Monday, September 5, 2011

St. John's Anglican Church, Ellerslie

    Yesterday morning my parents and I attended the morning service at St. John's Anglican Church in Ellerslie.  The church was built in 1899 by "Little Harry Williams" who studied architectural design in Massachusetts.  When my mother was young ( early 1950's ) she came to visit her cousins, the Grants, near here every summer and would attend church with them at St. John's - until yesterday she hadn't been here since.
     As we drove into the community from the Western Road I commented on the number of bull rushes in the ditches - Mom said she remembered going down to the Ellerslie store in the evenings and people would light them on fire for light - for Mom this was an unusual thing as she wasn't accustom to bull rushes - where they lived on the O'Leary Road in Knutsford there were few to no marshes or bogs near their home - this was an uncommon thing to her.
     The following comes from:  A Journey Just Begun: History of the Dicoese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island 1710-2010 by Brian Cutherbertson...
     By the 1880s the church at Bideford had become so dilapidated that a new church had become necessary. By 1893 John England had donated the site and a new church was in the course of erection. However, a Historic Churches of Prince Edward Island draws attention to the craftsmanship of Harry Williams shortage of funds slowed progress and it was not until 1899 that it was ready for consecration, which Bishop Courtney did on 2 July of that year. As already mentioned in the main text, H.M. Scott-Smith In his that is found in the complex shingle patterns on the facades and steeple, and the decorated frieze below the eves and the ornate window hoods that give the facades their depth of character. The interior is no different where the framing of the roof shows the shipbuilding ancestry of the builders, Edward England and Harry Williams. Upon its completion there were donations of communion linen, a church bell, kneeling benches, a new organ, a white spotted marble font and silver communion set with a box to hold it.
 Below:  The craftsmanship of the interior is amazing!
     Harry Williams built many homes and buildings in Prince County.  To name a few, he built the St. Peter's Anglican Church, Foxley River, Lot 11:
 I took these photos about a years ago.
     Also from A Journey Just Begun - the following information about this church...
Sometime before 1851 construction of a church was begun for which the Honourable James Warburton provided the leadership. Bishop Binney consecrated it in 1857. In 1909 the congregation decided to replace St. Peter’s with a new church. The foundation was laid the following year. Harry Williams was responsible for its construction. Although there were delays caused by shortage of funds, the new St. Peter’s was completed by 1914. Harry Williams designed the exquisitely ornamented interior. Immediately upon entering the church nave one’s gaze is drawn upward where fi ve superbly crafted ceiling arches, extending into the chancel with pews on either side capable of seating about 100 persons. The fi nely ornamented stained glass windows, however, probably provide the most outstanding beauty of the interior decor. From the vestibule to the chancel the light passing the light passing through these windows creates a sublime effect that seems to accentuate William’s skilled craftsmanship.
     There are many houses built by Harry Williams in the Tyne Valley area and further west he also built the Webb-MacDonald House in O'Leary.  See below.
     Williams also built the Arnold Wood House in West Cape and the Kennedy Wells House in Cascumpec.

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