No. 979 - Crabtree - Salvation Army Hall (1917-1967)

Crabtree is a rural settlement in the local government area of Huon Valley and is located about 15 kilometres north of Huonville. It was once an important timber and orchard-growing district. The settlement is named after the Crabtree Rivulet.

Crabtree has had only two places of worship; a Salvation Army hall which was built in 1917 and an Anglican church hall which opened in 1929. The State school was used for religious services by both the Salvation Army and the Anglican’s prior to the construction of the two halls.

The activities of the Salvation Army at Crabtree were an extension of the the Corp’s that was established at nearby Ranelagh in the late 1890s. In both settlements, orchard workers were an important source of Salvation Army supporters.

The Crabtree hall opened on Saturday 2 June 1917 being built for holding religious services as well as a Sunday school. The hall’s opening was recorded by the Huon Times:

“The new Salvation Army Hall was opened on Saturday afternoon… by Major Henry of Launceston. The hall was packed, people coming from all parts of the district, and a very able address was given by the Staff Officer. A tea was then partaken of and the food which was left over was sold by auction. In the evening the hall was not big enough to hold all who wanted to gain admission, and some had to be turned away. Major Henry presided over the meeting and was assisted by Captain McWilliams and Lieutenant East, of the Ranelagh branch of the Salvation Army. …The new hall is situated in a central part of the district, and is built on land donated by Mr Robert Harvey of Cygnet. A very substantial sum of money has been collected recently, and with the proceeds of the opening services, will go a long way towards paying for the building, which is the first to be erected here to be used for religious purposes…”.

In 1925 a two room cottage was built alongside the hall to accomodate visiting Army officers. The hall was among the 1400 buildings destroyed in the 1967 bushfires, as was the Crabtree Anglican church hall. Neither building was replaced.
The Crabtree Salvation Army Hall and cottage c.1925 - photo courtesy of the Salvation Army Museum

The Crabtree Hall at the time of its opening - source: The Tasmanian Mail

Sources:

Daily Post, Monday 11 June 1917, page 2
Huon Times, Friday 15 June 1917, page 5
Huon Times, Tuesday 23 December 1924, page 1
Huon Times, Friday 26 June 1925, page 5
Huon Times, Friday 16 October 1925, page 2
Tasmanian Mail, 15 July 1917, page 19





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