Mr. Thomas Nichols, Orchardist, "Rivulet House", Port Cygnet, was born at Browns River, near Hobart, in 1833, and is the youngest son of the late Mr. William Nichols, who was one of the most experienced shipwrights in the Colony. He was boat-building for many years at Browns River, where he did a large trade supplying whalers with the necessaries used in securing the wily cetacean.
Mr. Nichols, senior, then took up land in the Port Cygnet district, he being one of the first to make a home in that locality. Some of the land then secured is now in the occupation of leading residents, who have turned a wilderness into profitable snug little orchards and farms.
Mr. Thomas Nichols was brought up to farming on his father's farm, and subsequently took to the river trade, working at first for a Mr. Gibbs on the "Lady Palmerston", trading to Recherche Bay. Mr. Gibbs left for New Zealand a few years afterwards, and the "Lady Palmerston" was rented by Mr. Nichols, who was singularly fortunate with her. He managed to save enough out of freights, etc., to build a craft of his own, and this he sold to a South Australian firm for £500.
In 1877 he had the well known ketch "Good Intent", constructed by Mr. John Wilson, and he traded in her between Hobart and Port Cygnet till 1896, when he handed the ketch over to his son, in practically the same substantial condition as the day on which she was launched. Mr. Nichols obtained his master's certificate in 1869.
He was married in 1871 to Miss Sarah Cohen, daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Cohen, and has a family of two sons and four daughters. Mr. Nichols has been a member of the Pride of Devonshire Lodge, for the past twenty five years.
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