The George Rouse Papers

George Rouse (1800-1873) was the Van Diemen’s Land Company’s storekeeper, a pioneer farmer and Burnie’s first justice of the peace and unpaid police magistrate.

He was Emu Bay’s first ‘mover and shaker’ and was influential in the development of better road and port facilities for the pioneer farmers. More than any other documents about Burnie’s early history, his papers, awhich include drafts and copies of letters to the government of the day, shed light on the early struggle at Emu Bay to obtain a safe sea link with the outside world.

At the time, the development of infrastructure was soley in the hands of the privately owned Van Diemen’s Land Company. His efforts to create the beginning of what is now Tasmania’s principal deep-water port were indefatigable.