Local History

In Defence of Local History

I didn’t go overseas as a young man, partly ‘cos I was broke, but I just loved the place too much to leave. The true heart of Tasmania is in the local people and their history.  Phillip Knightly in his book ‘Australia’ said “He had devoted his talent as a historian to examining the minutiae of the convict settlement in Tasmania. He knew everything about the convicts and their jailers… This was not just how many yards of roadway a convict gang could build in a day, but gripping social material.”

The practice of history

Knowing the past: the use of local history and personal records for cultural awareness


Bellerive to Richmond Convict Trail


* A History of Corinna & the Pieman River


* ‘Young Hopeful Men’; Henry Hector MacFie 1869-1957. The life of Henry Hector MacFie and his wife Hannah Chapman in Devonport from 1886 to his death there in 1957.


* Dulcot School Teachers 1870-1910
Dulcot – a tale of two schools
* A Brief History of Human Use in the Meehan range


* Lambert Park and the Skyline Reserve.
* Popular Music Culture in Southern Tasmania 1950-85.

* Underground Hobart; the world beneath the city.

Kangaroo Bay

* Stock Thieves and Golfers: A history of Kangaroo Bay and Rosny Farm, Tasmania 1803 – 1998


* A History of North West Bay and Margate, Tasmania 1792 – 2000


Maydena, the Rise & Fall of a Logging Town

Maria Island

The First Cement Works & Brickfields Industrial Site, Maria Island, Tasmania, (1888-92)


Pontville National Estate Study


Recherche Bay

* A History of Recherche Bay


A social History of Richmond, 1820 – 1855 – updated version in preparation
* Burtons Circus at Richmond 1855
* Harold Gatty: his Richmond and Cambridge Aerodrome connections, Tasmania.
Inns and Hotels of Richmond
* Irish-Catholics in the Coal River Valley, Richmond, Tasmania
Nugent Farm, Richmond: the history and restoration of the last Tasmanian home of William Smith O’Brien.
* Oral History and the Demise of Folk Culture in the Richmond District, Tasmania.
* Richmond Street Life – The lives of Emancipists, Paupers & Settlers 1870-1900 – taken from the Richmond Police Records.
* Silent Impact – the Irish in the Richmond District, Tasmanian
* Thomas Meagher, Sgt Daniel Murphy and the Bennett Family: Some Enduring Connections at Richmond, Tasmania.

Tasman Peninsula

* Changes and continuations: the post/ penal settlement of Tasman Peninsula, 1877-1914.
* Carnarvon Cemetery, 1877-19…? 
Eagle Hawk Neck – Prison or Pleasure?
Letters from Lufra c 1900
Tasman Peninsula at War 1914-1918. The Impact of World War I on the Local Community