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Early Church History recounted by Norma Noble (b. 1911)

Essonville Church was built in 1888, around the same time the Orange Hall was erected just east of the church. We always understood that the trees which had been cut from the property the church was built on were hauled to the sawmill belonging to my grandfather (Richard Dunford) to be sawn into lumber which was used to build the church. The windows were made in England and were brought over by boat. Grandpa (John James Noble), born in 1865, helped in the building of the church.

I believe Mr James Mackness and Vida Somerville were the first couple married in the church. Fred Dunford and Catherine (Katie) McCrea were also married there (I don’t know the dates).

One of the earliest Anglican ministers stationed at the church began a night school in the Orange Hall during the 1890s. My father (Alexander McCrea) was born in 1867 and purchased property in Essonville in 1882. He was married in 1898, attended the school and learned to read and write there – I think that was the only schooling he ever had. I never knew that minister’s name.

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