By the late 1800s, Latrobe was the third largest town in Tasmania. It was also the chief shipping port in the northwest before the port was relocated. When the port was relocated, Latrobe was also hard hit by an economic depression and a major flooding. By the turn of the 20th century, the local flour mill was forced to close after 30 years service.
In 1907 Harold Lord utilised an old turbine at the flour mill to generate electricity to light up his residence. Shortly thereafter, a company was promoted by Harold Lord and Herbert Richmond, and the Latrobe Council was approached to allow poles to be constructed along the main thoroughfares of Latrobe. In some quarters, this was taken as a joke. However, permission was granted and Latrobe became the first town on the coast to deliver electricity. Before long, other towns followed suit.
Electricity was switched on at Latrobe on 17 December 1908.
The electric scheme went out of use when the hydro-electric supply was extended to the northwest in 1929.
King's cash drapery, motor and cycle establishment etc
W L Wells and Sons, general merchants
Mersey Boot Arcade and Clothing Depot
The White House, the drapery establishment of C S Nichols
Establishment of chemist R F Johnston
Alexander Lean, bookseller, stationer and newsagent
Jackson's millinery store
Johnstone Bros, ironmongers and seller of hardware, crockery and produce