No. 993 - Smithton - Salvation Army Hall (1908-1909)

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.

The Salvation Army first appeared at Smithton shortly after the turn of the 20th century. Over a period of about 70 years the Salvation Army built three halls at two sites; both on Nelson Street. The first hall, which was built in 1908, is the subject of this article.

In September 1908 the Launceston Examiner reported:

“About 2, years ago the Salvation, Army sent officers to Smithton with a view to starting their cause here. They soon gained followers, and last Sunday had the satisfaction of opening their new barracks, which was done by Staff-Captain Glitheroe and Officer Hammond. Three service were held, and at the conclusion of the evening service pictures illustrating the life of Christ were shown by the aid of the bioscope…..”.

For reasons which are not clear the hall was only used by the Salvation until early 1909. In February 1909 the Circular Head Chronicle reported that:

“An application was received from E. Malley for a license for the building at Smithton known as the Salvation Army Barracks”.

Malley acquired the building to rent as a public hall which was called the Alexandra Hall although also it was sometimes referred to as Malley’s Hall. From 1910 to 1912 the hall was hired for use by the Catholics, Anglicans and the Baptists to conduct religious services. In 1912 the hall was purchased by the Baptists, becoming the Smithton Baptist Church. In 1985 the hall was sold by the Baptists and was used as commercial premises. It was later converted into a house. The building, although modified, still exists at 152 Nelson Street.

152 Nelson Street - build in 1908 as a Salvation Army Hall and became a Baptist church in 1912. Image: Google Street view.


The North West Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Wednesday 29 July 1908, page 2
Examiner, Friday 25 September 1908, page 3
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 30 September 1908, page 2
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 17 February 1909, page 2
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 24 March 1909, page 2
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 16 July 1909, page 2
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 27 May 1931, page 3


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