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Two New Churches……..1878-1879

Posted on
Designed by
James P. Johnston, Architect
of Ogdensburg

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The town of Brockville saw the building of four new churches in the years between 1875 and 1879. The first one was the George St. Episcopal Methodist Church (1875) on the south-west corner of Court House Square. Then the congregation of Trinity Anglican Church (1877) built their new building at the corner of Clarissa St. & George St.

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ca. 1880

1 Pine St [Brockville, ON] - Baptist Tabernacle [ca1880] improved

The First Baptist Church was under construction throughout 1878.
The new Baptist church was situated on the site of the old one. It was built of blue limestone and trimmed with white crystalized limestone. The main sanctuary designed to seat 500 persons on the main floor measured 77 x 56 feet. The spire rose to a height of 120 feet. Four large stained glass windows enhanced the sanctuary. The pastor, the Rev. R.B. Montgomery led the dedication services on Sunday, March 23, 1879.
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This was followed by new church edifices, built to replace earlier buildings. These are the two modern churches pictured here. Above is the Baptist Tabernacle (1878) on the south-east corner of Court House Sq., and below is the First Presbyterian Church (1879) on the north-west corner opposite. Imagine the interest of Brockvillians in this frenzy of church construction, in an age when church attendance was an integral part of family life.
The latest approved style of religious architecture was the soaring neo-gothic shown here and the design of these two buildings was from the hand of James P. Johnston (1841-1893),a very successful architect, then practicing in Ogdensburg, N.Y. With the completion of these buildings Johnston gained a number of important residential commissions from the wealthy businessmen of Brockville including Newton Cossitt, Richard Field and Thomas Gilmour.

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ca. 1880

10 Church St [Brockville, ON] - First Presbyterian Church [c1880]

The First Presbyterian Church was completed in 1879.
The new church was the third one erected on this corner near the Court House. The large sanctuary measured 100 x 110 ft. with a seating capacity of 900. The cost of construction was said to be about $35,000.

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Source: These two previously unknown photos were found by the late John Kehn of Home Again Antiques, who allowed me to copy them a few years ago. They were taken by George B. Murray, and may have been the earliest professional pictures taken after construction was completed. Also note the smaller buildings on either side of the churches.

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A View of Brockville from the Waterfront ca.1896

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A View of Brockville from the Waterfront ca1896
ca.1896
[This photograph can be viewed full size in a separate window by double clicking on the picture on this page until you reach the enlarged version further in the system]

This marvelous view of earlier Brockville was taken from the roof of the CPR warehouse south of the Brockville Railway Tunnel. It has captured a period of time which shows a number of buildings and businesses which have long disappeared.

The pointed Gothic steeples of the four churches are visible along with the Victoria Hall clock tower.

In the foreground, on the left, are buildings standing in the area of the present Water St. parking lot. The square white house with a hip roof on the corner [4 Market Sq. W. & 6 Water St. W.] was the old Woodbine House hotel.

Across the street is the Wilfred and Donald Earle family home [8, 10 Market Sq. W.] which still stands. The Revere House further up the street at King was destroyed by fire in November1974.

The rear of George Hutcheson’s Dry Goods business [35 King W.] is clearly marked, and is now the home of DLK Insurance Brokers.

Showing between the Revere and Victoria Hall on the north side of King were the businesses of Benjamin D. Steacy’s Hardware Store [22, 24 King W.], unknown store [16 King W.], Adam Fullerton’s Drug Store [10 King W.], and Lindsay & Jones, general merchants [2 King W.], with Murray & Son, photographers [6 King W.] upstairs.

In the bottom right section is the Victoria Market and the Brockville Railway Tunnel, but notice the picket fence surrounding the CPR yards.

 

Built in Brockville

 

 

 

 

copyright, February 2008, Doug Grant, ON

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