Ask a question about 'Old St. Thomas Church'
Start a new discussion about 'Old St. Thomas Church'
Answer questions from other users
Built between 1822 and 1824, the St. Thomas Anglican Church, today called the Old St. Thomas Church
, is one of the oldest structures in St. Thomas, Ontario
St. Thomas is a city in southern , Ontario, Canada. It is the seat for Elgin County and gained its city charter on March 4, 1881.-History:...
The Church was continuously used between its founding and 1877. The church was made a designated heritage property in 1982.
The church was founded on land donated by Captain Daniel Rapelje, the founder of St. Thomas. It is considered an early example of North American pioneer architecture. The church was completed in 1824 and tower was added in 1825 with the aid of Col. Thomas Talbot. One of the earliest churches in the Talbot Settlement, the building is an example of Gothic Revival architecture.
The first incumbent, the Rev. Alexander Mackintosh, served from 1824 to 1829, was also the village’s schoolmaster. The congregation began with only 12 parishioners in 1825 but quickly grew to 41 by 1827. In 1833 the church was consecrated. By 1840 the church was enlarged. In 1877 the church congregation moved to the Trinity Anglican church in St. Thomas were it gathers still today. By 1982 the church site was made an Ontario heritage site and in 1986 the church was restored and renovated.
Famous grave sites
The church is surrounded by a pioneer cemetery with many notable grave sites both nationally recognized and locally significant. The oldest grave site is that of Daniel Rapelje’s son George in 1819; the newest are modern. Nationally significant sites include that of Judge Hugh Richardson
Hugh Richardson was a stipendiary magistrate for the Saskatchewan district of the North-West Territories. Richardson was the man who, at the conclusion of the 1885 trial of Louis Riel, sentenced Riel to hang....
, who in 1885 sentenced Louis Riel
Louis David Riel was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and a political and spiritual leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and its first post-Confederation Prime Minister, Sir John A....
to death. Locally significant folklore tells of the story of the witch’s grave, the Irish family curse of the Chisholm family where 7 family members died within 7 years, and that of Canadian soldier Octavius Wallace, who fought in the American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...
as a corporal of the 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and died at the Battle of Williamsburg
The Battle of Williamsburg, also known as the Battle of Fort Magruder, took place on May 5, 1862, in York County, James City County, and Williamsburg, Virginia, as part of the Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War...