No. 1011 - Smithton - The Salvation Army Hall (1930-1970)

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 different sites, both on Nelson Street. The first hall, which was built in 1908, was the subject of an earlier article. [See No. 993] This article concerns the two later halls situated at 133 Nelson Street.

After the closure and sale of the first hall in 1909, the Salvation Army withdrew from Smithton for a period of about seven years, returning in 1917. After this time worship was conducted in the Town Hall and other rented premises such as the Masonic Hall. In July 1930 it was announced that a new hall was to be erected on “the Army block adjoining Mr T J. Murphy’s garage”. A Salvation Army Barracks located at Mount Hicks, some 60 kilometres east of Smithton, was transported to the block and opened on Saturday 15 November 1930. The Advocate reported the occasion as follows:

“On Saturday afternoon the official opening of the new Salvation Army Hall, which has been removed from Mt. Hicks, took place, when Major Roach, the Divisional Commander, from Launceston, after declaring the hall open, conducted a meeting of Dedication…. The various Protestant churches in the district were represented by their ministers…. On Sunday Major Roach assisted by Captain Mason and Captain Haslock conducted services in the new hall….”.

This weatherboard hall was in use for about 30 years before it was demolished in the early 1960s. It was replaced with a concrete brick hall which still stands and is used as commercial premises.

In the 1970s the Salvation Army once again withdrew from Smithton and the hall was sold to the Department of Administrative Services and was later used as an Army Reserve Unit headquarters. In the 1980s the building was again sold and has since been used by various businesses over the years.

I have yet to locate a photograph of the 1930 weatherboard hall from Mount Hicks or the cement brick hall in the period during it was used by the Salvation Army.

The former Salvation Army Hall (2021)


Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 27 May 1931, page 3
Advocate, Thursday 17 July 1930, page 4
Advocate, Tuesday 18 November 1930, page 4

Grey, Bruce L.  The Duck : a history of Smithton (C.B.D.) c.1856-1996 / written and compiled by Bruce L. Grey  B.L. Grey Smithton, Tas  1997


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