ATKINSON “Natone Hills” Burnie, Tasmania | 1901
The barque Kingston docked in Hobart on 26 August 1854. On board were the Atkinson family, Thomas and his wife Eliza and their four children. They had left Terryglass in Tipperary Ireland in desperate economic circumstances and Thomas was indentured for two years labour to the Rev. Zebediah Pocock of Emu Bay.
Thomas finished his service and left with his family to acquire land of his own. In the 1870s they purchased and developed a good farm which they named Ashgrove after a similar property in Tipperary. The thread of the story continues through their son William Henry Atkinson who at age 21 left his fathers’ farm and pioneered one of his own. He later married a shipboard friend, sweetheart? Eliza Spooner whom he met on the trip out from Ireland when they were both children. Seven years later Eliza died leaving five children. William Henry married Amelia, who bore him 11 more children.
This very industrious family has continued to prosper through the generations. George, Trevor and Ian, their wives Margaret, Gwen and Christine. In addition to farming, each generation has found time to devote to community service through religion and local government.
Natone Hills has seen many agricultural businesses in its long history; sheep, small seed production, beef and dairy cattle . Today the property raises Murray Grey cattle and blessed with an abundance of freshwater, it supports an aquaculture business with a rainbow trout hatchery and sport fishing on Ellis Creek.