When was Evandale established?

Evandale is a heritage treasure in Tasmania.  It has many Georgian, and Victorian buildings that remain intact and consequently draws lots of tourists.  But when did Evandale become a village?

This was an issue presented to the Evandale History when a new “entrance statement” sign was proposed for Evandale.  The previous signage at the entrances to the town said Evandale was established circa 1866, but many people thought how could this be when so many houses, shops, churches and pubs predate this by some time. It is obvious the town was established well before this date. This anomaly led to research being conducted, mainly using the contemporary accounts provided in Trove Digitised Newspapers, with a view to establishing a more accurate date for establishment of the village. The new entrance sign (October 2019) now states: ”Evandale c1830”.

Rationale for the date of circa 1866

In February 1865, a petition was forwarded to the Governor to have Evandale declared a municipality with subsequent alterations to the boundaries of the Launceston and Campbell Town police districts.  That is, at least 50 people of the local population wanted the town/district to get its own council.  On 20 February 1865, the Colonial Secretary published (1) the proposed boundary of the municipality as:

“Commencing at the source of the North Esk River and bounded by that river to the north-western angle of a grant of 1915 acres to Alexander Rose to Rose’s Rivulet, thence by the north western boundary of that grant, the north-western boundary of a location to James Gildas the north-eastern and part of the north-western boundaries of a location to John Smith to the Main Road from Hobart Town to Launceston, thence by that road to the Longford Municipality, thence by that Municipality to the north-west angle of a location to D. W. Stalker, thence by the main road from Hobart to Launceston to a line in continuation of the north-west boundary of a location of 1500 acres to Edward Wedge, thence to that boundary and by it to the South Esk River, by that river to the Municipality of Fingal, and by that Municipality to the point of commencement.”

Obviously this was a large area that far exceeded to confines of the village of Evandale.

Following consultation including representations by way of petition from owners and occupiers of the police district of Launceston, the Rural Municipality of Evandale was announced, with a few modifications, in October 1865 (2).  The first election of Councillors was conducted on Friday 29 December 1865 (3)

So, based on the above information, it can be concluded that while the municipality of Evandale was proclaimed in December 1865 (which is circa 1866), it was for an area far greater than the village itself, and as such has no bearing on the actual date the village was established.

Village location was shifted

Von Stieglitz (4) states that the township site for Morven district was a “reserve” on the edge of the Black Forest about two miles from Evandale.  It was to be called Morven.  However, because there was no permanent water supply and the locality was otherwise unsuitable, no building was ever erected there for a township.  In the same document, Von Stieglitz states that the irregularity was brought to the attention of the Government in 1848 by Assistant Police Magistrate Robert Wales.  Subsequently, Governor Denison proclaimed Evandale as the name of the existing village on March 17, 1848. Von Stieglitz states that at that date there were 96 houses and 600 inhabitants. 

Obviously, with this population, the town was already in existence at its current location at this time.  The name Evandale must have also been in use at this time or the village would have been called Morven.

Village had Different Names

Those with an interest in local history will probably be aware that Evandale is said to have had a variety of names during its existence.  These include Honeysuckle Banks, Collins Hill, New River, South Esk, Morven, Evansdale and of course the current Evandale.

Some of these names may have only been references to a district or an area within a district, some may have been names for the village.  The resultant investigation revealed the following.

Honeysuckle Banks seems to be derived from the camp site on the South Esk River named by Governor Macquarie in 1811.  As this date is just before or just after initial land grants in the area, it could be assumed to predate any establishment of a town.  It should also be added that there were no historical newspaper references to this term for the area.

In the case of Evansdale, it is suspected that this name never existed for the current town.  A review of Trove Digitised Newspapers does not seem to suggest that this name was ever correctly used.  We know that by 1865, Evandale was the name adopted for the municipality so any reference to Evansdale before this date were examined. 

The earliest use of Evansdale was 1834 (5) in relation to claims for grants.  However the very same article also uses Evandale which suggests a printing error.  In this case, it was the Parish of Evandale being referred to, not the town, as shown below.

“Alexander Rose, area 880 acres, Evandale Parish; Alexander Rose, area 850 acres, Breadalbane and Evansdale Parish; Alexander Rose, area 37 acres, Patterson’s Island; Alexander Rose, area 207 acres, Breadalbane and Evandale Parishes; Alexander Rose, area 93 acres, Evandale Parish;”

A similar printing error with the correct use of the town name in the same article also occurred in 1865 (6).  No other pre-municipality declaration use of the name Evansdale was discovered in Tasmanian newspapers.

The earliest newspaper use of “Collins Hill” is in 1832 (7) where it is mentioned by a committee, first formed in 1831, in determining the location of the road from Nile to Launceston.  It is suggested that Collins Hill was an informal name given to the area first settled by Collins in the early 1820’s on the approach to Evandale from the Nile.  Today, this site is occupied by Briar Lane Cottage (formerly Greg and Gill’s Place) which was built in 1826 (8). 

At the time of this meeting there were already other adjacent houses.  For example, it is also known that Kennedy Murray was already operating a Pound from his home at Prosperous in 1831 (9) and that Prosperous (now Fallgrove) was built circa 1826.  Also built in 1826 was Cambock Homestead  which was built by Capt. Andrew Barclay (10).   

Newspaper references to these other home owners do not use the name “Collins Hill”.  Therefore it is suggested that this name was not used for the village but rather as an informal zone within the general area.

“New River” is a term that appears to have been applied to the South Esk River, the district and the settlement.  For example, as a river, there is the story (11) of an inquest held at Launceston in January 1823 on the body of a man named Edward Cox, who was “found drowned in the New River, contiguous to his own house.  It appeared that the unfortunate man had been stealing some sheep from a Gentleman a short time previously, and to escape the hands of justice, he put an end to his existence by drowning himself; to which effect a verdict was returned accordingly.”

There is an 1828 advert (12) from Joseph Watts and James Carter seeking to inform the public, of their horse breaking skills.  They advised clients of their prices and said that horses could be left “at Mr. George Collins’, New River near Gibson’s Ford”.  This could be a reference to New River being either a settlement or a District. It should also be noted that it did not refer to Mr Collins living at Collin’s Hill.

New River, was definitely used as a settlement name in and advert placed by Kennedy Murray in May 1831 (13) which read, – “IMPOUNDED = At the Public Pound, Prosperous, New River, Launceston District, on the 9th instant by Mr George Powell..

“New River” was clearly used as a district name in an advert by Joseph Solomon in 1836 (14) that carried the headline “New Store – Evandale New River – near Captain Barclay’s” respectfully informing “his friends and the inhabitants of Evandale and the District around, that he intends opening a Branch Store.”  This advert also suggests that the village was called Evandale and in existence in 1836.

“South Esk” was first used in the newspapers as a river name as early as 1818 (15) with the publication of a Government Public Notice that “Carts going from the Settlements on the Derwent to Port Dalrymple, or to any Part or Place in the Interiorm, do keep the High Road the Whole way; and that they do enter the Settlement of Port Dalrymple by crossing the South Esk, at the Ford between Gibson’s and Massey’s Farms, and at no other Place.”  Gibson’s Farm is a reference to Pleasant Banks (off Leighlands Road) and Massey’s Farm was located between Pleasant Banks and current day Evandale.

South Esk was also used as a river name in a government notice published in 1828 (16) which read, “GOVERNMENT NOTICE, No. 147. —- Colonial Secretary’s Office, July 16, 1828 – THE Lieutenant Governor, has been pleased to appoint Mr. William Graves to be Keeper of the Pound near Gibson’s Ford, on the right bank of the South Esk.”  This location is very close to the current town and it is interesting to note that just the next month, Mr Graves uses the term South Esk Pound located at Morven, South Esk.  Obviously Morven being the settlement and South Esk being the district (17).

Morven has obviously been extensively used as a district name.  It was first proclaimed a district and its boundaries were defined in 1823 by a Government Notice (18).  Breadalbane District to the north was also proclaimed at the same time.  Of note here is the fact that the current location of the town is very close to the boundary of Morven and Breadalbane districts i.e. the South Esk River at Gibson’s Ford.  Had a township existed at that time, it is thought that the boundaries would have been located to clearly enclose the township of that time.  Other proclamations make mention of the townships that they include.

While there are many references to Morven in the press, there are only a few uses of the phrase “town of Morven” being used.  Two of these are in the one newspaper on the same day.  There are no uses for the phrase “village of Morven”. 

It is of interest to note that the use of “Morven” overlaps with the use of “Evandale”, so there is some confusion.  Based on number of occurrences in the newspapers of the day, Evandale was the predominant name for the village and Morven was the district name.

It is interesting to note that in 1825 (19), the district of Morven was identified as now being called South Esk as seen in the following quote.  “His Excellency, the Governor having instituted a Court of Requests in and for the Island of Van Diemen’s Land, for the Recovery of Debts not exceeding Ten Pounds Sterling, Notice is hereby given, that the said Court will be opened and held at the Place and Times following- (that is to say) ;….At Campbell ‘Town, on Friday the 27th Day of May next, at Ten o’Clock in the Forenoon precisely, for the Trial of Causes in which Persons residing within the following Districts or Places may be the Defendants; namely-Lennox, Richmond, Morven, (now called South Esk) …..

Perhaps the earliest use of Morven(as the name of a village) was in 1828 when William Graves advertised stock impounded at the Pound located at Morven, South Esk, 18th August 1828 (20).

It is also worth noting that the blacksmith Mr George Powell, “near the farm of Andrew Barclay Esq” advertised in May 1830 for “two journeymen wheelwrights, who will be supplied with tools and every requisite; or a master tradesman will meet with every encouragement by commencing his business at or near Mr. Powell’s, Morven” (21).  This suggests that there was significant work in the area to warrant an expansion of his business or even seek a competitor to meet the demand.

Every Village Needs a Pub and a Church!

Many people would suggest that a place cannot be called a village until it has its own Pub.  Well, the first public house in the town area was the Jolly Farmer run by George Collins in 1829 and 1830 (22,23).  The second licensed public house was the Patriot King William IV now known as Blenheim, the imposing building at 16 High Street.  By one account (24), building of this hotel commenced in 1826 but we do know that it was first licensed on 29 September 1832 (25).  The hotel was a rather grand establishment which included an assembly room upstairs that was used for concerts, dancing and a meeting room for the Masonic Lodge and other groups.  It was said to also have a skittles alley.  All of this points to a significant clientele, either local or passing, however much of this probably came later.

In 1829, there was no church in the settlement despite there being quite a few people living locally.  We know this from a letter to the editor of the Cornwall Press and Commercial Advertiser (26) which stated “SIR—Of course you are aware that we have no church or place of worship out here. But I do not suppose you are aware of the manner in which the Sabbath is kept in this neighbourhood. 1 understand a most disgraceful transaction took place last Sunday, in the vicinity of Gibson’s Ford on the South Esk. Several pitched battles were appointed for that day’s amusement, and no fewer than six or seven fights took place, which, of course, had a great many spectators. And as such was the case—the rabble from within 5 or 6 miles round being collected on the spot—I would ask, through your medium, what were the constables doing ? As they could not help but know of it, why were they not there to prevent it ? The worthy Police Magistrate cannot be aware of the queer jobs that are sometimes hushed up within a few miles of town, but which ought to be brought to light and the parties punished.  We understand the preliminaries are settled for a fight to take place today, within a few miles of town, for £50;”

Fighting events in the region were very popular because we know from a January 1830 (27) report that stated “A regular pitched battle was fought here on Wednesday last, near the public house kept by Mr. Collins. This battle had been long talked of in Launceston and its neighbourhood, the combatants, James Glew, a man well known by the lovers of pugilism in New South Wales and John Williams, the champion of this place, met upon the ground about one o’clock, with upwards of 700 persons, a greater concourse of people perhaps than was ever assembled before on such an occasion in this island.

Summarising the Information

Based on the information available, it is possible to conclude that Evandale:

  • by 1826, at least a few houses were in close proximity
  • by 1828, there is an operating Pound at least adjacent to the settlement area on the South Esk River
  • by 1829, there is a licensed public house
  • by 1829, there are sufficient people in the settlement and surrounding farms to stage a “sporting” events and that by 1830, one such event attracted upwards of 700 people
  • by 1831, we have an operating Pound within the settlement area
  • by 1832, we have a grand licensed hotel
  • Evandale proclaimed as the name of the existing village on March 17, 1848 but there were already 96 houses and 600 inhabitants

It was also concluded that Evandale, as a settlement, if not a village, has been called New River, South Esk and Morven.  Credence is not given to the village having been called Honeysuckle Banks, Evansdale or Collins Hill.


Based on the information collected for this study, it can be assumed that Evandale, as it is now called, was in its infancy in 1826 when it was a small collection of dwellings and out buildings and was definitely an established village by 1832 when there are at least a few non-farming businesses in operation.

Given this spread of dates, The Evandale History Society recommended to Council that circa 1830 be adopted as the establishment date for Evandale.  This will be the date that will appear on the new entrance statement and other signs in the near future.


  1. The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880)  Sat 25 Feb 1865  Page 5
  2. Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 – 1899)  Thu 12 Oct 1865  Page 5
  3. The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880)  Sat 30 Dec 1865  Page 4
  4. von Stieglitz, Karl (1946) Days and Ways in Old Evandale
  5. Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846)  Thu 5 Jun 1834  Page 2
  6. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954)  Sat 23 Dec 1865  Page 3
  7. The Independent (Launceston, Tas. : 1831 – 1835)  Sat 27 Oct 1832
  8. Evandale Heritage Walk, Evandale History Society
  9. The Tasmanian (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Fri 28 Jan 1831  Page 2
  10. McCormack T (2015) Reaching Out From Trafalar, Bokprint Launceston
  11. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825)  Sat 25 Jan 1823  Page 2
  12.  The Tasmanian (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Fri 31 Oct 1828  Page 4
  13.  Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846)  Mon 16 May 1831  Page 157
  14. Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857)  Tue 22 Nov 1836  Page 3
  15. The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821)  Sat 24 Oct 1818 Page 1
  16. The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Sat 19 Jul 1828  Page 1
  17. The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Sat 23 Aug 1828  Page 1
  18. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas.: 1821 – 1825)  Sat 20 Dec 1823  Page 1
  19. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825)  Fri 25 Mar 1825  Page 1
  20. The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Sat 23 Aug 1828  Page 1
  21. The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Sat 29 May 1830  Page 3
  22. Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857)  Fri 20 Nov 1829  Page 4
  23.  Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846)  Mon 20 Sep 1830  Page 3
  24. The Convict Trail, http://ontheconvicttrail.blogspot.com.au
  25.  The Independent (Launceston, Tas. : 1831 – 1835)  Sat 22 Sep 1832  Page 2
  26. The Cornwall Press and Commercial Advertiser (Launceston, Tas. : 1829)  Tue 5 May 1829  Page 4
  27. The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839)  Sat 9 Jan 1830  Page 2

The Morven Outrage April 1859

The Launceston Examiner of 26 Apr 1859 had the following interesting story which it referred to as the Morven Outrage.

A correspondent has sent us the following account of the attack on the Rev. Mr. Taggart to remove the incorrect reports current respecting the outrage:-

“About 10 o’clock am on Monday, the 18th inst., the Rev. Mr. Taggart left the Manse, Evandale, for the purpose of visiting Logan Falls, intending to return in the evening to Evandale, as he was expected to preside at a congregational meeting of the members of the Scotch Church. When about a mile from Mr. Ralston’s, at the time leisurely walking his horse, he saw a man a considerable distance in advance on the right hand side of the road with a gun in his hand.

This circumstance did not cause him the slightest alarm, as he thought the person might be fowling; nor did he for a moment dream of bushrangers, as he thought that in this part of Tasmania such an employment was among the things of the past. However, when he had unsuspectingly approached to within a distance of a gun’s length and a half of the bushranger, as we may now justly call him, the latter commenced operations by presenting his gun with deadly aim at Mr. Taggart’s head, using the words “your money or your life.”

Though taken somewhat by surprise, he represented to the man how foolish such an action would be, as the murderer of any clergyman officiating in a parish was likely to be easily discovered, and that his death by hanging was only a question of time. To this the bushranger replied by saying that he did not now care for his life, and again taking aim, and with horrid oaths repeating his former demand, he added that if not immediately complied with he would blow out the Rev. Gentleman’s brains.

Mr. Taggart had now his mind fully made up for death, and was expecting it momentarily, but whilst the bushranger’s hand was on the trigger and his eye looking along the barrel, by way of diverting his attention he said to him, ‘Why do you not come and take my money’, but to this the bushranger only replied by saying that it must be laid along with his watch on the road. As this was said by Mr. Taggart only to gain time, it failed in its effect; and he saw that the only recourse left was to rush as quickly past the desperado as possible, and trust to providence. The moment he attempted to do so the villain took deliberate aim.

Mr. Taggart bent his head and trunk as much as possible alongside the horse’s neck so as to protect the vital parts, and the desperado discharged at a little more than a gun’s distance the contents of his piece, loaded with large shot, into the fleshy part of the left thigh, grazing in its course the wrist.

I may here mention that Mr. Taggart had neither whip nor spur, otherwise it was his intention to have rushed on the villain and attempted to overpower him. He was quite defenceless, and was obliged, moreover, to keep his eye on the bushranger and to sit perfectly emotionless. The strength and nearness of the discharge paralysed for the time being his limb: the horse at the same time shied to the one side, and he fell to the ground and the reins slipped from his hand. The bushranger’s attention was now diverted from the Rev. Gentleman to his horse – to steal the latter and make off with it without further violence appearing his most advisable course. He accordingly did so.

Mr. Taggart’s watch and purse, containing a considerable sum of money, owing to this circumstance he did not wait to rifle him of, but having caught the horse with some difficulty made his way into the interior with all dispatch. Mr. Taggart with difficulty limped along the road in the direction of a shoemaker’s hut which he had passed, but before arriving there being overcome with extreme fatigue and pain, he was obliged to throw himself down on the road.

While in this position a man passed by him at full speed in the direction of the same but, and without stopping to make any enquiries, he continued his course till he reached it. Mr. Taggart supposed from his conduct, especially from his not stopping to render him any assistance, that he was in league with the bushranger; and it was only after some time that he replied to Mr. Taggert’s many calls for assistance by bringing him a cup of water and helping him as gently as possible into the hut.

This man then told his own story, and it was to this effect:- That he had been met by an armed man in the bush and ordered to give up his money, which he agreed to do. He was tied to a tree by the bushranger, who then said to him, ‘I shall leave you here until I stick up the shoemaker at his hut.’ But before proceeding to do this, his eye was arrested by the unexpected appearance of the clergyman: he then said, ‘ I see a cove, I will tackle him.’

Immediately after the report of the gun, the man stuck-up managed to make his escape from the tree, and ran to the hut in the manner just described.

Subsequently, The Courier of 2 May 1859 reported “We regret to say, hat the Rev. Mr. Taggart, who was wounded by the ruffianly bushranger near Evandale, in still in a very precarious condition. On Monday he was very unwell and slightly delirious We understand that upwards of twenty double B shot were extracted from the reverend gentleman’s thigh. The ruffian is still at large.

By the 10 May, a reward of £50 and a free pardon for any colonial prisoner had been offered.  However, there are no newspaper reports of the perpetrator being bought to justice.

RAAF 7 Elementary Flying School

Tasmania’s only RAAF Flying Base during World War 2 was established at the site of the current Launceston Airport on 29th August 1940, and No 7 Elementary Flying Training School commenced training in September of that year. By the time training ended in late 1944, over 1800 pilot trainees had passed through the base as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme before the base was disbanded on 31st August 1945.

Consequently the Evandale History Society, in conjunction with the R.A.A.F. Association, Launceston Branch, decided to build a memorial dedicated to all those who trained and served at Western Junction. This also commemorates the ten servicemen who died while based there and also honours the approximately one third of the 1801pilots trained there who died whilst in training at other bases or on active service in all theatres of war.

The memorial has been built in the historic village of Evandale which is close to Western Junction and where many R.A.A.F. personnel were billeted during the war. This also allows the 7 EFTS Monument to be honoured on ANZAC Day each year along with the other war monuments located there.

On Saturday 21st August 2010 over 170 formal guests were invited to a formal unveiling of the memorial by Group Captain Glen Coy CSC, Officer Commanding, Air Training Wing, East Sale. This was followed by a dedication service by Chaplain Wing Commander Ken Box and the laying of wreaths.

Among the guests were 20 original veterans from 7 EFTS who had come from Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales to attend and over 60 families of those veterans, servicemen died during the war and veterans who have consequently passed on. This was followed by a luncheon for veterans and guests and a visit to the Tasmanian Aero Club at Launceston Airport to view old 7 EFTS buildings.

This dedication service also honoured the 70th Anniversary of the base foundation and 65th Anniversary of the base closure.

The dedication was supported by other R.A.A.F. units such as fly past from the Roulettes, the Air Force Band and Catafalque party and Australian Air Force Cadets from Launceston. In addition staff under the command of Wing Commander Charles Hill, Commanding Officer 29SQD/SAFOT gave invaluable support to the success of the dedication service.

The Evandale History Society has established a photographic and historical collection on 7 EFTS and seeks any additional photos or historic information.

This will support the Photo Mural and Propeller Memorial on display at Launceston Airport (Western Junction)

The Evandale History Society welcomes any information or photos relating to 7 EFTS and can be contacted at 18 High Street, Evandale, Tasmania or by email. 

Western Junction WW2 – 7EFTS Base and airfield
7EFTS student in Trainer aircraft WW2
7 FTS Memorial Evandale Community Hall

Churches – The Weslyan (Methodist) Chapel Evandale

Local identities Henry Reed and John Ward Gleadow helped build the Wesleyan Church although little information is available on its history and as such it was later used as a Druid Hall, Scouts Hall and then by the Returned Services League of Australia (R.S.L.A.) as their Evandale Club Room.

The chapel which is located in Russell Street Evandale was offered for sale in 1975 and was later converted in 2000 into Heritage Accommodation of which it still remains.

Churches – The Deddington Chapel

Built in 1840, this Chapel located at Deddington, Tasmania is on land gifted from Robert Pitcairn. Brothers Robert and Thomas Pitcairn arrived in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land on the ship “Portland” on 10th September 1824 holding letters of Recommendation.

Thomas received a “Grant of Land” of 640 acres at Mills Plains, now Deddington, where he took up occupancy in 1826.

Robert received a “Grant of Land” of 800 acres at Grassy Hut, Bothwell and he took up occupancy of the land, also in late 1824. In late November/December of that year he apparently arranged for an exchange of this Bothwell Land Grant for land the River Nile, adjacent to the land granted to his brother.

Robert subsequently received another Grant of Land of 800 acres in 1829 adjoining and it is from this subsequent Grant that he gave an “Allotment upon which was erected the Chapel. It is understood that this “Gift of Land for this Chapel purpose was made following a request/suggestion from Rev. Robert Russell of the Presbyterian Church of Evandale.

The Chapel was built by Public Subscription on this “Gifted Land” with Land Ownership being transferred to “The Residents of Deddington”, in 1849. From 1865 the Chapel began use as the Local School and continued for this purpose until 1885. It was again used for the same purpose in 1912.

Major restoration work on the building was undertaken by the National Trust of Tasmania in the 1960’s with assistance from local residents and further maintenance was completed by the Chapel Trustees in 1999.Ongoing maintenance is always needed and this has included Grave restoration, fencing, landscaping and Chapel signage.

The graves present include Colonial Artist John Glover and his wife Sarah (nee Young) and their sons Henry & John Richardson Glover.

The Chapel is still in use today.

Churches – St Peters Church and School Nile

The Village of Lymington, later re-named The Nile was established by local landowners James Cox of “Clarendon” and Donald Cameron of “Fordon” to house their Workers.

The Village is believed to have been named by James Cox, after the seaport town in Hampshire. It was renamed “Lymington North” to avoid confusion with “Lymington” near Port Cygnet, and in 1910 was renamed again, this time becoming “The Nile”, no doubt because of the continued confusion, it has been suggested.

The Church Building was originally used as a “School on Weekdays and a Chapel on Sundays”. The Building was erected by James Cox (1790-1866) and stands on three acres of land also given by him.

Thomas Arnold, the Inspector of Schools, visited the establishment on 30th June 1853, when it was apparently newly built and reported that the premises were sufficient for the nineteen children who attended, but that the supply of books was poor and the teaching indifferent. The discipline was good and the children were neat and clean. Fees of 2/6 ( 2 shillings and 6 pence) weekly were paid to the Master, a Johnson, who was a retired Colour Sergeant of moderate attainments. Johnson attended school there day a week, possibly to teach needlework. Arnold’s chief complaint was that there was no kitchen or toilet.

In 1869 the Local Schools Board visited the school and reported that there were forty four children enrolled but only thirty nine in attendance being eighteen boys and twenty one girls.

One Member of the Board,  John Whitehead, reported that he had visited a family by the name of “Green” living on  Robotham’s Farm, more than three miles distant from the Public School. They had six children of which three were old enough to go to school and the parents were willing to pay 1/- (1 shilling) per week for their School Fees.

It was agreed by the Members present to recommend that two children should be admitted at 6d (6 pence), per week each and the third should be admitted on “Free Certificate”.

Other families were also having difficulties paying the school fees and it was decided that one of  Turner’s children be also admitted on a “Free Certificate”, with the other two (2) of his children being sent to school and the required “Fees Paid”. One child of Henry Lodge was to be admitted on a “Free Certificate” for one School Quarter only, whilst another child from the Family to be sent, was to have the required “Fees Paid”.

On payment of the required fees for two children by Larcombe any other from that family fit to go to school would be sent on a “Free Certificate”.

One of Drake’s children was to be admitted on a “Free Certificate” upon the payment for another two children attending.

The Teacher, Light, reported that several families “whose children ought to attend school” did not so attend along with the family names of Boyd, Griffith, Gibson and Sutton.

The Building continued to be used until late in the century at which time the Education Department erected a new school.

Early in 1893 the work of renovating the building commenced with Alexander North was the Architect and J.T. Farmilo the Contractor.

The addition of a Chancel Vestry and Tower were paid for from an endowment left by James Cox.

On St Peter’s Day that year the building was consecrated by Bishop Montgomery.

James Cox is commemorated by “A Tablet in the Nave”.

Churches – St Marys (Catholic Church) Evandale

St. Mary’s Catholic Church was built around 1863 reportedly by Mr. J. Calvin although accurate details are unknown due to lack of existing church records.

The church came under the parish authority of the Catholic Church at Longford.

The wooden church originally was built with a bell tower, which consequently collapsed due to rotten wood and was not replaced. St. Mary’s at Evandale was the oldest wooden Catholic Church in the South Pacific to conducted regular masses.

The church was originally built with the doorway into the porch facing the side. This meant that coffins could not be carried into and out of the church. During 1976 when renovations took place, the original doorway was positioned to the front enabling funerals to be held.  In addition the foundations were strengthened.

On a Sunday in February 2001, saw the last regular Sunday Mass with the final Mass of Thanksgiving being held 10th November 2002.

In June 2003 the now de-consecrated St. Mary’s Church was offered for sale and was eventually brought on the 20th July 2003 by Mr. Ian Hodgkinson for renovation to a family home.

Churches – St Andrews (Uniting) Church Evandale

Reverend Robert Russell was a young Scot when he arrived in Evandale to commence his parish duties on the 9th April 1838. At that time there was no church building and services were then held in private residences.

The Scottish Community of Evandale had raised funds for the building of a Kirk (Church) and along with a grant from the Government this enabled the laying of a foundation stone in 1838 by the Governor, Sir John Franklin and from this the Kirk (Church) became a reality with the dedication of St. Andrews on 5th September 1840.

A much admired example of Greek Revival Architecture, St. Andrews is known as the “best preserved or restored” place of worship in Tasmania.

Since its door opened, St Andrew’s has served the Presbyterian Congregation of Evandale and its surrounding environs and lately as the Uniting Church of Australia.

Pubs and Publicans – The Trafalgar Inn

The Cornwall Chronicle 6 September 1851 states a licence application from Francis Ansell for Trafalgar Inn in Evandale was refused.  Another application by Mr Ansell, for another public house at Evandale was withdrawn in 1852.  It appears that such a licensed premises never came into being.

Pubs and Publicans – The Railway Hotel

Karl von Stieglitz (1946) states that William Sidebottom “built a tannery and boot factory—which supplied Government and private contracts—with as many as 25 men working for him, on Fyfe’s Corner, as some of us still call it, opposite where Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Bean now live. This was a wooden building and later occupied by the Halls, who at one time tried to obtain a licence for it as an hotel, but failed.” “Later, Simon Fyfe had his stables there when he ran the coaches, but during his son’s (John) tenancy after Simon’s death, the old place was burnt down.”

The compiler cannot find (at this time) any record of licences having been granted for a Railway Hotel in Evandale nor any such approval to run railway refreshment rooms at the railway station. Certainly, there has been no licence issued from 1892 to the present.