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Showing posts from June, 2021

No. 962 - Claude Road Methodist Church (1890-1974) - "The Church in the Greenwood"

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Claude Road is a rural settlement approximately 10 kilometres south of Sheffield centred on the Dasher River. The area has some history of some mining but logging was once a significant industry. The settlement once had a Methodist Church but the only tangible reminder of its existence is the Claude Road Cemetery. The church opened in 1890 although Methodist services had been held in homes prior to this. A correspondent writing to the Colonist in September 1890 provides a rich source of information about the church’s establishment: “…About five or six miles from Sheffield, on the road to Middlesex, you pass over the Dasher Bridge, and here, along and around the valley of the Dasher, a settlement has gradually been forming and rising into more notice and importance. ….For some years past services have been held in connection with the Wesleyan Church, and I think it has been in connection with those services that the name of Claude-Road has gradually been assumed and adopted. On Sunda

No. 961 - George Town - Kingdom Hall

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George Town is one of the oldest towns in Australia and is the second oldest town in Tasmania. It is therefore unusual that most of the town’s churches were only established after World War Two. The emergence of Launceston as the administrative centre of the North in the early years of the colony meant that George Town was destined to remain a backwater until more recent times. The construction of an aluminium smelter at nearby Bell Bay in the 1950s as well as the development of industry south of the town, accelerated George Town’s population growth in the post-war era. George Town’s Kingdom Hall is located on the Main Road on the outskirt of the town. It is built in the typical style of most of the 21 Kingdom Halls found in the State. No published information about the hall is available. The Jehovah's Witness diverges from the mainstream doctrines of Christianity in that it is a non-trinitarian tradition. Jehovah's Witnesses believe their denomination is a restoration of first

No. 960 - Stanley - Our Lady Star of the Sea - "Eclipsed all Expectations"

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Stanley is a historic town on the northwest coast approximately 80 kilometres west of Burnie. The Van Diemen's Land Company once had its headquarters here when it was originally known as Circular Head. The settlement was later named after Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who went on to serve three terms as British Prime Minister. Stanley has had four Catholic places of worship: Edward Curr’s Chapel at Highfield House (1838); a timber church (1850); a brick church (1897) and the present brick church (1931). The first two churches, both called ‘Our Lady Star of the Sea’ have been featured in previous articles in Churches of Tasmania [see No. 886 and No.932 ] This article’s focus is on the present church which was opened in 1931. Stanley’s second Catholic church, which was used for a little of 30 years was demolished in October 1930. The reason for the building’s demolition and replacement with a new church is revealed in an article published in the Advocate:

No. 959 - Claremont - Congregational Church Hall (1915-1963)

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Claremont is a suburb of the City of Glenorchy within the Greater Hobart region. It is named after Claremont House built in the 1830s by Henry Bilton. Claremont was once the site of an army training camp established during the Great War. At this time the area had only a few scattered houses and a railway station in a largely rural setting. From the 1950s public housing was built at Claremont which resulted in significant population growth. The Congregational Church was first active at nearby Hestercombe in the 1830s. In 1911 a site for a Congregational Mission Hall was purchased at a junction adjacent to the Claremont Recreation Ground. From 1913 services were conducted in a private house before being transferred to the Claremont school. The foundation stone for the Mission Hall was ceremonially laid on Wednesday 10 March 1914. The Mercury published a brief report of the event: “The stone of the Congregational Mission-hall at Claremont was laid on Wednesday afternoon by Rev. W. Perr

No. 958 - Hobart- Harrington Street - Father Therry's Chapel

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Opposite St Mary’s Cathedral, on the corner of Harrington Street, stands a house built for the first vicar-general of Van Diemen’s Land, Father John Joseph Therry (1790-1864). Attached to the house, which was built in about 1840, is a tiny chapel constructed for Therry’s personal use. The chapel is a poignant symbol of Father Therry’s role in the early history of the Catholic Church in Tasmania, which while contentious is nevertheless significant. Therry sailed from Ireland in 1819 accompanied by Father Philip Conolly. The two priests arrived at Sydney in May 1820 and in the following year Conolly departed for Van Diemen's Land leaving Therry as the only priest on the mainland. The construction of a church in Sydney was one of Therry's main preoccupations and in October 1821 Governor Macquarie laid the foundation stone of St Mary's church on a site close to the convict barracks. Therry was criticised for the size of the building after the cost of the project got out of han

No. 957 - George Town - Baptist Church

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George Town is one of the oldest towns in Australia and is the second oldest town in Tasmania. It is therefore unusual that most of the town’s churches were only established after World War Two. The emergence of Launceston as the administrative centre of the North in the early years of the colony meant that George Town was destined to remain a backwater until more recent times. The construction of an aluminium smelter at nearby Bell Bay in the 1950s as well as the development of industry south of the town, accelerated George Town’s population growth in the post-war era. George Town’s Baptist Church is situated on Goulburn Street adjacent to St Andrew’s Uniting Church. Apart from the fact that the church was established in 1958, no published information is available about the Baptist’s early years at George Town. Additional information about this church is welcomed as all articles are continually updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasman

No. 956 - Irishtown - Seventh-Day Adventist Church (1932-1952)

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Irishtown is rural community situated approximately 10 kilometres south of Smithton. The area was first settled in the late 1850s by Irish migrants when the area was known as Upper Duck River. In 1932 Irishtown acquired its sixth church following the establishment of a community of Seventh-Day Adventists. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church was established in Tasmania in 1888. The denomination originated in the USA in the 1860s and in 1885 a group of Adventists travelled to Australia and began preaching in Melbourne. After a community was formed in Melbourne in 1886, members moved on to Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart. Public tent meetings were held in Sandy Bay in 1888 which led to the establishment of a church at Collinsvale and then Hobart followed by Launceston in the early 20th century. The first Adventist service in the Circular Head district was held at Lileah in 1902. By 1929 a “Sabbath school” was organised which met in the Lileah school. Around this time the Adventists began evange

No. 955 - Hobart - Cornelian Bay - Derwent Chapel

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The Derwent Chapel at Cornelian Bay is the site of Tasmania’s first crematorium (and crematorium chapel), opening in May 1936. Until recently it served as a funeral chapel and is still surrounded by beautiful memorial gardens. Cornelian Bay cemetery opened in 1872 after Hobart’s cemeteries were closed to new burials. The town’s cemeteries had become unkempt and also a significant health hazards. In 1919 Mr Alfred Courtney-Pratt recalled visiting St David’s cemetery as a child to see the grave of a female relative: “The ground had been allowed to fall into a shocking condition, and he had…seen children collecting bones there, placing them in a bag, and selling them for old bones”. In the 1890s a public campaign gathered momentum for the human remains in the old cemeteries to be disinterred and reburied at Cornelian Bay. These remains are among the estimated 100,000 burials and 60,000 cremations at Tasmania’s largest cemetery. The campaign to remove Hobart’s cemeteries coincided with cal

No. 954 - George Town - Cornerstone Family Church

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George Town is one of the oldest towns in Australia and is the second oldest town in Tasmania. It is therefore unusual that most of the town’s churches were only established after World War Two. The emergence of Launceston as the administrative centre of the North in the early years of the colony meant that George Town was destined to remain a backwater until more recent times. The construction of an aluminium smelter at nearby Bell Bay in the 1950s as well as the development of industry south of the town, accelerated George Town’s population growth in the post-war era. Cornerstone Family Church was founded in 1989 by Max Triebe and James Cloudsdale. Church meetings were initially held in ‘The Grove Restaurant’ on Sunday evenings. In 1994 the church purchased the Gordon Square Kindergarten and converted the building into a meeting place. In 2014 the church was extended after it acquired two adjoined demountable classrooms from St Patricks Primary school, Latrobe. In 2015 the original k

No. 953 - Austins Ferry - Roseneath Wesleyan Chapel (1836-1850)

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Roseneath is the name of a former inn and property at Austins Ferry, approximately 15 kilometres north of Hobart. The inn was established by James Austin, a former convict. In 1816 Austin and his cousin James Earl established the first Derwent ferry service on the main route from Hobart to Launceston. The completion of the Bridgewater causeway in 1838 effectively bought this profitable enterprise to an end. Austin’s inn and farmstead (which he called Baltonsborough Place) was renamed “Roseneath” by Governor Macquarie while on a tour of Van Diemen's Land in 1821. Shortly after Austin’s death in 1831, Roseneath House, a large eighteen roomed sandstone building, was completed. In 1836 a small Wesleyan chapel was built in the vicinity of Roseneath House and Austin's Inn and ferry. The opening service, conducted by Reverend Joseph Orton, took place on Tuesday 13 December, with a collection taken to ‘defray the expense incurred by the erection of he building’. The chapel was a log

No. 952 - Gormanston - St Cuthbert's Anglican Church (1902-1930)

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Gormanston is a former mining town located off the Lyell Highway, approximately 5 kilometres east of Queenstown. Once one of the larger mining towns on the west coast, Gormanston has slowly declined to the point of becoming a ghost town. The settlement was originally called Mount Lyell but was later renamed in honour of Viscount Gormanston who was Governor of Tasmania (1893-1900). At its peak Gormanston and neighbouring North Mount Lyell had a population of around 2000. The decline of mining activity has resulted in a steady and dramatic fall in the town’s population which was reduced to only 17 at the time of the last census. Three churches established a Gormanston (Catholic, Anglican and Methodist) as well as a Presbyterian church at nearby Linda. Regular Anglican services at Gormanston began in November 1898, supported by St Martin’s church at Queenstown, which had opened earlier that year. The Mount Lyell Standard and Strahan Gazette reported: “The Rev. Mr Edwardes, of St Martin’s

No. 951 - Currie - Seventh Day Adventist Church

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Currie is the largest town and administrative centre on King Island. The settlement at Currie began after the ship "Netherby" ran onto rocks, south of the harbour mouth in 1866, and was taken into the harbour for salvaging by Captain Archibald Currie. The harbour and later the settlement were named in his honour. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church was established in Tasmania in 1888. The denomination originated in the USA in the 1860s and in 1885 a group of Adventists travelled to Australia and began preaching in Melbourne. After a church group was established in Melbourne in 1886 members moved on to Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart. Public tent meetings were held in Sandy Bay in 1888 which led to the establishment of a church at Collinsvale and then Hobart and Launceston shortly after the start of the 20th century. Currie’s Seventh Day Adventist church was established following a visit to King Island by members of the church in 1977. In 1978 ‘cottage meetings’ were held and soon

No. 950 - Smithton - St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (1907-1916)

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Smithton is the commercial and industrial centre of the Circular Head district in the far northwest of the island. The early settlement was known as Duck River but this was changed to Smithton in 1895. Smithton is named after an Irishman, Peter Smith, who had been a constable, and later the licensee of ‘The Plough Inn,’ at Stanley. Smith moved to Duck River after buying some 500 acres of land from the Poke and Ollington families. Smith’s successful enterprises enabled his return to Ireland. Smithton’s Presbyterian church existed for less than 10 years before it was closed in 1916 with the building sold two years later. The small weatherboard church stood on a site at 37 Smith Street, “nestled among tea-tree and gum tree shrubbery”. Presbyterian services at Smithton began in 1905 with multiple venues used for worship: “Mr. Blair gave a short history, of the early struggles of church members here. They were like the wandering Israelites in a foreign land. First they had a potato shed (m