FR Nixon, 'George Town', 1857 (ALMFA, SLT)
George Town was first settled in November 1804 when Paterson's party arrived in the north and established a base at Outer Cove. In 1805 most moved to the western side of the Tamar, and by 1811 Launceston was the colony's headquarters. Macquarie moved the headquarters to Outer Cove, and in 1815 work began on the new town, George Town. Launceston settlers were reluctant to move there, and in 1825 headquarters were moved back to Launceston.
Although George Town remained a clearing port for vessels, the number of residents declined, and it became a holiday destination. In the 1950s George Town underwent a transformation, with population growth stimulated by the development of the Comalco and Temco smelters at nearby Bell Bay. Today, George Town, with its beautiful beaches is, once again, a popular holiday destination and commuter town.
Further reading: D Phillips, An eligible situation, Canberra, 2004.