"Essonville, The Early Community"
– by Francis Noble

Speech given at the Service of Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Christ

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It is a privilege for me to reminisce a little of the past history of this building and its beginning as a place of worship. As was the custom when a community was established, they wanted a place in which to worship. In 1888, Rev. Watham bought the property from Jacob Steibel. He in turn sold the property the church is built on for $1.00 to the diocese of Toronto. Three large pine trees on the ground were cut down. The logs were hauled to Mr. Richard Dunford’s saw mill in south Wilberforce by team and wagon and the lumber brought back to build the church. Thomas and William Graham from Wilberforce were hired to build the church. All the planing of the lumber had to be done by hand. Mr. Watham was the first minister of the parish, his home just west of the church. My dad and mother were the first couple married in the new church. Dad was the Warden here for approximately 60 years. As the years went by, attendance at the services declined to the point that services were discontinued. In 1968, the church was deconsecrated. For a period of time, it was undecided what the future of it would be. In 1971, the property was deeded from the Anglican Synod to the Township of Monmouth for $1.00. There is probably much more that could be said, but due to the faithfulness of our ancestors and their desire to have a place to worship God, we are able to gather her today and worship the same God.