"Building the Church"
– by J.H. Finlay

Letter to the Editor, Haliburton County Echo, April 21, 1970

Back to History page

While doing some repair work to this church with Lloyd W. Watson some 20 years ago, the late Mr. John James Noble dropped in to chat with us at different times. Mr. Noble told us some of the history of the old church.

The church was built from three pine trees that grew there on the church property – the remains of the three stumps can still be seen immediately east of the building. The logs were logs were drawn over land by horses to the Dunford mill on the Burnt River at South Wilberforce and the lumber returned by the same route. The Dunford mill was water-powered and equipped with an upright saws called whip-saws. Mr. Noble was a pioneer resident of Essonville and he and Mrs. Noble were the first couple to be married in the new church. Mr. Noble had reached his 100th birthday some eight months before passing away in 1965. The Graham brothers were the carpenters on the building and any dressed lumber in the church was planed by hand.

When one stops to consider that this was back in sailing Bessel days and there were only trails through this section of the country, a pre-fabricated building was out of the question. I would dare say the leaded stained-glass and possibly the bell may have been brought over from the old country (England).