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The First Settlement of "Hobart".


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#1 FirstHobart

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:20 PM

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions regarding the original settlement site of "Hobart", which was not the present day location.

Shane V has asked a question, wanting to know where the original site of "Hobart" was/is.....and Mystic, who also replied to my first post, may also be interested in the answer.

The present day location of "Hobart", back in 1804, was named firstly...."Sullivan's Cove", and then not long after, "Hobart Town". And the reason it was called "Hobart Town" was to save confusion, because at that time, "Hobart" already existed. Aprrox. 5 miles up the Derwent River, at a place we now call "Risdon Cove" once again.

In September, 1803, Lt. John Bowen, in addition to a small party, including soldiers, convicts and free settlers arrived at "Risdon Cove" via the ships "Lady Nelson" and "Ocean".

On the 13th of October 1803, Gov. King wrote to Lt. Bowen regarding his commission. The first part of that official document reads, quote -

"Whereas you have in compliance with my orders established his Majesty's right to the Island Of Van Dieman, by forming the settlement of Hobart" End quote.

It was at this location that the first huts were errected, the first stone buildings built (the remains of which can still be found at there original locations), the first land allocated for farming, the first crops were grown, etc..etc..

Hope that answers your question Shane, but I would imagine the answer may lead to more questions.....!!!!

Note the years on the attached photo.....!!! 1803 - 1953. Thats the real anniversary date for the settlement of Tasmania AND Hobart.

All the best.

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#2 Mystic

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

Thanks for the info, greatly appreciated :thumbsup: Was the first settlement at the location of the current Aboriginal centre in Risdon?
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#3 Shane V

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:56 PM

Thanks FH...sorry for the shortening of your name...interesting that they didn't stop at Sullivans Cove first, seeing as it would have been closer to the mouth of the Derwent and they would have sailed right by it...is there any particular reason, that you know of, why they wouldn't have settled there in the first place?
From the picture, I gather that the anniversary of settlement is not actually celebrated from 1803...what date is it celebrated from officially?

#4 FirstHobart

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:10 PM

Hi Mystic and Shane.

The Aboriginal Centre was built within the area of the first settlement. The site was given to the TAC (Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre) when the Government decided to no longer consider Risdon Cove an historic site.

The reason Lt. Bowen was sent to Risdon Cove was because it had already been earmarked by explorer George Bass as a suitable site for settlement. Gov. King ordered Lt. Bowen to that area.

"Hobart" is now considered to have been settled in 1804, at it's present site, by Gov. David Collins. At it's present location, it is, in reality, the second site of "Hobart". Not the original site.
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#5 Mystic

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:05 PM

Cheers for the extra info :D I had an inkling the the location was in that area ;)
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#6 Shane V

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:55 AM

Thank you :) interesting stuff. Is there any particular reason why they settled in Sullivan's Cove after establishment of this first settlement? Are we able to go and see the ruins at any time or do we need to get permission from the TAC? Heading over that way and would like to have a look at them...maybe photograph them ;)

#7 FirstHobart

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:38 AM

Hi Shane,
the land that the monument and ruin's are on is "public access land" you don't need permission to go on that but it might be worth keeping an eye out for the signs that say "Private Property" and don't go beyond them perhaps.

There are info signs around, that tell a story of what "took place" in the area, but sadly, these were erected illegally, and only tell half the real story, and in some cases are completely wrong.

The remains of the stone store house, which is just rubble now after what remained was knocked down recently, they are directly behind the monument covered in grass now.......there were signs put up when Tasmania did recognise it as an important historical site, but in most cases these have been smashed and knocked over and are lying on the ground in the grass. There are other sites on top of the hill but these can be hard to find if you don't know where to look. I'll put up some photos to give you an idea of where and what to look for if you like.

The reason that Sullivan's Cove was selected as the next site came down to Lt. Collins not wanting to settle Port Phillip in Victoria. Collin's was always annoyed that the young Lt. Bowen was offered the job of forming the first settlement of Van Dieman's Land, Collin's wanted this job, and through some cleaver planing eventually Collin's seized an opportunity to come here and take over from Lt. Bowen. It took less than a day for Collin's to decide that HE should choose the site where Hobart would be...!!! Otherwise the site would always be more attributed to Bowen rather than Collins...!!!

Collin's used the excuse that there wasn't a supply of fresh water at Port Phillip and therefore it couldn't be settled. But...he failed to tell Gov. King that the ship, Calcutta, had come back from around the near bay to advise Collins that a good supply of fresh water had been found (Yarra River)........Collin's had his sight's set on Van Dieman's Land the whole time it seems.

Interesting enough, Lt. Collin's commission only granted him rights to form a settlement "to the north of Bass's Straight", he did receive permission from Gov. King to come to Van Dieman's Land because he advised Port Phillip unsuitable, but permission to settle should only have come from Britain, and to this day an official document from Britain giving Collin's permission to settle this far south has yet to be found.

It may also be the reason Lt. Bowen refused to hand over to Lt. Collin's because Collins didn't have the paper work..!!! For a time, we had two Govenor's within 5 mile of each other, much to the frustration of Gov. King.

Interesting story all of this.....it really is...

Cheers.
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#8 Mystic

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for the info :D About to head off for the east for a couple of days. Look forward to reading more when we get back :thumbsup:
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#9 Shane V

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:43 AM

Thanks FH...Heading out the door so wont see any images till we get back, but thank you. If we have time this time we might take a look and see what we find.

#10 FirstHobart

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:17 AM

Here's a photo of how important and recognised the settlement site use to be.Risdon Cove.jpg

#11 Shane V

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:19 PM

That's some gathering. We didn't get there this time, had a lot to do, but definitely next time. Thanks for sharing the image. When was it taken?

#12 Mystic

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

Obviously the event was once important, so why did we decide to stop ?
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#13 Team Bubble Tea

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:27 PM

Hi Firsthobart,

Thanks for the info, we found a pic in the archives of "Bowens Store" a few months ago (I think that's right?) ruins from the 1970's.

Cheers
Jon TBT

#14 FirstHobart

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:23 PM

The b&w photo was taken in September 1804. It was to celebrate the first settlement site of Hobart. It was planned to be held in September 1803 (the correct anniversary year) but due to an out break of small pox, it was delayed til the following year.

Mystic, to answer your question....yes, it was always an important event, and an important historical site until the TAC, (in 1995), took hold of a story from May 3rd, 1804, and basically went to the government saying that because it was the site of an Aboriginal Massacre, the land should be handed to the TAC, the title of "Historic Site" stripped from it, signs and plaques removed, .....it should be looked upon as a place of horror and shame, where a whole tribe of men, women and children were slaughtered, and if it isn't viewed in that light then it is simply another sign of disrespect and racial hatred on behalf of the Government and non-Aboriginal people of Tasmania.

The Government (Ray Groom) agreed, and it was handed to the TAC.

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