35: Wesleyan Chapel


Some time in 1857 the Wesleyans erected four wooden buildings, including a church.

The Wesleyans, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics conducted the early schools of Learmonth. As far as we know the Wesleyans were the only group to build a timber purpose built school at the same time as building their church.

In Oct 1857 the Wesleyan Minister, Rev. Pickford corresponded with the Board regarding consideration for school funding as the local subscription raised was £208 ($416). 44 children were engaged to attend the school and they intended to accommodate 20 boarders. A grant of £200 ($400) was received.

In Nov 1857 he applied for a higher salary than had been granted for the school teacher.

John Pomeroy was appointed teacher on 1st Jan 1858 and Helen Pomeroy began on1st April.

In Nov 1858, the Presbyterian Church Committee received correspondence from Rev Pickford of the Wesleyan Church. He suggested that as their teacher had resigned his position and that in reorganising the school, it would be desirable for its efficiency that the new teacher be chosen by a united Wesleyan and Presbyterian committee. The new school known as the Lake Learmonth Combined School began on the 8th Jan 1859 with Head Teacher Mr Jonas Horsfall. He remained at the school until 12th Mar 1859, followed by Mr George Crockett.

The Combined School remained at the Wesleyan site until Oct 1860, when it transferred to the Presbyterian Church.

A report by an Inspector Gilchrist in May 1869 said: "There is a building at present employed as a Wesleyan Chapel. The building is of Weatherboard, lined throughout with board and painted within, it is in very good condition, although it had to be propped up at some time. There is on the ground an uninhabited building containing a three roomed cottage and washing shed; there is also a stable."

Researched and written by LDHS member,

Mrs Claudette Crick

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