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Zeehan
Tasmania
Gaiety Theatre, Zeehan.jpg
The former Gaiety Theatre at Zeehan, part of the West Coast Pioneers Museum/West Coast Heritage Centre
Population 728 (2011 census)
 • Density 404.4/km2 (1,047/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 7469
Elevation 172 m (564 ft)
Area 1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi)
Location
LGA(s) West Coast Council
State electorate(s) Lyons
Federal Division(s) Lyons
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
15.2 °C
59 °F
6.3 °C
43 °F
2,445.5 mm
96.3 in

Zeehan is a town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia 139 kilometres (86 mi) south-west of Burnie. It is located north of Strahan, Tasmania and Queenstown, Tasmania.

In the early 1900s it had its own council. It is currently part of the Municipality of West Coast.

The town was named after the nearby Mount Zeehan which had been named by George Bass and Matthew Flinders after Abel Tasman's Fluyt Zeehaen.

History

The region has one of the oldest histories of any part of Tasmania, when Abel Tasman sighted this part of the state in 1642. An early port for Zeehan was Trial Harbour but it was very precarious in its location on Ocean Beach and was overtaken by Strahan.

Zeehan was established as a mining field, then as a town after the Zeehan-Dundas silver-lead deposits were found in 1882 by Frank Long. Mount Zeehan Post Office opened on 1 August 1888 and was renamed Zeehan in 1890. The peak period for mining was up to the First World War, though lead mining continued on up to 1963 at mines such as the Montana and Oceana. The population of Zeehan-Dundas peaked at 10,000 about 1910, over ten times the current population.

It was clearly in competition with the town further south, Queenstown, and while the silver boom lasted it was known as the Silver City. In the first decade of the twentieth century it was on a par with Launceston and Hobart for size. With a main street over two miles long (3.2 km); it also claimed over 20 hotels. In the 1970s it saw increased activity due to operations at the nearby Renison Bell Tin mine, and again in the 1990s.

At the 2011 census, Zeehan had a population of 728.

Tourism features

Among these attractions is the West Coast Heritage Centre which was formerly known as the West Coast Pioneers Museum, which is in the old School of Mines building. The main streetscape of Zeehan is one significant feature of the town.

Notable events

Parts of a 1925 Australian silent film, Jewelled Nights were shot on Savage River, north of the town in the Tarkine rainforest.

Bushfires were reported near Zeehan in 1896, 1908, 1977, 1980 and 2006. In November 2012 the town was threatened by bushfires from two directions however the alert was later removed. Also February 1890 (diary of Edward Jennings and this http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13761103)

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