Place:Smithton, Tasmania, Australia


Alt namesDuck River
Coordinates40.867°S 145.117°E
Located inTasmania, Australia

[1]Smithton, situated on the banks of the Duck River, is the largest town in the Circular Head district was established in 1826 and the region named the Duck River Valley by the first settler in the area, Thomas Ollington of the Van Diemens Land Company. In the early 1840 The Van Diemens Land Co. was selling of its land to settlers. By the 1850's these first settlers had established themselves in the area around Duck River. The settlers reclaimed the blackwood swamps to produce an economy based on farming, blackwood timber and fishing. A port for the shipping of potatoes and servicing the demand for timber across Bass Strait throughout the Victorian gold rush. By 1870 the first wharf had been built in Smithton.

There was little development in the area until the 1890's when a sawmill was built by Joseph Samuel Lee. In 1904, the Duck River Butter Factory was built to service local dairy farmers. At the same time work began draining surrounding swamps, a move which led to the development of lush dairy pastures and the creation of a dairy industry.

1905, saw Smithton proclaimed a town.

From the late 1940s dairying expanded steadily, with Britain taking any available butter. For two decades Smithton's Duck River was the greatest single butter-producing factory in Tasmania, with a 1971 peak of 4106 tons. But from the 1960s, in preparation for Britain's 1973 entry into the European Economic Community, the butter factories began to diversify to satisfy the Asian market and the changing Australian market. For the new products such as flavoured milk, specialty cheese, casein and later whey powder, they needed milk, not cream; Table Cape began collecting milk in 1963.[2]

Today Duck River and Duck Bay are still popular with fishermen and at Dismal Swamp, in the nearby Tarkine [3] [4]wilderness you can still see the area's unique blackwood swamps.

DISTANCES: Stanley 22 km Burnie ... 86 km Devonport 86 km Launceston, 135 km

Noted former Smithtonians include: Dame Enid Lyons (nee Burnell) was born in Duck River (Smithton) in 1897. In 1915, aged 17, Enid married Joseph Lyons (Prime Minister of Australia 1932-39). In 1943, four years after her husband died in office, Enid Lyons became the Federal member for the Tasmanian seat of Darwin (renamed Braddon in 1955). She and Dorothy Tangney from Western Australia were the first woman elected to the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament.[5][[6] [7]

Comedian Hannah Gadsby winner of the Raw Comedy competition in 2006

Sources for Smithton: [8] [9] [10]

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article [[WP:EN:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]]..