Many artists gravitate to Tasmania for its inspirational landscapes. Not least among these are the vistas of the magnificent Huon Valley.
Nestled on the Huon River the modern day village of Franklin was first settled in 1836 on the land of the Mellukerdee people. The venue for the Winter Series Workshops known as ‘Franklin Cottage Studio’ was built in 1860. It was then known as Tynan’s General Store.
In the year 1838, Jane Lady Franklin, wife of Sir John Franklin, Liutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, purchased 1,280 acres for the purpose of carrying out a social experiment by offering poor, hard working families a chance to own their own land.
Many of the prospective settlers personally vetted by Lady Franklin took up land between 1838 and 1842. Originally known as “The Huon Settlement”, the memory of the village’s socially conscious founder was later reflected in the name by which it is known today.
The Old Bank building shown to the left in this winter photograph now houses the Navy Museum which houses a unique collection of naval memorabilia from every part of the World.
A short walk in a northern direction takes you to Jack Woodward’s Model Boat Shipyard; home to model ships ranging from vessels that sailed the seas 100 years ago, right up to ultra modern radio controlled Model A racing machines which compete in fiercely contested club events on the Huon River.
Across the highway, by the waterfront, is the home of the famous Wooden Boat School. Franklin along with the town of Cygnet, has been a mecca for wooden boats since the days of first settlement. Moored at the end of Franklin Marina wharf you will find the Baltic Trader the ‘SV Yukon’ which was discovered sunk and abandoned in a Danish harbour. The ship was raised from the bottom and repaired by the current owner who subsequently sailed the vessel to Tasmania following the trade route of sailing ships during the 18th and 19th Century.
The studio is located in an original general store built circa 1865.