Within a very short time of the survey of District B – conducted south of Adelaide in 1838 – the O’Halloran family had established itself on Sections 130, 131 and 455. They named the farmstead of their property ‘Lizard Lodge’ – a place once situated near the former CSIRO property west of the intersection of South and Black Road. Thomas Shuldam O’Halloran was born into an Indian Army family in 1797, his father a Major General. Thomas arrived in South Australia in 1838 and settled on the sections at what is now O’Halloran Hill.
O’Halloran was Commissioner of Police from June 1840 to April 1843 and was later a member of the Legislative Council. In due course, O’Halloran was also the first Resident Administrator of the Northern Territory.
O’Halloran’s property, ‘Lizard Lodge’, began as little more than prefabricated housing shipped from England. In time, it developed into a fine farm; for O’Halloran was a great supporter of agriculture. A Committee Member of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society, he was at the forefront of viticulture and horticulture.
Nearby farmers and smallholders at O’Halloran Hill often worked on the large neighbouring vineyards and estates. In the late nineteenth century, one reporter described O’Halloran Hill as a ‘little hamlet’ around which were ‘yellow, cultivated fields with stubble, the bright green patches showing where the new vineyards have been planted, and hhe long slopes devoted to pasturage’. The area was, though, principally farming land until, in 1912, portion of the area between Chandlers Hill Road and Main South Road was subdivided and called Glenthorne Estate. The spread of suburbia in the 1950s and 1960s affected the profitable pursuit of farming, although some of the land was taken over by the CSIRO and used as an experimental station. In 1960, Dulcie Edna Gunn resubdivided a portion of Glenthorne and called it O’Halloran Hill.