1843 in Germany, they went on to have eight children, one having died in infancy. 

He passed away after a short illness on February 5, 1882 he was 63 years of age. 

He was given a Masonic funeral.


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