Friday, February 8, 2013

St. Joachim's Catholic Church, Vernon River

     When at Vernon River the other day I also took photos of the St. Joachim's Roman Catholic Church and Parochial House.
     The following information cf.  Historic Places Website:
     St. Joachim's Roman Catholic Church is valued for its brick construction, for its connection with the history of the Roman Catholic church in the area, its importance to the community and as a visual landmark. The church was named in honour of St. Joachim, the husband of St. Anne, and father of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
     St. Joachim's parish in Vernon River was established in 1804 and a log church located in Waterside was used for services. A small pioneer cemetery marks the location of the original log church. 
     Construction of St. Joachim's RC Church began in 1877 and completed in 1879. It is believed the architect was John McLellan (1820-1887) who also designed St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church in Foxley River (1873), St. Joseph's Convent in Charlottetown and very likely the Church of Christ in Montague (1876-1879). A church bell was installed and dedicated in 1886 and in 1902 a new pipe organ was celebrated. Due to the deteriorating condition of the original 150' spire, it was removed and replaced in the mid-1960s with the current, much smaller scale, spire. The ornamental turrets on the tower and on the front facade were also removed at this time. In 1971 a side chapel dedicated to St. Anne was completely renovated and in 1973 the sanctuary was extended by 12 feet. The main Gothic window on the front elevation was replaced as were the lower half of the original front doors.
     Other buildings associated with St. Joachim's Roman Catholic Church include the brick parochial house dated 1868, and the parish hall that was built in 1900, both of which are still in use, and the St. Joachim's Waterside Pioneer Cemetery located in nearby Pownal or Waterside.
     Source: Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE - File #: 4310-20/S34
     Above: this image is from Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island.  Image this magnificent church with its original steeple - it must have been impressive!
Above: Note the Parochial house on the far right.
Above: Southwest view of the church - its present spire is disappointing!
Above: West side of church, facing parking lot and cemetery.
     Above: looking towards south - the old hall is straight ahead, across the road.
     Above: the low 1-storey section at the rear of the church seems to be a later addition, however, it's there in Meachams' 1880 Atlas sketch.
     Below:  The brick Parochial House was built in 1868.  There have been a few changes over the years.  
Below: the verandah seen here is a recent addition.
Below: Image of Parochial House from Meacham's 1880 Atlas.  Note.
     Below: My photograph of May 2001.  The house has seen changes over the years.  The roof Scotch (bay) dormers were later additions as was the sun room and upper covered balcony.
     For more information about the parish see:
Image drawn by James Edward Harris (1886-1954)
Image the magnificent church with its 150' spire - today it's less impressive!

No comments:

Post a Comment