A landmark to the Church of Kirk of Beckwith that is no longer with us. The stone church called “The Church of the Cross Keys” was built in 1832, replacing a log church building. It served the first two Canadian generations of the first large settlement of Gaelic-speaking Scottish Highlanders in the district of Upper Canada north of the Rideau River.
Joann Voyce sent us this newspaper photo–thanks Joann!
The 7th line is a dead end if you look at Google Maps. “They’d be walking to this church. They didn’t have horses back then,” said Reeve Richard Kidd. “They’d have to cross the Jock River and swamp and they had to do that in their bare feet because they would only have one pair of shoes.”
The photo below is what the dead end of the 7th line looks like today. Kind of hard to imagine church folks walking that kind of mileage and in rough conditions, but they did. It was originally a log building centrally located on the 7th concession and there were separate entrances for men and women, but the building burnt and was replaced in 1832.
Below is what “The Church of the Cross Keys” looks like today. An enclosed cairn with a view of the remnants of a foundation of once what was. Scattered stones follow the lines of the foundation but part of the stone made its way to Franktown United Church for its construction.
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 11 Jun 1966, Sat, Page 44
Today I stood there and became overwhelmed at once was and wished I could have spent one hour back in time. I wanted to meet the people that are now just spirits among the building ruins behind the cairn, which is all that remains behind the pioneer landmark that Reverend Buchanan was never allowed to preach in. This is something every family in Lanark County should make sure their children see and remember the story.
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