No. 1475 - Forth - Gospel Hall (1882)

Forth is a small town in north-west Tasmania located on banks of the Forth River. It was previously known as Hamilton-on-Forth. The area was settled in the 1840s after James Fenton, a young man of Irish descent, explored the Forth estuary in search of arable land.

In the second half of the 19th century several churches were built at Forth representing the Anglican, Methodist, Catholic and Congregationalist religious denominations. Less known is a Christian Brethren Gospel Hall which was used intermittently for a period of about 20 years.

The hall opened in late 1882 with an article in the Devon Herald in October noting that a Gospel Hall at Hamilton-on-Forth was “in the course of erection”. While there is no record of when the hall was officially opened, an advertisement placed in the Devon Herald in December 1882 provides the “hours of meeting” and is evidence that it was in operation before the end of that year.

In October 1884 another report in the Devon Herald states that the Gospel Hall was opened for “a short season of sermonettes, hymns, and self-abasements” which indicates that services were only held sporadically. In November 1885 a letter was published in the Launceston Examiner from a resident at Forth complaining about larrikins abusing Wesleyan churchgoers and throwing “stones at the Gospel Hall while [a] service was being held”.

By the 1890s it appears that the hall was being used for other purposes. In March 1896 the North West Post’s Forth correspondent reported that the annual meeting of the Forth ‘Woman's Christian Temperance Union’ was held in the Gospel Hall “and was well attended”. No record of the hall can be found in newspaper reports after the turn of the century. The location of the hall is not known and no image of the building exists.

Devon Herald, Saturday 2 December 1882


Devon Herald, Saturday 28 October 1882, page 2
Devon Herald, Saturday 2 December 1882, page 3
Devon Herald, Thursday 2 October 1884, page 2
Launceston Examiner, Saturday 31 October 1885, page 1
North West Post, Saturday 7 March 1896, page, 2


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