Apple Orchards

by HR, almost 2 years ago

Richard Hickman built Normanville in 1846 (at 39 Brushy Creek Road). The original apple sheds and cottages are still standing. There is still a small orchard of apple and pear trees on site and the soil on the old farm precinct is very fertile. His descendants told us that Richard used to have a still for producing his own secret stash of liquor (apparently a killer apple cider) and that the fruit trees from 'Normanville' were used to start the orchards in Geeveston where he used to visit his daughters in his old age, in a horse drawn cart. There are beautiful photos taken from the back of Kalang Avenue that show the entire valley filled with flowering apple trees (including around the museum at Ancanthe Park) and the original Hickman house is in the background with Mount Wellington looming behind. Richard's sons built the houses at the entrance to Brushy Creek road and the family also ran the Hickman Jam factory.

Lady Franklin planted the two willow trees at Willow Court in New Norfolk and also helped to establish the museum at Ancanthe Park. It is possible (but hard to prove) that the willow trees planted along Brushy Creek were done so during her time in Tasmania as they were part of the parcel of land around Ancanthe.

I think that any history of Lenah Valley (Kangaroo Valley) should include a reference to apple trees, cider, jam, Ancanthe museum, Lady Franklin, willow trees and the original families who settled it.