The property was built between 1848 and 1850, interestingly enough it held a licence for only six years from 1857 to 1863. It was purchased after the licence had ceased by John Daly a bookmaker, who extended the building into a L shape with the frontage to the street. He traded for a long time as store keeper and also ran the Post Office. Mount Barker the ‘Long Red Hill’ was spoken by the local Peramangk People as ‘Kunga Tuko’ the words meaning different speech in Aboriginal.
The area was surveyed when the first party of explorers set out in 1837 one year after the proclamation of South Australia. The discovery of copper happened when early settlers engaged in sheep farming. The words ‘Kunga Tuko’ was taken up by the Cornish miners and put down on paper as Kanmantoo, the name has remained to this day. Copper was mined from 1846, but fortunes were not made because there were no large deposit of rich copper as had been found at Burra and Kapunda.
Although mining productions reached its peak in the mid 1860s, the collapse of the world copper market forced its closure in 1874, with small amounts being mined up until the mid 1880s. In 1852 miners had almost abandoned Kanmantoo for the goldfields of Victoria.