St Declan’s Catholic Church stands tall and resilient on a hill just west of Brightside in the heart of Lanark Highlands. Generations of parishioners have worshipped and marked important family ceremonies inside its walls. The congregation was established in 1872. The white clapboard structure was built in 1889 on Lot 4 Concession 1 of Darling Township. Father Declan Foley named the Church after the patron Saint Declan. A residence for the priest and a shed to shelter horses during services were built nearby.
A cemetery including names of the people who called this area home lies beside the Church.
The Middleville and District Museum has a detailed miniature replica of St Declan’s Catholic Church of Brightside as part of its Collection. Visitors are amazed to gaze in through the front door and see the interior of the Church as it was decorated. Even the paintings on the walls are said to be accurate depictions. The pews and altar are built with meticulous care. The model Church will be on display as part of the special exhibit featuring the French Settlement on the French Line in Darling Township in the mid 1800’s. The exhibit will be revealed to the public on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 from noon to 4pm. Be sure to drop by to learn about this settlement that has remained a strong community in the area.
This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.