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The Hobart Town Settlement

Hobart began as a settlement of 262 people established at Sulllivan's Cove, February 26th 1804.

Lieutenant Colonel David Collins, arrived at Risdon Cove, February 15th 1804 from the abandoned Port Phillip settlement. Collins, unimpressed with Risdon Cove or it's development, chose a site down river at Sullivan's Cove. Impressed the depth of the harbour, the fertile soils of the surrounding land and fresh water from majestic Mount Table (Mount Wellington). Collins, moved the settlement almost immediately, taking even the name Lieutenant John Bowen had given the Risdon Cove site "Hobart". Collins named his settlement Hobart Town.

Life was hard for the early settlers, for the first two years food was very scarce. So desperate the situation that Collins, had no choice but to release the convicts into the bush to hunt for kangaroo. Many convicts escaped becoming Bushrangers terrifying the town's folk with constant raids. The new settlement became lawless as a culture of guns developed. In October of 1806, the "Royal George" a transport ship arrived at Sullivan's Cove with much needed supplies sent from England, easing the plight of the hungry settlers.

Hobart Town began to prosper with vast numbers of whale's frequenting the Derwent River in the winter months, so many it was considered most dangerous to cross the river in small vessels. The first whale to be killed in the Derwent was in 1804.

Hobart Town soon became a whaling port with the industry expanding rapidly reaching it's peak in the latter part of the 1830's. Hobart's deep water port had made the town prosperous. Ship building and the transportation by sea, of crops and wool became the life blood of Hobart Town after the whaling boom.


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