The end of transportation to the colony of Van Diemen's Land meant labour was a premium commodity. The Colonial Office in London set about encouraging an active immigration policy of Europeans by offering ten pounds fares as a way of obtaining cheap labor and help to 'open up' the colony. As a means of breaking with the convict past, Van Diemen's land was re-named Tasmania.
On 23rd of July 1855, a large contingent of German immigrants arrived on the ship Amerika in Hobart Town. They sailed from Liverpool (England) via the Cape of Good Hope. With the winds of the 'roaring forties' sailing eastward for four months until rounding the southwest coast of Tasmania and arriving in Hobart Town. Heinrich and Catherina Lohrey with their four sons and two daughters (their third daughter, Elisabetta, died on the voyage) had left a small village near Frankfurt am Main because of the Prussian influence on military conscription (five years service without pay for twenty year olds) and the Prussian control of banking and finance. As well, most Prussia was ardently Catholic whilst the Lohreys were Lutheran.
Government records state Heinrich Lohrey and his sons were 'literate' and 'ploughmen'. However other records researched by descendents suggest that the Lohreys were potters and had been for over five hundred years. As assisted passage was only for agriculture workers, it seems likely that the Lohreys decided to become farm workers in order to immigrate.
The new land
(Falmouth from Seaview Farm)
Falmouth from Seaview farm After spending some weeks in Hobart town, the Lohreys and other German families travelled by steamer to the small coastal town of Falmouth on the east coast of Tasmania. In the early spring of August 1855, they began to establish themselves as farm workers for Michael Steel, owner of Thompson Villa (later re-named Enstone Park). Ten acre lots were leased to each family. Conditions were that lots must be cleared in four years after which time rents of one pound were to be paid. In spite of often recieving the poorer land, the German tenants grew wonderful crops of potatoes and other vegetables. They were expected to help with hand milking, butter and cheese making as well as other farm work but could borrow bullocks and ploughs when ever the owner wasn't using them. In return they received rations of meat and other dairy produce.
It is uncertain how long the Lohreys stayed at Falmouth. It was probably in the early 1860's that they moved to a farm named Ivy Cottage near Cullenswood. (It is now part of the Londavra estate.) By this time Henry Junior had married Phillipina Nicoli and had two children and his brother Philip had married Hannah Strochnetter. At this time, the area was still known as Break O'Day Plains with Cullenswood expected to become the town centre. This didn't happen and gradually a township developed in a more easterly direction and came to be known as St Mary's. Around Cullenswood were the Lorhrey family had their farm, the small farms were involved in dairy production. But while the older Henry and his son's worked together at Ivy Cottage, young Henry had his sights set on the hills above St Mary's on land known as Thompson's new country, so called after the man who had surveyed the land for government.
Thompson's New Country was rich fertile land with thick forests of iron bark and surrounded by amazing vistas of mountains and sea. The land selected by Henry had a north easterly aspect, was about a thousand feet above sea level and was free of bitter winter valley fogs and frosts. The high rainfall was excellent for dairying. To the west was two rocky peaks, later identify as volcanic cores. Tobias Furneaux, the English navigator and explorer named them the sisters in 1773 as he charted the east coast of Tasmania. Locally they are known as the little and big sister. Henry with a team of Bullocks took four days to cut a track to the spot now known as Seaview.
Lohreys are buried in the graveyard of Cullenswood's church and the Gray cemetery. Three unmarried daughters of the second Henry; Fredrika (Freda), Louisa and Fanny; son Harry and his wife Ada; their son Kenneth and Kenneth's baby daughter Rosemary are buried at the Germantown graveyard. Other families who travelled with the Lohreys on the Amerika and came to Falmouth include Strochnetter, Becker, Rubenach, Nicholi and Zanglein. The Nicoli name ceased as there was no sons. Three Nicoli daughters married three Lohrey brothers, Henry jr. John and William. Zanglein was Anglicized to Singline.