Undated postcard of Scottsdale's bustling main street (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

Scottsdale is the centre of the Dorset Municipality in north-east Tasmania. Located in a rich agricultural and forestry based area, it had a population of 2000 in 2004. In 1853 James Scott explored the north-east to find productive land, and in 1859 the first land was selected in 'Scott's New Country'. The hamlet of Ellesmere grew up, boosted by the discovery of gold at Lyndhurst in 1869 and later tin at Derby, Branxholm and Moorina. In 1889 a railway line was opened to Scottsdale, and later extended to Branxholm and Herrick. In 1893 Ellesmere was renamed Scottsdale. Significant stepping stones in its development were the Mechanics' Institute and the North East Agricultural and Pastoral Society (Scottsdale Show) in 1881, the newspaper North Eastern Advertiser in 1911 and the North East Soldiers Memorial Hospital in 1921.

During the Second World War a vegetable processing factory opened, followed by the Armed Forces Food Science Establishment in 1949. In 2004 the town's population was static with the closure of the vegetable processing factory and the tendency of people to live at Bridport and commute to work. The town supports two large softwood processing factories and relies on forest-based industries as well as agriculture.

Further reading: E Hookway et al, Scott's New Country, Scottsdale, 1980; G & S Miller, Of rascals and rusty relics, Hobart, 1979; A Loone, Tasmania's north east, Launceston, 1981; D Beswick et al, As the river flows, Ringarooma, 1988.

Jeff Jennings