When convict transportation to Van Diemen’s Land ceased in 1853, new institutions started using unoccupied parts of the Female Factory site. The main site was proclaimed a gaol in 1856 and transferred to local authorities – although remained known as ‘the Female Factory’. Three new site users moved in during 1869: a male invalid depot, a female invalid depot and a boys’ reformatory.
At this time the Female Factory was scaled back to Yards 1 and 2 and the rear of Yard 5. The years to follow saw other institutions come and go, including a Contagious Diseases Hospital, Lying-in Home and Hospital for the Insane. The Women’s Prison at the site finally closed in 1877 with most of the other institutions moving out between the 1880s and 1904.
The Cascades Female Factory complex was subdivided and in 1905 auctioned by the government to private buyers. Since then nearly all the buildings have been demolished with a number of industrial buildings constructed across the site including paint and fudge factories. In the early 1970s the Women’s Electoral Lobby sought out Federal government grant money for the purchase of Yard 1, handing over management to the Parks and Wildlife Service.
Between 1999-2004, the Female Factory Historic Site Ltd acquired Yard 3 and the Matron’s Quarters; finally in 2008 the Tasmanian state Government purchased the remaining part of Yard 4 to form the Historic Site as it is today.