Ellendale

From J. Moore-Robinson's "Tasmanian Nomenclature" regarding the origin of the name Ellendale:-

Mr. Thomas Stephens writes:

'Before the proclamation of the township reserve the valley of the Jones River was generally known by the name of Monto's Marsh. There were a few settlers occupying small selections of Crown land. Mr. Nicholas Brown, then Minister for Lands, occupied Meadow Bank as his country residence.' While on a tour from Hobart to Hamilton I visited him there, and he arranged that we should ride over to Monto's Marsh, where, he wished to select a good position for a township reserve, in which I could also note a suitable site for a future school. On our return to Meadow Bank the question arose of a name for the future township, and my suggestion that it should be known by the Christian name of Mrs. Nicholas Brown was eventually adopted.'

Ida Gilbert writes:

'What was originally Monto's Marsh was named Ellendale, after Mrs. Nicholas J. Brown, wife of the late Hon. N. J. Brown, who was a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, and representative of the district. Mrs. Brown still (1911) takes an interest in her namesake, and residents revere the memory of her husband, who did so much for Ellendale, during its early struggles for improvement and recognition.'

From the "Daily Post'' of June 11, 1908:-

"There passed peacefully away yesterday morning Ellendale's oldest and most respected resident. Mr. James Clark, sen., of Rockmount, at the grand old age of 100 years and five months. He celebrated his 100th birthday last Christmas Day. His wife predeceased him by 10 years, at the age of 70 years. They had spent 64 years of their life together. Deceased had won the respect of all with whom he came in contact by his hospitable and peaceful disposition. His family numbered 16, 15 of whom are now living -nine sons and six - daughters. His living descendants number 148. Eight of his sons are settled in Ellendale, and are all owners of nice farms. His eldest son, Mr. James Clark, is the proprietor of Athlone.

Deceased was the. first settler In Ellendale. He died at his home, Rockmount, where he had spent 54 years of his life. " He remembered Hobart when it had only three thatched huts, in one of which he lived with the people by whom he had been reared, he having lost his parents in his infancy. He had a small garden where Welch's Corner is now. He well knew the two blacks, Mosquito and Black Jack, and saw them the day they commenced their plundering.

In the days of the bushrangers he lost his bedding as often at 13 times in one year, and at last took to sleeping in wool bags. Deceased is said to have been the first native-born Tasmanian. A most interesting book could have been written of his reminiscences. Mrs James Clark, of Athlone, attended with great kindness the old Tasmanian-born during his last days. Rockmount is about three miles from Ellendale town ship, and Mrs. Clark repeatedly visited there to attend deceased. He was a very hard-working- man, and continued his labours up till shortly prior to his demise."

Mrs. Clark, mentioned above, has recently retired from the management of the well-known Ellendale private board ing establishment, Athlone, where for very many years she so admirably catered for tourists and travellers alike making it a veritable home from home. A glance through the Athlone visitors' book reveals how deeply she enshrined herself in the hearts of all, who wish her the complete enjoyment of a well earned rest.

"A spirit of true friendliness pervades the place. Ellendale itself is full of loveliness and poetical, beauty to the seeing eye, and the healing power of its graceful trees gives restoration to jaded and weary wayfarers."

Thus, a lady visitor this year wrote of Ellendale, distant 50 miles from Hobart, and the centre of a rich hop and small fruit growing district, and of pastoral and mixed farming areas, well watered.

"Home of the forest's heart,
How beautiful thou art!
How wonderful and free thy hills and vale,
How peaceful and serene!
The hop-fields, blooming green,
Sleep in the lovely heart of Ellendale." 1

  • 1. KNOW TASMANIA - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 6 December 1929: p 12