Devonport is a city of an estimated 25,546 inhabitants located in the northwestern part of Tasmania, Australia. It is situated at the mouth of the Mersey River. Along with the slightly smaller city of Burnie, Devonport is the major regional centre of the northwestern part of the state.HistoryDuring the 1850s the twin settlements of Formby and Torquay were established on opposite banks at the mouth of the Mersey River. Torquay on the eastern shore was the larger community with police, post, magistrate, at least three hotels, shipyards and stores. A river ferry service connected the two communities.Between 1870 and 1880 the shipping industry grew and work was undertaken to deepen the mouth of the river. When the mouth of the river could support a shipping industry the first regular steamer services commenced, operating directly between the Mersey and Melbourne.In 1882 the Marine Board building was built and remains the oldest standing building in Devonport.In 1889 the Bluff lighthouse was completed and the turn of the Century saw the railway make a significant difference to the Formby community. It combined a railhead and port facilities in the one place. A wharf was created on the west bank, close to the railway and warehouses. The railway brought a building boom to Formby. In 1890 a public vote united Torquay and Formby, and the settlements became the town of Devonport.The Victoria bridge was opened in 1902 which enabled a land transport link between Devonport and East Devonport.Devonport was proclaimed a city by Prince Charles of Wales on the 21st April, 1981 in a ceremony connducted on the Devonport Oval.The cross river ferry service was discontinued in 2014 after 160 years of continuous service when the vessel the "Torquay" was taken out of service. It has since resumed operating.
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