Ulverstone Local History
Ulverstone is a town in the north-western region of Tasmania, Australia. With a rich history dating back centuries, Ulverstone is one of the oldest towns in Tasmania. The region of Ulverstone has been home to Indigenous Australians, European explorers, and settlers since time immemorial.
The Indigenous peoples who originally inhabited the Ulverstone region were the Leven River Tribe, part of the broader Tasmanian Aboriginal group. Their name means "many rocks", referring to the rocky terrain of the region. Archaeologists have found evidence of their presence in the area as far back as 30,000 years ago. However, their population was decimated in the 19th century due to European colonization and disease.
The first European to explore the region was Englishman Anthony Trollope. He arrived in the area in 1827, and his exploration helped open up the region to European settlement. The name "Ulverstone" was chosen in 1861 by the town's first postmaster, James Bisdee, who named it after the town of Ulverston in England where he was born.
The early years of Ulverstone were focused on agriculture. The rich soils of the region made it an ideal place for farming, and farmers quickly began growing crops such as apples, pears, and potatoes. The region's natural resources were put to use as well. Timber was harvested from the nearby forests, and the Leven River provided power for sawmills and flour mills.
In 1872, the railway arrived in Ulverstone, linking it to Devonport and Launceston. This made it easier for farmers to transport their goods to market and helped boost the town's economy. As Ulverstone grew, so did its infrastructure. The town got its first telegraph office in 1878, followed by a telephone exchange in 1889.
The first tourist accommodation in Ulverstone was built in 1891. Known as The Grand, it was a large and elegant hotel that catered to the well-to-do. The hotel was destroyed in a fire in 1913, but by then the tourism industry in Ulverstone was starting to take off. Visitors came to the town to enjoy its natural beauty, including the Leven River and nearby beaches.
The town continued to grow throughout the 20th century. In the 1950s, the pulp and paper industry arrived, providing jobs for many local residents. The construction of the pulp mill also helped boost the town's infrastructure, as new roads and utilities were built to support it.
Today, Ulverstone is a thriving town with a population of around 10,000 people. While agriculture is still an important part of the local economy, the town has diversified in recent years. Tourism is a major industry, with visitors coming to enjoy the region's natural beauty and attractions such as the Ulverstone History Museum and the Leven Canyon. Other industries in the area include manufacturing, retail, and healthcare.
Ulverstone is a town with a rich history, from the first Indigenous peoples to arrive in the area to the present day. Its natural resources have helped shape its economy and infrastructure, while its beauty and attractions continue to draw visitors from around the world.