In December last year US297 Christina Mollineaux Witcher contributed Mollineaux Drive, Tasmania, to the Gazetteer. In April, 2015, AU019 Brian Seddon offered the following additional information. “I suspect but don’t know for sure if she was referring to the Mollineaux Drive at Old Beach which has connections with my own Mx line, or if she was referring to another Mollineux Drive in Tasmania. I am inclined to combine the info below with Christina’s entry as I don’t know of any other Mollineaux Drive in Tasmania.”
A ferry service on the Derwent River, Hobart, commenced in July 1818 and was run successfully for half a century by the families of Messrs. Austin and Earle. In 1870, Eliza Mollineaux, a resident of Old Beach, took over the ferry service. Eliza (maiden name Bell), was firstly married to John Carroll and after John died in 1851, she married John Mollineaux who was born in Westhoughton, Lancashire. They had six children. Family stories allege Eliza married, bore three children, shot a bushranger and married again, all before reaching the age of 21. Eliza rowed the ferry until she was 'too old', and at the age of 67 passed the service over to her grandson John. He was then 21. John would row in all kinds of weather, going up the river in strong winds and 'sailing' down to the Old Beach jetty. He had strong hands with very thick wrists and he always rowed at the same speed. When John developed heart trouble, the people of Old Beach bought him a motor, but he broke his wrist trying to start it. He was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the people of Old Beach for 52 years of service on the ferry.
We, the past and present residents of Old Beach and Austins Ferry, wish to share Our appreciation of your long service as ferryman and mailman between our two Districts. For fifty-two years you have rowed your boat across the river at all times and in all weathers, without accident, and you have carried the mails for some eighty thousand miles with every care and consideration for the wishes of the public.
We feel by this record of faithful service that you have earned not only the appreciation but the gratitude of us all. We wish you good health and good fortune for many years to come.
Further details can be found in the excellent article by AU061 Ray Hyland ‘The Ferry Men of The Derwent’ published in MxWorld Volume XVI, No 3, in February 2002.