Model of George Town in the Watch House Museum

A fairly sparse history

George Town, Tasmania settled on the Tamar River is one of the oldest settlements in Australia.
Lt. Governor William Paterson officially declared the settlement (and in typical British Empire fashion laid claim to the whole North of Van Diemen's Land, also it must be said, to the considerable surprise of the people already living there ) on the 11th November 1804.

A man with a plan

		  
      Governor MACQUARIE having departed from Sydney on board the Government Brig Lady
      Nelson, on Monday the 4th November, with the intention of visiting the Settlements of Van
      Diemen's Land, ...
      
      With the view of finding out a desirable situation, combining utility to the Country with an easy
      access from the Straits, the Governor employed four days in exploring every part of the
      River, which does not in the course of forty miles afford a situation where the necessary
      requisites of safe anchorage and fresh water are combined, until reaching Outer Cove, now named
      York Cove (in honour of His Royal Highness the Duke of YORK), which the Governor has fixed on
      for a town, to be called George Town in honour of our Most Gracious SOVEREIGN.
      To those persons who are not likely to see this enchanting
      situation an adequate description cannot be given of it: but those who have seen Mount Edgcambe; in
      Cornwall, may form to themselves some idea of it, the resemblance between those places being very striking. 

      The Cove, tho small, affords safe anchorage; and the distance from Lagoon Beach,  
      which is immediately within the Heads, being only two miles, will enable vessels to supply themselves    
      with all necessary refreshments from the Town, by means of their boats. The rapidity of the current
      encountered after passing Lagoon Beach rendering this, perhaps, the best situation which Port
      Dalrymple affords for ships wishing for a secure anchorage when detained by contrary winds in the
      Straits, and from whence they may with facility take  take advantage of a change of wind.

      On Friday, the 20th of December, the Governor proceeded from Lagoon Beach on his return to Sydney, ...
	  
	  The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser - 11 Jan 1812

	  
The town plan was ordained by Governor Lachlan Macquarie when he visited in December 1811, one of the key features was a central square, named for the king: Regent Square. Today the square has a Memorial Hall,

the TG (Graeme) Fairless Centre and the Community Hub/ LINC (library) on the Macquarie St. side


There was a "Female Factory" in Cimitiere St. across from Regent Square (Convict lives at the George Town Female Factory).

Many of the early buildings were made of timber and so no longer exist. There are a few exceptions ( of course in other countries the age of these buildings would be totally unremarkable, here though - really old ) :


The town was an integral part of the Tamar Valley Semaphore System that communicated ship arrivals via Mt.George - Mt. Direction to the Windmill Hill station in Launceston.

As technology advanced George Town became home to the Eastern Extension Cable Co. Station in 1869, there is a carved tree sculpture in honour of the station at Windmill point.

The station was closed in 1909 when the original cable was replaced by two cables built by Siemens and run by the Post Master General's department. Currently a 300 km fibre-optic cable from George Town to Gippsland in Victoria connects Tasmania to the mainland..


Nearby Low Head, also part of the George Town municipality, has the historic lighthouse

Low Head Lighthouse


And Pilot Station, there is a museum at the station.



The kanamaluka Trail is a walking/cycling path along the Tamar River stretching from York Cove to the Low Head Pilot Station.

George Town Art

George Town, Tasmania is home to a busy arts community, many local artists belong to the Lighthouse Regional Arts group.
There are public art installations, tile mosaics and sculpture see the Lighthouse Regional Arts web page for locations and details.

George Town Events

George Town Mounuments

George Town Clubs

George Town Industry

The main "heavy" industries are in nearby Bell Bay There are also many support and light engineering companies in George Town.