Undated postcard of the main street of Ross (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

European settlement began when Governor Macquarie established a military post in 1812. He named the area Ross in 1821 as the district was increasing in importance. There followed numerous land grants to free settlers. The area possessed easily quarried sandstone which encouraged construction of a superior nature: Georgian-style houses on surrounding estates, the Ordnance Store, the barracks and several inns. A wooden bridge over the Macquarie River was replaced in 1836 by one of the finest stone bridges in Australia. Daniel Herbert's carvings are an outstanding example of convict art. The Female Factory was completed in 1847, and Horton College, a boarding school for boys, opened in 1855.

In 1863 the municipality of Ross was declared. Due to the foresight of successive councillors the historic fabric of Ross has endured. Today the district is recognised for producing the finest merino wool in the world, and tourism is gaining an increasingly important role.

Further reading: K von Stieglitz, A short history of Ross, Evandale, [1949]; L Greener & N Laird, Ross Bridge and the sculpture of Daniel Herbert, Hobart, 1971.

Kenneth and Berta von Bibra