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Oatlands, 79ks from Hobart, full of Georgian Architecture. Oatlands flour mill, Originally the Callington Mill, began operating in 1837, and by July 1840, was producing 30 bushels of flour and hour. During a violent wind storm in 1909, the sails were torn away from the dome, they landed in Lake Dulverton and in 1912, it was gutted by fire.
The Court House, was built by convict labour in 1829 by Two Convicts, in irons the whole time.
This town is said to have the largest collection of pre 1837 buildings in Australia.
Pick up "Lets talk about Oatlands" which gives details on 36 places of interest.
The information centre is at 77 High Street, Oatlands.
Updated Sep 27, 2008
Kempton is a classified historic town, situated 49ks from Hobart on the Heritage Highway. It was 1st settled in 1814, and was known as "Green Ponds" The 1st land grant went to an Andrew Kemp, who had a large amount of land, so, eventually, the name was changed to "Kempton" His property was "Mount Vernon" which is south of Kempton. The highway bypasses the town, so it is quiet and natural, like it was years ago, not full of tourists. Out the front of the Kempton Council Chambers is the clock tower, which was built to commemorate those who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 war. The original Green Ponds store was razed by fire in 1991. Built in 1833, it was a Drapery, Grocery and Ironmongers, built by W. Ellis, who arrived in Hobart as a Convict in 1827 and was was pardoned in 1832. Glebe house, a lovely home was built by convicts in 1836.
Updated Sep 27, 2008
Ah yes, a very good question! Transportation to Van Diemen’s Land ceased in 1853 following pressure from the Anti-Transportation League. The League was concerned more with enhancing the social status of the Colony than with humanitarian objectives, and was instrumental in having the Colony’s name changed to "Tasmania" in 1856 – ask any marketer, image is everything! The campaign led to social pressures to hide the ‘convict stain’ and, throughout Australia, former convicts and their descendants did their best to conceal their family backgrounds.
By the late 1800s, convicts became a non-subject with the official approach taking the form “hey, let’s say nothing and pretend Australia just popped into existence” (still followed in the hoop-la of Australia's Bicentenary in 1988). To assist that process of burying the past, most convict prisons were demolished – and that was the fate of the Ross convict station, built between 1833 and 1835 to house up to 220 convicts. From 1847 to 1855 it had become a “Female Factory”, the only one outside Hobart Town, to house women convicts not assigned to the employment of private individuals. The name “Female Factory” came from the female convicts’ task of making clothing for the army, doing laundry and similar domestic duties. The building was demolished in 1897 leaving only a staff cottage nearby – however the footings remain and some limited archaeological work has been performed.
I was taken by an explanatory sign at the site (photo 3) which noted that there are official records of various kinds from the convict era, but that the convicts’ stories were never recorded. That is indeed a pity, but quite apart from the limited literacy of many convicts, having someone writing unofficial memoirs would have been actively discouraged, to say the least!
This is included as "Off the Beaten Path" because it is not in the main street area. Only a short detour though - head up Bridge St toward the railway and veer to the right into Bond St.
Updated Jul 7, 2008