Gibson Family

The Gibson family's prize ram, Prince Albert, 1887 (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

The Gibson Family came Tasmania in 1804, when David Gibson arrived as a convict, but soon he was granted land near Perth and Evandale, and in 1811 he and his wife were entertaining the governor. He became the colony's first Inspector of Stock, and his seven sons were successful farm managers and breeders of prize-winning sheep. David was granted or bought many properties, nearly all on the South Esk River. He lived at Pleasant Banks at Evandale, and Native Point and Scone at Perth are still farmed by his descendants, as is Esk Vale at Epping Forest. At Scone, William Gibson was said to be the first in the southern hemisphere to light his house with electricity, which he made in the 1880s using water in the old mill-race.

Other Gibson properties were Belle Vue, Glasslough and Fairfield at Epping Forest, Eskdale at Powranna, Milford and Wanstead at Conara, and Meadowbank at Campbell Town, and the family also farmed in the Hagley–Westbury area, Cressy, and the Derwent Valley. With more emphasis on cropping these days, the sheep and wool component is less vital than previously.

Further reading: J Prevost, From the Epping banks to the Esk, Launceston, 1988.

Helen Scott-Young