Illustration-Almonte Gazette June 18 1897
Laying the Corner-Stone of the Interesting Occasion—A Report of the Proceedings.
Tuesday of this week was a red letter occasion with the Presbyterians of Pakenham, for on that day the corner-stone of the new church they are erecting was laid with appropriate ceremonies by Mrs. Francis, one of the oldest members of the congregation and the head of a family to whose generosity in a large measure is due the successful carrying through of the plans of the building committee.
The day proved an ideal one, and a large crowd was present. Many Almonters drove down. A preliminary service was held in the old church at eleven o’clock a.m., at which a fine sermon was preached by an old and highly esteemed former pastor—Rev. Jas. Stuart, of Prescott. and the Rev. gentleman had as the basis of his remarks Ephesians 2 :20 , 21,.
From this he preached a sermon appropriate to the occasion. It was retrospective, introspective and prospective—it recounted the past, with its joys and successes, as well as the darker side of the picture, which included a reference to the absence of many of the old familiar faces, called to their reward and it looked into things as they are at present; and it spoke of the doings of the day in a spirit that hoped and expected much from the future for the congregation and the community.
The lessons were impressive, and were listened to with great interest by those who were privileged to be in attendance. Rev. Mr. Stuart is always welcomed to Pakenham,
and his visit and his words of cheer and encouragement on this occasion were greatly appreciated.
Rev. A. E. Mitchell, B.A., of Almonte, assisted at the service. The singing by the choir was worthy of mention. It was of a high order. Rev. R. J, Hutcheon, M.A., and Mr. A. Haydon, M.A., assisted in the musical part, and sang a duet during the service.
At the close of the forenoon service the congregation, and in fact the bulk of the villagers—to appearance, at least—repaired to the agricultural hall, where for two hours a large staff of waiters were kept busy serving dinner. In the evening tea was served in the same place, in all probably 500 meals being given—a good day’s work for the committee in charge of that department.
At half-past two in the afternoon the most interesting part of the proceedings
took place—the laying of the corner-stone and the ceremonies connection therewith.On the site set apart for the sacred edifice, and from a platform erected in a suitable place a number of the clergymen delivered addresses in harmony with the occasion. Rev. E. S. Logie, the energetic young pastor, was master of ceremonies, and discharged his duties with a skill that won him great praise. He asked the audience to open the proceedings.
With the doxology—”Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” etc.—which was rendered with vigor, led by the choir and the audience. Rev. Dr. Campbell, of Renfrew, then read a suitable passage of scripture. Prayer followed, after which Rev. Mr. Logie read the list of articles to be deposited in the corner-stone, as follows: A coin of the realm, copies of the Morrin College Magazine, theDaily Witness, the Presbyterian
Record, the Forester, the Almonte Gazette, the I.O.O.F. constitution and bylaws, a list of the memb and bylaws, a list of the members of the congregation at- the present date.
Then were the names of the board of managers, the building committee, the secretary and treasurer of the congregation, and the superintendent and teachers of the Sabbath school. After the reading of this list the crowd gathered closer while the pastor presented Mrs. Francis with a handsome silver trowel and asked her to perform the work of laying the corner-stone. The stone was well and truly laid by the venerable lady, after which Kir. Logie announced that an opportunity would be given those who wished to give a contribution in aid of the building fund.
A stream of contributors swelled the receipts to a generous sum. Then came an earnest patriotic address from Rev. D. J. McLean, M.A., of Arnprior, delivered with the fluency for which that gentleman is noted. He spoke of what should characterize a temple erected to God’o service. It was an influence for good in the community, advancing the cause of civilization, diffusing the light of liberty and knowledge and truth, and promoting the highest and best interests of the people. He warmly commended the members and adherents of the Pakenham congregation for their generosity, and concluded a polished address by extending his best wishes.
Rev. Dr. Campbell, of Renfrew, was the next speaker. He is well known as one of
the oldest and ablest members of the Lanark and Renfrew Presbytery, and in his address he was able to refer to incidents in connection with the earlier life of the Pakenham branches of the Presbyterian church in a most interesting manner. He began by joining heartily in all the kind expressions made use of by the preceding
He spoke feelingly of those who in former years had laid broad and deep the foundations on which much of the success achieved had been built—of the late Rev. Dr. Mann, who came to this section nearly sixty years ago, and travelled through the length and breadth- of this and the adjoining county in the service of the Master.
The speaker paid tribute to that man of God and the work he did. He also gave credit for the foundation work done by one whom he was glad to see present—one who had travelled side by side with Dr. Mann for many years—Rev. Jas. Stuart. Both had labored earnestly and successfully in the earlier years in Pakenham for the glory of God and the good of the people, and, while many of the parents who had been brought to Christ through their efforts had been called home, their children remained to carry on the work.
Dr. Campbell closed a concise but comprehensive address with words of warm encouragement to pastor and people on the joyful occasion of laying the foundation stone of their new temple. Rev. Hugh Taylor, of Lochwinnoch, one of the brainiest preachers in the bounds of the presbytery, was next called on, and gave an address that did . credit. He was one of Mr. Logics predecessors at Pakenham, and felt a great interest in the work of the day. He congratulated pastor and people on their success in arranging for such a beautiful new edifice as had been begun. He was pleased to see so many old familiar faces present.
Some were missing—he missed them; but he was pleased to see so many of the fathers and mothers in Israel present, and that to one of them had been accorded the honor of laying the corner-stone. While pastor at Pakenham, he said, it had been long his desire to see a new church built, and, though it was not to be in his time, he was exceedingly pleased to note the success of the congregation.
The building now in course of erection was the fourth Presbyterian church in Pakenham. The first was destroyed; part of the second still remains; they had worshipped that forenoon in the third; and they would soon worship in the fourth. Their material prosperity was keeping up well with their spiritual prosperity.
He spoke of the change of site—the coming down among the people, to show the deep interest felt in their concerns; of the plan, which showed a good Sabbath school building, where the foundation of Christian life was laid; of the C. E society, one of the grandest institutions to develop Christian life in the young people of the community.
“ You are a Christian people here,” he said. Contrary to the views of many he saw no indications of church’ union, and he maintained that no one present would live to see the union of the various denominations. The spirit of union was good, but it was impossible to get people to agree. It should rejoice the hearts of all that the foundations had been laid a new church that would help the upward life of the community. He expressed the hope that many would be brought to the Lord as the result of the work now being undertaken, and closed a really excellent address with
renewed congratulations and good wishes.
Rev. Jas. Stuart spoke in terms of warm commendation of the efforts of Rev. Mr, Logie and his people in undertaking the erection of a fine new church. It was the jubilee year, and they had taken a grand means of celebrating it.
The pastor and people are to be congratulated on the success of Tuesday’s proceedings, everything being carried out most satisfactory to all concerned. The total receipts of the day amounted to over $430.00, and $338.50 of which was placed on the cornerstone.
Mr. J. McDowall, the contractor for the stonework of the church, prepared the cornerstone for laying, and as it was pronounced “well and truly laid,” so the rest of the work under Mr. McD’s. superintendence will without doubt be pronounced when
he has completed his contract, if the work he has already done can be taken as a specimen of what the whole will be like.
Pakenham Township was named after Sir Edward Pakenham who was the brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington.
Was a postal station from 1832. It is located on the Mississippi River. It was known as Dickson’s Mills then Pakenham Mills. In 1842 the village’s population was 250 persons. It contained 3 churches – Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist, post office, grist mill, saw mill, carding machine & cloth factory, four stores, a tannery, two taverns and some shops.
The village was built around the first school (L6 C8). It was first called Upper Pakenham. In the Historical Atlas for Lanark County, it is marked Cedar Hill PO.
By the 1890s, Dalkeith Street was the location of both the Methodist parsonage and the Presbyterian manse.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (US