No. 1310 - Dover - Salvation Army Hall (1915)

Dover is a small town on the Huon Highway approximately 80 kilometres south of Hobart. The area was first settled in the 1850s. The original name for Dover was Port Esperance after one of the ships of the French Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux.

The Salvation Army was active in the Huon soon after its arrival in Tasmanian in the 1880s. The ‘Army’ commenced its work at Franklin in 1893 and Huonville in 1897. in 1908 Ranelagh became the centre for the Salvation Army and further centres were established at Crabtree and Dover.

In June 1913 Lieutenant Stephen Rappell was appointed to take command of the Corps at Dover and soon after this fundraising to build a hall began. In early 1915 a timber hall was built by Ensign Etterstadt with the assistance of volunteer labour.

The hall, which measured 40ft by 20ft, was officially opened in early May 1915. The Huon Times reported:

"The Salvation Army is doing splendid work in this district, and is making good! progress. For a long time, however, they were hampered in their operations through, not having a hall of their own; but this want has now been filled. Early in the present month the fine structure erected for this purpose was formally, opened by Major Henry, the chief officer of the Army in Tasmania. In doing so Major Henry warmly commended those whose efforts on behalf of the movement had made the erection of the building possible. The total cost, including the price of the land, he said, was £300, which speaks well for the enterprise and energy of the members of the Army and its sympathisers in this district. The Ranelagh band was in attendance and enlivened proceedings by playing selections outside the hall…. A tea meeting followed in the Congregational Sunday School Hall…”.

The Salvation Army is no longer active in Dover and the date of its departure from the town is not known. The hall, which is situated on Station Road, has been converted into a house but still retains many of the features of the original building.

Dover Salvation Army Hall (Google Street view)

Dover Salvation Army Hall (Google Street view)


Examiner, Saturday 7 June 1913, page 3
Huon Times, Wednesday 19 May 1915, page 4

Beechey, Norm. and Baker, Dorothy.  A history of Dover & Port Esperance, Tasmania / by Norm Beechey & Dorothy Baker  N. Beechey & D. Baker Dover, Tas  1997


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