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Brief History of Glenorchy

The City of Glenorchy is a Local Government Area of Tasmania which covers several northern suburbs of Hobart including the suburb of Glenorchy by the same name. The city is managed by Glenorchy City Council. The approximate size of Glenorchy is 120Sq Kms. Tasmanian Aboriginals were the first inhabitants of the area where Glenorchy lies today.
Land grants in the Glenorchy area began in 1804. By the 1820s it was occupied by farms and was a place of rural retreat from Hobart. The period between 1840 and 1860 was one of steady growth in Glenorchy, culminating in the area becoming a municipality in 1864. Glenorchy is believed to have been so named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie after his wife's home in Scotland. The name means 'glen of tumbling waters'.
Commercial orchards developed into a significant industry, with the first cool store being built in the 1880s. German farming immigrants settled about 10 km. west of Glenorchy at Bismark and Glenlusk. The railway had been connected to Glenorchy in the 1870s, and the connection by tram to Hobart came in 1893.
After the first world war the Glenorchy district attracted two large industrial plants - the Electrolytic Zinc Company at Lutana, opposite Risdon, and the Cadbury chocolate factory at Claremont at the northern end of the Glenorchy municipality. In 1952 the Brooker Highway from Hobart to Berriedale was begun, facilitating motor-car access to Glenorchy. It put pressure on congested shopping areas in Moonah and Glenorchy, and the Council undertook street-widening and off-street parking works. By 1964, when Glenorchy was proclaimed a City, over 150 industrial establishments employed more than 50,000 people. The last orchards were subdivided in 1972.


Today, the City of Glenorchy has the second largest shopping district in southern Tasmania (the largest being in Hobart). The City has three Major commercial areas including Moonah, Glenorchy CBD and Claremont.