During the 1860s-1880s a spirit of optimism pervaded the Tasmanian community as rich mineral deposits were unearthed, a railway system developed and the beginnings of a forest reservation system for the timber industry established.
The island’s tourist potential was also becoming apparent. Premier Henry Dobson created a Tasmanian Tourist Association in 1893 to promote the island as a sanatorium and place of natural beauty. A government-produced guide to the island refers to Tasmania as ‘The Garden of Australia’.
'The scenery, go where you will, is of surprising beauty… There are lofty snow-capped mountains, noble rivers, cool and inviting fern glades, picturesque waterfalls, or striking coastal scenery to meet the eye almost at every outing.'
Whilst the natural beauty of Tasmania was uncontested, the deplorable state of its cities caused many complaints from visitors and residents alike. Sewage and rubbish were openly discharged into the Hobart Town Rivulet and the Tamar River. Serious outbreaks of typhoid and diphtheria were attributed to such filthiness. Public pressure finally led the Government to introduce a regular system of drainage and sewerage in the early 1900s.
Volunteer Corps of Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry established in Hobart and Launceston.
Glamorgan becomes the first rural municipality proclaimed under the Rural Municipalities Act 1858.
Launceston Mechanics Society opened.
Foundation stone of Hobart’s new waterworks scheme laid.
Cape Wickham lighthouse first lit.
Charles Gould’s second geological expedition to the west has disappointing results.
Opening of the newly constructed Tasmanian Museum, Hobart.
Foundation stone of Launceston Town Hall laid.
First shipment of trout and salmon ova arrives in Hobart.
Hobart Town Hall opened.
A Symphony Society formed.
First issue of The Tasmanian Catholic Standard appears.
George Peacock begins one of the first jam factories in Australia at Hobart (later owned by Henry Jones and Co.).
The Education Act passes, making Tasmania the first place in Australia to introduce a compulsory State education system.
Tasmania’s first Royal Visit begins, during which Prince Alfred (Duke of Edinburgh) lays the foundation stone of the new St David’s Church, Hobart and turns the first sod of the Launceston and Western Railway.
A submarine telegraphic cable successfully establishes contact between Tasmania and Victoria.
Aboriginal, William Lanney, dies. His body is raided and mutilated for scientific study.
Tasmanian Public Library formally constituted.
Britain withdraws its remaining garrison from Tasmania.
Opening of the Launceston-Deloraine (Western) Railway.
James ‘Philosopher’ Smith discovers tin at Mt Bischoff.
Direct telegraphic communication between Tasmania and England established.
Mt Bischoff Tin Mining Co. formed.
Payable tin deposits found in north-east Tasmania.
Waverley Woollen Mills, Launceston established.
Nightingale system of nurse training introduced to Hobart Hospital providing the first professional nurse training in Tasmania.
Launceston Football Club formed.
Elwick Race Course opened by the Tasmanian Racing Club, Hobart.
Main Line of Railway from Hobart to Launceston opens.
Aboriginal woman, Truganini, dies.
Foundation stone of the Tasmanian Turf Club’s Mowbray race course laid, Launceston.
Gold discovered at Beaconsfield.
Port Arthur penal station closed.
Royal Society of Tasmania acquires Truganini’s skeleton.
Tin mining commences at Heemskirk.
Waratah-Emu Bay tramway (later converted to a railway) opens to traffic.
Esk Brewery (later J. Boag and Sons) established, Launceston.
Currie Harbour lighthouse first lit.
Derwent Sailing Boat Club (later Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania) formed.
William Shoobridge makes first trial shipment of Tasmanian apples to Britain.
Waste Lands Act allows for reservation of areas for preservation and growth of forests.
Name of capital changed from Hobart Town to Hobart.
An Aboriginal Reserve created on Cape Barren Island.
Announcement made that scab has been eradicated from Tasmanian sheep due to measures taken under the Scab Eradication Act 1870.
The Married Women’s Property Act passes allowing married women to own property in their own right.
Silver discovered at Zeehan by Frank Long.
Trades and Labour Council established in Hobart.
Government telephone exchanges open in Hobart (August 6) and Launceston (December 12).
Gold discovered at the ‘Iron Blow’ at Mt Lyell.
Salvation Army branch established in Tasmania.
Miss Swan founds a sketching club (later the Arts Society of Tasmania).
The Fisheries Act passes providing for inspection and regulation of the State’s fisheries.
Parattah-Oatlands railway opens.
Deloraine to Mersey (Devonport) railway opens.
The State Forests Act 1885 passes leading to the appointment of G. S. Perrin as the first Conservator of Forests.
Local Boards of Health established under the Public Health Act 1885.
Tasmanian Museum and Botanical Gardens transferred to the Government.
The first assembly of the Federal Council of Australia is held in Hobart.
Fingal railway opened.
St. John’s Ambulance Association established, Launceston.
New Golden Gate mine, Mathinna opens.
Diego Bernacchi floats a company to develop the resources of Maria Island.
Outbreak of smallpox and typhoid in Launceston.
Derwent Valley railway line to New Norfolk opens.
Technical School opens in Hobart.
Table Cape lighthouse officially opened.
Launceston proclaimed a city.
Launceston Technical School opened.
Zeehan Branch of the Amalgamated Miners Association formed.
Eddystone Point lighthouse first lit.
Scottsdale railway opened.
Mersey Bluff lighthouse first lit.
Payment of Members of Parliament introduced.
Foundation stone of Albert Hall, Launceston laid.
University of Tasmania established.
Devonport-Ulverstone railway line opens.
Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston opened.
Maatsuyker Island lighthouse first lit.
Van Diemen's Land Bank collapses, signalling start of economic depression.
Official opening of Launceston International Industrial Exhibition.
Council of Agriculture formed.
First successful butter factory opened at Wynyard (Table Cape Butter and Bacon Factory Ltd).
Maria Island Company goes into liquidation.
Railway line from Strahan to Zeehan opened.
Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Company formed.
Labour-oriented Clipper commences publication.
Tasmanian Tourist Association formed to promote island.
Electric trams begin operations in Hobart.
School of Mines, Zeehan, opens.
Launceston becomes first city in Australia to have streets lit by electricity (from the Duck Reach power station).
J. W. Beattie appointed colony’s official photographer.
District Nursing Association formed.
Tattersall’s Lottery established by George Adams.
Hare-Clark electoral system first used on trial basis.
First shipment of blister copper sent from Mt Lyell to London.
Official opening of Mt Lyell Railway from Queenstown to Teepookana.
Southern Tasmanian Football Association formed.
Queen Victoria Hospital for Women opened in Launceston (one of the first such institutions established by a group of Australian women).
Bushfires in southern Tasmania leave 6 people dead.
Referendum held to determine if Tasmania should join Federation and Tasmanians vote 4 to 1 in favour.
The Police Act passed centralising Tasmania’s police force.
Hobart streets lit by electricity.
British Southern Cross Antarctic Expedition led by Borchgrevink arrives in Hobart.
Tasmanian Louis Bernacchi joins expedition as a physicist.
Gaiety Theatre opens in Zeehan.
Cape Sorell Lighthouse opened.
First troops leave for Boer War from Launceston.
Gurney’s Agricultural Technical School opened, Ulverstone.
Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Company railway line (Teepookana to Regatta Point) opened.
Cessation of Hobart whaling operations with the return to port of the Helen.
Adult male suffrage for the House of Assembly introduced, with property qualifications and plural voting abolished.
Emu Bay Railway Rosebery-Zeehan opened.
Macquarie Island included as a Dependency of Tasmania.