No. 1152 - Saltwater River - Congregational Church (1905)

Saltwater river is a small settlement on the Tasman Peninsula which is approximately 25 kilometres west of Eaglehawk Neck. It was once the site of two convict out-stations of Port Arthur Penal Settlement. Saltwater River was originally named Saltwater Creek.

Little information is available about Saltwater River’s Congregational church. It was one of five Congregational churches established on the Tasman Peninsula.

A fellowship was established at Saltwater River in 1900 with a meeting held in Ridler's cottage. The church was situated on land belonging to Mr. Ridler and was built by Mr Henry Wise at a cost of £ 40. The church was officially opened on Thursday 12 October 1905. A single short report published in the Hobart Mercury is the only reference to the opening of the church:

“Next Thursday this new building is to be opened, and a picnic to the coal mines at Cascades is being given by the residents. The s.s. Ronnie is making a special trip from Hobart direct to Dunalley, thence on to the River, conveying those interested who live at Bream Creek to the Picnic, and in the evening the church is to be opened”.

The date of the church’s closure is not known but congregation remained active until the 1970s.


Saltwater Congregational Church. Photo: M. Ridler 


Sources:

Mercury, Monday 9 October 1905, page 5
Mercury, Saturday 12 February 1921, page 11

Sharples, Theo E. and Congregational Union of Tasmania. Congregationalism in Tasmania, 1830-1977 : a brief history / compiled by Theo E. Sharples Congregational Union of Tasmania Hobart 1977




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