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First Presbyterian Church of Corner Brook

First Presbyterian Church of Corner Brook

Picture from The Legacy of James Cook, by Brian Harley.

 

Sawmill workers that had come from Sheet Harbour Nova Scotia founded this Church. While in Nova Scotia these people had no Presbyterian Church and had held their gatherings in someone's home. Most had to travel to Dartmouth Nova Scotia to have marriages and baptisms preformed. When Christopher Fisher and John Alexander Farnell came from Sheet Harbour under contract to start a sawmill they were again faced with having no church. A Presbyterian Minister, Rev. R. Archibald would visit the community, and most times would call Corner Brook "The quiet Nova Scotia Settlement of Corner Brook." In 1876 Rev David Creelman arrived as the first resident minister for Curling. He built the first Presbyterian Church in Birchy Cove. Until that time the Presbyterian congregation held services in someone's home. In Aug 1898 a church was built next to the Court House, where Co-Op now sits. This area was called Fisher's Hill. This new church seated 120 people and was designed by Rev W.C. Morrison. Christopher Fisher, John Farnell, and others from Sheet Harbour donated all of the building materials. All of the labor to build the church was done by the mill workers free of charge.

When this church was no longer used it was dismantled and taken to Curling around 1940. Some of its contents were then incorporated in the Curling Memorial Church. What materials were left were taken to the United Church on West Street and incorporated into that church. All records for the Church were taken over by the United Church on West Street in Corner Brook.

Many stories told me about the members of the Presbyterian Church at that time not being fond of the United Church so most of them chose to worship at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church on Main Street. There was at that time a cemetery that was Presbyterian. This cemetery was relocated to Mount Patricia. I have tried to find the records for this cemetery but cannot locate them. I do know that the graves were hand dug, and the remains were put at Mount Patricia. They are located at the far end of the cemetery unmarked except for wooden markers. The head stones were broken so a monument was built in memory of all who was relocated using pieces of the head stones. Many of the people were original settlers from Sheet Harbour.

 

Contributor: Marlene Companion

Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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