The Jacobs’ Family

A strong connection with the land and sea through the generations.


A long family history with Stanley for Julian and Tracey Jacobs, owners and operators of the Stanley Hotel.

The Jacobs family have been settled in Stanley since 1829 when the VDL Co. appointed its own master mariner, Captain John Jacobs. He had arrived in Van Diemen's Land as an apprentice crewman on the first ship to sail direct from England to Port Dalrymple, which arrived in the Tamar in 1823. Gaining his master's certificate in the late 1820s Captain Jacobs remained the VDL Co.'s master mariner until it sold its last ship in 1845.

Captain Jacobs was a popular personality in the Circular Head community. In 1837, the year of his marriage, he was presented with a silver tea service by officers of the VDL Co. The gift and the letter accompanying it are still in the possession of the Jacobs family. He lived in Stanley most of his working life, having bought one of the first town blocks sold by the VDL Co. in 1851 for £10. Boat Harbour, west of Table Cape according to old maritime maps is actually called Jacobs Boat Harbour, as his boats often sought shelter from storms there.

Owen, his great grandson, was the oldest of three boys and joined the navy at 16 and saw active service overseas in the First World War. After the war he became the local manger of one of Stanley's produce merchants and shipping agents. He bought a house and married Estelle Steel in 1926. They occupied their home for 67 years. The home is still owned by the family and is available for overnight accommodation, Estowen House.

Owen's son John, who still lives in Stanley, managed the Stanley Fishermen's Co-operative from 1959 for 34 years. He served for many years as Warden of the Circular Head Marine Board and a local councillor.

His eldest son, Julian, grew up in Stanley and has owned his own businesses in the township for the past 35 years, starting with a fish and chip takeaway shop before his 21st birthday, then developing other tourism related businesses. Marrying Tracey in 1989, they expanded their accommodation businesses 14 years ago when they bought the Stanley Hotel.  They were named Tasmanian Tourism Champions for 2015 by the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania at the 2014 Tourism Awards, an award that recognised their "honesty, integrity, good humour and 'can-do' approach to making things happen.  This couple are pioneers of Tourism in Stanley, legends of the Cradle Coast region and true Tasmanian tourism champions."


Tracey’s family are descended from James Ferguson who was born in Scotland in 1799, married Alice there in 1823 and was living in Stanley in 1844 when he bought the Commercial Hotel and ran it until1857, no doubt serving Captain John Jacobs a whiskey or two! The Commercial Hotel has been a private residence for many years – and yes, Julian and Tracey now live there.

James and Alice’s son John married Mary and they ran a watchmaker and general store in Stanley. Their son, John Albert drove a bullock team from Forest to Stanley carting produce from his farm and through the generations the family have continued living and farming in the Forest/Stanley area.

Julian and Tracey’s children, Jordan and Fletcher, are the 7th and 8th generation to reside in Stanley.

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