Within 10 miles of Bellerive, along the Bellerive to South Arm main road, just after crossing Ralph's Bay Neck, we reach Sandford, after a pleasant drive, amid rural, bushland, and seascape scenes of lovely, varying aspects. And here let me give a little of the district's early history, a district that for very many years was called Muddy Plains. The Right Rev. Daniel Fox Sandford, Bishop of Tasmania in the early '80's, during a visit to Muddy Plains, commented on the inappropriateness of its name, and jocularly said, "Why not call it after me." And Sandford it became shortly afterwards. Dr. James Ross, in his "Hobart Town Almanack," of 1830, says:-
"Leaving Mr. D. Stanfields, at Rokeby, the road passes along a narrow neck of land, dividing Ralph's Bay. Small boats are often carried across this neck (where the canal was recently cut) in order to avoid the danger and delay of going round by Betsy's Island to Pittwater. Having crossed this neck the traveller enters Muddy Plains. The first farm he meets with is that of Mr. Mather. Three miles to the south of this is a populous settlement of numerous small farms, surrounding a large inlet of salt water, called the Pipe-clay Lagoon. Among others we may mention the farms of Mrs. Macauley, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Germain. A road also conducts across to Ralph's Bay, on the side of which are the farms of Mr. Mortimer and Mr. Dixon."
Walch's "Tasmanian Guide Book," of 1871, records:-
"The small settlements of Cambridge and Muddy Plains have a scattered population, and contain many pretty bits of rural scenery. Each possesses a Congregational Church."
Chief among Sandford's many beautiful scenic features may be mentioned Clifton Beach, a tourist resort that has recently sprung into much-deserved favour. Better access to this now popular beach will soon be available. On the cultivated areas of the district oats, wheat, green peas, apricots, apples, and pears are extensively grown, and grazing of sheep and cattle is profitably carried on on its good pastoral lands. Forest Hill, Maydena, York Grove, Woodlands, Lumeah, Waterloo, Cremorne, and Clifton are among its better-known properties, and the family names of Morrisby, Watson, May, Calvert, Lazenby, Bowden, and Richardson have been for long associated with the history of the locality's progress.
In addition to the State School and Congregational Church, there are a public-hall, recreation ground, post and telephone office, and a beautiful Soldiers' Memorial Church, of brick, lately erected in an eminently suitable position. On Sandford's rifle range have been trained some of Tasmania's best riflemen. 1