The Burnie Boarding House

The Burnie Boarding House, which was operated by Jabez Waterhouse Smithies and his wife, was located in Wilson Street.  The Smithies came to Burnie in 1884 as agents for the Launceston and North West Coast Steam Navigation Company.  A year after arriving he built a warehouse on Marine Terrace near the port and opened a commission, forwarding and insurance agency in addition to the shipping agencies.  He also had a small office at the port where he acted as a customs agent.  By 1900 he was a prosperous businessman and the Boarding House and Coffee Palace was a profitable adjunct to his other interests.