Lennox and Addington Historical Society Papers and Records, Volume 1, 1909
Note.-These letters were written by an "old resident," and were published in The Beaver in 1873 and 1874. They appear in one of the Historical Society Scrap Books.
LETTER I. LETTER II. LETTER III. LETTER IV. LETTER V. LETTER VI. LETTER VII.
In the year 1835, there being no church in Napanee, the Messrs. Cartwright, with great liberality, not only donated the land, but paid the expense of putting up the walls of the old
ST. MARY MAGDALENE CHURCH,
and the following year, through the exertions of the people who were but few and far between, the church was completed, and duly dedicated to the worship of God in the year 1836. This church was a plain stone structure, about 3Ox4O feet, with a tower and bell. Galleries were afterwards put into it. For many years it did duty as a place of worship, but for some time past it was considered behind the times and too strait for its congregation, and during last year it was taken down, and the materials, worked into the new St. Mary Magdalene Church, now being erected on a beautiful site directly opposite the residence of the the Hon. John Stevenson. The corner stone of the new, church was laid with Masonic honors by Bro. G. Simpson, of H. M. Customs, on the first day of July last, in the presence of a large concourse of people. The walls of the church have since been put up and the building is enclosed. It is a handsome old style gothic stone edifice, 44xl2O feet, with tower and buttresses and will, when completed, be an ornament to the town and a credit to the congregation. The entire cost of this church will be nearly $20,000. The Revs. Messrs. Bogart and the congregation deserve much praise for their indefatigable exertions in this matter.
Ministers were few in the early days of Napanee and for many years the Rev. Saltern Givens, then Missionary to the Mohawks, now of St. Paul's Church, Toronto, preached regularly in the old church until the year 1849, when the Rev. William B. Lauder, LL.D., was appointed Rector of Napanee. Although Mr. Lauder was rather of the High Church order, he was a very fine man, and had many warm friends. In the year 1862 he returned, to his native land, Ireland, where he died on the 5th February, 1868, deeply lamented.
In 1862, the Rev. J. J. Bogart, M.A., was appointed Rector of Napanee. Mr. Bogart was born in Brockville, graduated at Trinity College, Toronto, was ordained in 1858, and for a few years previous to coming here, officiated at Prescott, where he was very popular. He is an able minister, an excellent reader, an estimable gentleman, and has many friends who esteem him very highly.
The Rev. D. F. Bogart, who is Curate for his brother, was born and educated at the same place as the Rector, but only recently came to this place. He is very highly respected.
THE OLD WESLEYAN CHURCH,
erected upon a lot donated by the Cartwright estate, was a brick building 40x60 feet. It, was dedicated to the worship of God by the Rev. Mr. Davidson in 1840. The Rev. Gilbert Miller, now of Picton, was the minister under whose superintendence it was erected ; time would fail me to mention who have occupied the pulpit since then, but prominent amongst the number are the Revs. Messrs. John Black, Robt. Carson, D. B. Madden, William Haw, B. Slight, and several others, some of whom have gone to their reward.
About the year 1860, through the enterprise and energy of the Rev. F. Berry, the Wesleyan new stone church was commenced on the old brick church site, the latter being taken down, and in 1862 the new church was completed. It is a plain stone structure 45x84 feet, with tower and spire 155 feet high, very comfortably finished internally, with galleries on three sides.
The Rev. Wm. McCullough, good man, followed Mr. Berry; the next was the Rev. John S. Clarke, who was a most enthusiastic and pushing man, and who had many friends; then came the Rev. Wm. Scott, an able expounder of the New Testament and a zealous advocate of temperance. He is at present stationed at Oshawa. The Rev. G. M. Meacham, M.A., was stationed here in 1871, and is now on his last year. Mr. Meacham was born in Belleville in 1833,(his father having been for many years Postmaster, and a prominent citizen of that place)-graduated at Victoria College in 1860, and was ordained the same year, since which time he has labored on at God's command. He is a most zealous minister, a warm-hearted friend, and a sincere Christian. He has many warm friends and not an enemy in Napance.
THE OLD WHITE CHURCH
was commenced about the year 1842 upon the plot of land on which the new M. E. church now stands, which was also presented by the Cartwright estate. It was a frame building 4Ox5O feet, built by Ezra A. Spencer, contractor, and was dedicated to the worship of God about the year 1844. The Rev. John Bailey was P. E., and the Rev. H. H. Johnston minister in charge at the time.
In 1872 the Rev. S. G. Stone was appointed to this place, at which time we prognosticated that the name had the right ring for a new church. And in this we are pleased not to have been disappointed. Mr. Stone was born in the County of Northumberland, in 1836, ordained in 1862, and had been five years in the City of Ottawa previous to his appointinent to this place. He is an earnest preacher and a clever business man, and deserves great praise for the manner he has, with the efficient aid and assistance of the congregation, succeeded in erecting one of the finest churches in the connexion to which he belongs.
This edifice was commenced and completed in October, 1873. The building-which is built of red brick, with the base and arches of the windows and buttress caps of blue and white cut limestone-is 103x46 feet. The spire is 165 feet in height, which is finished to represent colored slating in different shades. While the external appearance of the edifice is exceedingly handsome, the finishing and arrangements inside are unsurpassable. The windows are stained in most appropriate patterns; the walls and ceilings are very tastefully frescoed and painted; the gallery, finished in fret work with solid white ash facing and scarlet background, extends across the front end and two-thirds up the sides; the pews are built of white ash, with walnut cappings; and the pulpit is finished in a style in keeping with the whole inner portion of the church. The cost of the building was $17,000. Besides this, there has been erected in it a powerful organ, at a cost of $1,000, by Prof. Phillips, of this place. The above church was dedicated by Bishop Richardson and other ministers on the 17th of October, 1873.
THE CANADA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
is a handsome stone edifice, of gothic architecture, situated in the West Ward, upon a beautiful site, also presented by the Messrs. Cartwright. The building is about 44x65 feet, with a tower and basement. Its erection was commenced on the 1st July, 1864, and the basement opened by Prof. Mowat, of Kingston, on the 12th of March, following. The main audience room was dedicated on the 6th of June, 1869, by the Rev. Dr. McVicker, of Montreatl and the Rev. Mr. McLaren. The church is very neatly and comfortably finished and is very creditable to the Rev. John Scott and the congregation, through whom it was erected.
The Rev. Mr. Scott was born in Northumberland, England, in 1824, came to Canada in 1852, graduated at Toronto University, and was ordained at the Rev. Mr. Macdowell's church, near Bath, in 1853; came to Napanee, 1855, officiating in the old Academy, and afterwards for several years in the Town Hall. Mr. Scott and his esteemed lady are most kind and attentive to the poor and sick, and have many warm friends in Napanee and vicinity. He is truly the friend of all and the enemy of none.
THE ST. MARY'S R. C. CHURCH
is a very substantial stone structure, about 40x60 feet, situated on the corner of West and Thomas streets, the land having been donated by the Cartwright estate. The church was, built in 1855, and is very neatly finished internally. The Rev. Father Brown, a very estimable gentleman, was for several years the priest of this church. He was a few years since removed to the Town of Port Hope, being succeeded by the Rev. Father Leonard, who still officiates, and is highly esteemed by the- members of his church. He unobtrusively attends to the best interests of his church and congregation, never interfering in other people's matters.
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