Fresh air, peace and tranquillity. That’s what is on offer in the small hamlet of Witta. Witta, once known as Teutoburgh in the 1880s, was first settled by German immigrants. The name Teutoburgh came from a nearby German mission. Witta offers the chance to stroll the few streets that make up the little village and take in some fresh air or perhaps drop into the general store. By the way, the general store is also the only store in town. Nonetheless it is a fine place to start to explore a town that has more on offer than it might first seem.
Although the general store is a modern building, the owner, George Soady, says there was once an older store on that site. Further down the road from the store is the original Witta School. The Witta School is now a community facility with toilets, shady areas and picnic tables. Across the way from the school, the Witta Recreational Club has a children’s playground and a large playing field.
But Witta’s best-kept secrets are twofold. Just across the road from the store is what the locals boast is the best view of the head of the Mary Valley that gives rise to the Mary River. The second secret is historical – the old Witta Cemetery.
A walk around Witta Cemetery proffers a snapshot of the early settlers. Scattered across the cemetery are the names of the first German families who settled at Witta. Curiously, pictures or symbols accompany many of the inscriptions on the gravestones. The symbols indicate the interests of the deceased like musical notes, piano, horserider, fisherman and sailing ships. Then there are epitaphs like ‘It’s not the first game that counts, it’s the last one.’