In 1901, Tanunda had two recreation areas - the park in Basedow Road, which had been established several years before the turn of the century, and the Tea Gardens adjacent to the North Para, at the southern entrance to the town.
The Tea Gardens were established by Paul Fischer, a baker and confectioner, as a privately owned recreation area with extensive gardens where people could sit and relax. People could buy refreshments to consume within the gardens. After Mr Fischer’s death in 1878 the gardens were owned by Carl Wilhelm Menner who was a baker in Tanunda and later owners were members of the Heinemann family, Mrs Heinemann was a daughter of Menner. Eventually the District Council of Tanunda purchased the property and named it Heinemann Park.
Tanunda Schützen Verein
This shooting association was founded in 1858 and held their contests at the Tea Gardens, where targets were situated.
Target shooting was popular among people of German descent in South Australia. There was the annual Königsschiesen (Kingship shooting). The winner was crowned King.
In 1906 the event, which circulated between various clubs, was held at Tanunda using for the first time a new target. As was the custom the marksmen marched down the street to the venue, led by the previous year’s King and the Tanunda band.
At dusk the new King, Mr Millican, was crowned with a laurel wreath and a medal was pinned to his lapel. The day’s proceedings ended with a banquet held at the Tanunda Hotel run by Richard Sobels a foundation member of the Tanunda Rifle Club, the oldest in the state.
The Kingship shooting match was still being held at the Tea Gardens in 1934. It was the 78th annual shoot. This club then known as the Ring Target Club was still functioning in 1939.
The Tea Gardens were also the venue for Kegel (nine pin skittles), a traditional German sport. In 1931 the skittle alley was relocated from the Tea Gardens to the Tanunda Park. Some of the original materials were reused and the builder was B Freytag.
Mr W E Heuzenroeder officially opened the skittle alley, and he said that “for 17 years the club had prospered with no intoxicating liquors, and the committee has recommended us to stick to the same rules”.
There had been a skittle alley in Tanunda since earliest times - the club was founded in 1858 and one of the foundation members was Benno Seppelt, who drove a pair of grey horses from Seppeltsfield to attend.