|Helen and Robin Terry at their property on the Derwent at Gretna.|
It’s a record unlikely to be matched in Australia – one family farming on the same river for two centuries – but the story is nearing its end.
A family reunion this Sunday will celebrate the bicentenary of the arrival of John and Martha Terry in Tasmania in December 1819 and it coincides with the decision of hosts Robin and Helen Terry to retire from farming, bringing the Terry era to an end in the valley.
|1960s sketch by E. Ratcliff, said to be|
the first house John Terry built at New
New Norfolk in the early 19th century.
“He brought with him the equipment to establish a mill in Sydney but Governor Macquarie advised him to go to Van Diemen’s Land where he would give him land grants on rivers suitable for driving mills,” Mr Terry said.
|Tynwald House and the ruins|
of the Lachlan River Mill.
Some of the original grinding stones from the mill can now be seen on display outside St Matthew's Close (Quilted Teapot tearoom) in Bathurst St, New Norfolk. The grand home John Terry built is now known as Tynwald House, a restaurant and bed and breakfast, while the riverflats where his son Ralph planted hops are now the Tynwald Park sportsgrounds and his hop-drying Oast House is today a woodwork school and short-stay accommodation provider.
|The Terry millstones outside St Matthew's|
Close (Quilted Teapot).
These were orcharding properties, exporting mostly apples and pears, but there was also some livestock production for the local market. For a time there was also the Apple Pip roadside fruit stand which grew to become a well-known stop on the Lyell Hwy for visitors and locals like.
|The Terry window in St Matthew's|
Church at New Norfolk.
With more than 2km of river frontage, this property has been used for agisting and grazing, but after 25 years a second retirement is beckoning and Robin and Helen are looking to a future closer to their family in Hobart.
“We are the last people by the name of Terry to be farming on the Derwent,” Robin said. But the family tradition is far from over, with descendants of John and Martha Terry growing truffles in the Meander Valley, while others grow grapes at Meadowbank and another manages a cattle station in north Queensland, to name just a few.
The lasting contribution by John and Martha Terry and their descendants is memorialised in a stained-glass window at St Matthew's Anglican Church in New Norfolk.
|View of the Derwent Valley from Wensleydale, Gretna.|