Church Stands the Test of Time
The first settlers in the Middleville area built a log schoolhouse. soon after arriving. The first known Presbyterian Church service was recorded at Young’s Schoolhouse in 1821. A meeting was held to plan for a land acquisition of an acre from the northwest corner of the west half of Lot 15 on Concession 6. Money came from Scotland in 1823 and this land was soon purchased from the landowners, James and Jean McIntyre, for a sum of three pounds and fifteen shillings. An additional fifteen shillings was paid as dowry for Jean. Trustees John McPherson and John Arnott signed the deed witnessed by William Scott and William Borrowman. The original plans called for a Presbyterian Schoolhouse, a Church and a burial ground for members of the Church. The first Church built was described as a white, frame rough cast. Rough cast refers to a slurry of lime, sand and gravel that would be plastered onto the wooden structure.
Reverend Doctor Gemmill was the first minister and continued until 1828 when he withdrew. The Church was without a minister until 1831 when Rev. Wm McAllister was sent from Scotland.
In 1890, the rough cast Church was torn down and replaced by a brick structure that opened in February of 1892 and remains in use today. A corner stone was drawn by stone boat by Robert Pretty from the farm of Wm Langstaff. The stone was quarried from the nearby farm of Matt Somerville. The interior was decorated by James Luteman and the pulpit was donated by Margaret Pretty. The new Church was designated as St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.
Reverend W.C. Clark became the first resident minister when the Middleville Church separated from Lanark. A manse was purchased in 1863.
In 1924, the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches of Middleville joined together to become part of the United Church of Canada.
Over the years, the Middleville Church had many arrangements with other congregations. The most enduring relationship was with its sister congregation from the Hopetown Church. The proximity of the two Churches made working together a natural fit. The Churches became known as Trinity and the congregations had a strong bond. With the sale of Hopetown Church, the Middleville Church is the remaining worship site for both congregations.
Today, the old, red brick Church continues to stand proudly on the corner of Wolf Grove Road and Concession 6 in Middleville and still welcomes a faithful congregation. The Church with its modern facilities is still used by the community and was where the Middleville and District Museum Board held its Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in January of 2023. Many things have come and gone in the community, but the Church on the corner remains.
*Information sourced from notes compiled by the late Jean Rankin from the records of James Penman, Secretary .
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This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.