History

Bicheno, Tasmania

  • Prior to European settlement the area around Bicheno was inhabited by members of the Paredareme Aboriginal language group.

  • As early as 1803, before the official European settlement of Van Diemen's Land, Bicheno was a whaling and sealing settlement. Waubs Boat Harbour was being used as a base for their activities on the east coast.

  • In June, 1832 Wauba Debar, a female Aborigine who had been enslaved by the sealers, died.

  • In 1845 the town's Court House/Gaol House, now a National Trust building, was completed. It is a simple stone building with unusual twelve pane windows.

  • Coal was discovered in the area in 1848.

  • In 1854 the harbour was expanded to provide port facilities for the coal mining at Denison River.

  • In 1855 the grave for Wauba Debar was established by public subscription.

  • In 1866 Bicheno was officially proclaimed a town.

  • The discovery of gold in Victoria saw most of the town's residents depart and for the next 100 years Bicheno was a small, sleepy fishing village.

  • In 2003 a memorial to the Australian Merchant Navy was unveiled in the town.

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