How and when Kellevie first received its name the writer does not know, but its development seems to have been contemporaneous with the other two districts of the Ragged Tier, Bream Creek, and Copping, which began in earnest in the eighties, when the hard work of pioneering a wilderness of giant blue gums (some nine feet in diameter and of immense height), wild pear, musk, lightwood, dogwood, and other forest trees, with almost impenetrable undergrowth was beginning to reap its just reward. In connection with the accomplishment of this great enterprise the names of Freeman, Brown, Tunbridge, Corbett, Woolley, Kingston, Dunbabin, Allanby, Byran, Clifford, with others, will ever be associated for their good work at different points on the tier.
Previous to the advent of this peerless band of hardy pioneers only the foothills of the Ragged Tier had been settled upon, the forbidding nature of the higher ranges daunting the earlier settlers, until with the felling of the wild pear trees, the leaves of which were used as fodder for bullocks, patches were burnt off, and barley sown thereon, which grew luxuriantly, thus disclosing the rich fertility of the volcanic soil on what is now widely known as one of the finest dairying areas in Tasmania—a truly magnificent pastoral gold mine, so to speak. In its primeval state one old settler said that the undergrowth was so dense in places that the sky could not be seen through it. Today most of the land in the locality
now opened up, is worth £20 per acre and upwards.
The public buildings at Kellevie include a State School, hall, Druids' Hall, and church, and there are a general store and post and telephone office, with Mrs. J. Woolley in charge.
In addition to dairying, cereal and potato culture receive some attention, as does the cultivation of maize and pig raising. Sheep are depastured now more than formerly. Sawmilllng has been carried on of late years, good timber being available in the direction of Nugent. Under the heading of Bream Creek and Kellevie, from "The Mercury," May 16, 1894, the following will be read with considerable interest:—
"A concert in aid of the local cricket club was held on Friday, 11th inst., at Coppington. There was a good attendance notwithstanding the unsettled weather, and the efforts of the various performers were highly appreciated. The entertainment concluded with the always-popular farce, The Area Belle. In the musical portion of the programme the items were rendered bv Mesdames Featherstone and T. Hean, Misses Blackett, Messrs W. Gard, Sherwin, Greenlaw, C. Roberts, A. Hean (the late Hon. A. Hean), and T. Hean (the present council clerk of Sorell). The characters in the Area Belle were impersonated by the Misses Blackett and Walker, and Messrs. T. and A. Hean and Walker. The chairman (Mr. Whyte), on behalf of the cricket club, thanked the performers for their kindness in giving the entertainment, which brought a most enjoyable evening to a close.
The residents of Coppington petitioned the Minister for Education to have a school placed midway between Coppington and Bream Creek. Such a situation was thought more convenient for the majority of the children who are now attending the Bream Creek School. Mr S. O. Lovell paid a visit to the locality and made inquiries, the result of which will, no doubt, be made known by the department in the course of a few days. Tenders were called on the 18th ult. for fencing the road east of the Ragged Tier, but so far the successful tenderer, with price, has not been made public, as is usual, through the 'Gazette' and 'Mercury' Is there a hitch in the business, or has someone blundered ?.
At Bream Creek on the 13th inst. a special sermon was preached by the Rev. J. Button, F.L.S., F.R.H.S., in connection with the erection of a marble tablet in the new church. The tablet, which is 'in loving memory of the Rev. R. E. Dear,' stated that he was 'for 23 years the faithful pastor of the Congregational Church in this district,' and that it is erected by his numerous friends.' The text of the tablet—'the memory of the just is blessed'—was chosen by the preacher, who said that it was well illustrated in the case of their departed friend. The congregation who reverenced his memory were exhorted to remember his teachings and follow his example." 1