A new lead on McPartlan in Tasmania

My last blog post, with its puzzle about who McPartlan was, triggered an interest in one reader who had recently climbed Mt Hartz and was interested in other bush walks in the south and southeast of Tasmania.

While considering a future walk to Mt Bobs and The Boomerang, she noticed another natural edifice on the map, McPartlans Bluff.

Would the McPartlan, whose name was used for the McPartlan Pass Canal, be the same one referred to on the Bluff?

On a National Trust website, when you scroll down to item G7, a fabulous display of stunning photos and explanations provides new information about that McPartlans Bluff/Mt Bobs/The Boomerang area.

A bushwalking blogsite gives an alternative perspective of this location.  The last photo on the bottom of that page can be clicked to present further photos.

Images displayed on the Nature Lovers blog show the landscape can be tough to progress through.  One diagram shows McPartlans Bluff above Lake Sydney and adjacent to Mt Bobs.

Despite all the photos on these sites, detailed information about who the Bluff was named after is absent, as is when it was named and how it came to be named.  Is the person after whom the McPartlan Pass Canal was named, also the person after whom this Bluff was named?

At the time of writing the last blog post I could only find one prominent McPartlan; the politician Leo Vincent McPartlan. However new information has come to light courtesy of the Tahune Air Walk site (https://greataustraliansecret.com/tasmania/southern-tasmania/tahune-airwalk/). Around 1870 an ex-convict joined the police force and was based at the police station on the Picton River west of Geeveston in Tasmania’s south/southeast.

One of Police Constable Francis McPartlan duties was to check timber licences all along trails westwards to the Arthur Ranges, a prominence located somewhat south of Lake Pedder.

His work would have entailed extraordinary hardship in all weathers over uncharted and untracked territory, across a very wild environment. The area had no towns, and the timber loggers would have lived in tents in remote and isolated locations where they could use the Picton and Huon Rivers to float the logs downstream for pick up elsewhere.  Very rough living. Very rough going.

Was Francis McPartlan revered for his work so that McPartlans Bluff was named after him? Certainly this geographical feature was located in the huge region he had to walk to find the loggers, and he would either have climbed or bypassed it regularly.

So there are two locations with the McPartlan name attached; a man-made structure and a natural structure.  Are each named after the one man or after two men?

Does another blog reader know any Tasmanian McPartlans who can solve this puzzle.

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2 Responses to A new lead on McPartlan in Tasmania

  1. Ian Sampson says:

    Francis McPartlan(d) was my wife’s great great grandfather. Yes it is the same McPartlan whose name appears at Strathgordon. The area now known as the Tahune Airwalk and the Gordon River were either end of his arduous treck checking woodcutter licences.


    • Thanks Ian for this information. What an extraordinary walk to take between the Gordon River and the Tahune Airwalk; possibly equally as arduous or even more challenging as those who walked from the Geeveston area to Bathurst Harbour and Melaleuca.


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