No. 1478 - Sassafras - Methodist (Uniting) Church Hall and Sunday School (1910)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with Tasmania’s historical churches. These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and rarely feature in published histories. My aim is to create a simple record of these buildings, including those which no longer exist.

Sassafras is a rural settlement in the North-west region and is located about 20 kilometres from the city of Devonport. A Wesleyan Methodist church opened at Sassafras in 1876, the history of the building can be found here: [No. 217]

A Methodist Sunday school was established in the 1880s and by 1895 it had reached an enrolment of 107 children with 15 teachers. Land was donated by David Clyne for the construction of a hall to house the Sunday school under the proviso that it “be invested with the names of the Trustees of the Church for all time”. Construction of the hall began in 1909 and the building was officially opened on Thursday on Wednesday 20 April 1910.

The opening ceremony was reported as follows in the North West Advocate and the Emu Bay Times:

“The formal opening of the Sassafras Hall took place, yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock, by which time a large number of people had assembled, who represented the district and its surroundings”.

“The hall, which is a neat structure, 4ft. long and 25ft. wide, with a platform 9ft. deep from the proscenium, is varnished throughout. A beautiful piano has just been purchased, and will add to the hall's attractions from a music lover's point of view. Then there is an ante-room, and also another little place in which are a fireplace and boiler. For this special occasion the decorations formed a scheme of pink, and these had a very beautiful effect. …”

“The Rev. C. Angwin had charge of the opening ceremony, and stated that the building with seats and piano, had cost £325…. Mr. L. Atkinson, M.P., said it afforded him great pleasure to be called upon to open this beautiful new hall. It was vay much needed, and as the balance of debt was so small he hoped to hear soon that it was paid off. He could justly congratulate the builder Mr H. Biggins. He then declared the hall open”.

The church and hall are now owned by the Sassafras Community Hall Association.

The Sassafras Sunday School and Church Hall

A panoramic photograph showing the hall on the left, the church on the right and the stables between the two buildings. (Weekly Courier)


North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 21 April 1910, page 2
North West Post, Friday 22 April 1910, page 2
Daily Telegraph, Monday 25 April 1910, page 8
Weekly Courier, Thursday 2 September 1926, page 26

Sassafras : a history of its settlement and people / [collated by] the Sassafras School Parents' and Friends' Association. (1988)


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