No. 1050 - Ellesmere - Wesleyan Methodist Church (1879-1888)

Ellesmere is the original name for Scottsdale which is located in Tasmania’s North East. The first settlement was near Ellesmere Hill but as the town developed the centre shifted about 1 kilometre south east and renamed Scottsdale in 1893.

The first church services at Scottsdale were conducted in the Union Chapel built at Ellesmere in 1863. The first permanent minister was Reverend Robert Thompson who was appointed in 1878.

A year after Thompson’s appointment, a Wesleyan Methodist church was built opposite Listers Road. It was built by P. and T. Brewer of Bridport at a cost of £380. A parsonage was built in 1881 at an additional cost of £370. The official opening of the Ellesmere church took place on March 9 1879. The occasion was reported by The Tasmanian:

“…The highly esteemed and energetic bush missionary, Mr William Blackett, preached in the afternoon…and in the evening… On the following day a tea meeting was held in the neat and commodious church at 4 p.m., when about 140 persons of all ages were present…”.

A gradual shift of population from Ellesmere to Tucker’s Corner (now the centre of Scottsdale) resulted in the activities of the church being split between the two locations. By the 1880s the Mechanics Institute Hall on Kings Street was used for Sunday school while morning services were still held at Ellesmere.

In 1888 the Ellesmere church was sold and demolished and services were held in a school hall on King Street. The Ellesmere parsonage was moved next to a site adjoining the “school-church”. The King Street church burnt down in January 1900 and was replaced by a new church built in 1901.

Detail of a photograph showing the Ellesmere Wesleyan Methodist Church (undated) Source: Dorset Tasmanian History Society (Facebook Page) 21-12-2021

Notice concerning the church's sale and the removal of the parsonage. Daily Telegraph 1888

The Wesleyan-Methodist Parsonage at Ellesmere - source: Queen Victoria Museum QVM 1986:P:1106


Tasmanian, Saturday 15 March 1879, page 7
Launceston Examiner, Saturday 27 March 1880, page 3
Daily Telegraph 1888, Monday 15 October 1888, page 1
Examiner Thursday 25 January 1900, page 5
The Mercury Wednesday 28 Feb 1900, page 5

Stansall, M. E. J and Methodist Church of Australasia Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 : compiled at the time of last Meeting of Methodism prior to union. Methodist Church of Australasia, Launceston, Tas, 1975.


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