How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral

How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral



Here is a little story of the first things in religion at Richmond as related by Senator Haydon in his story of “Richmond and the Duke.” “The government early In 1819, redeemed its promise of providing a schoolmaster and or erecting a schoolhouse, and a man named Read took up the duties with the distinction of being the first teacher in what is now the County of Carleton, at a salary of 50 per annum, paid by the government.

The expense accounts of the settlement indicate that from the 25th of September, 1820, Stephen Eynough succeeded i to the charge, and when soon after government aid was withdrawn, he continued, with the help of the settlers, in charge of the school as best he could under the conditions of the time. Incidentally it may be added that while still a young man his death in Richmond gave occasion for the first Masonic funeral in the county.

For some thirty years his life was devoted to the missions of Upper Canada, and the Roman Catholic families in and around Richmond were immediately gathered under his care. His visits were few, for in January, 1819, he was nominated Vicar-Apostolic of Upper Canada, and consecrated on the last day of December, 1820, continuing however, to reside for many years at St. Raphael’s, in Glengarry. Father Heron came periodically until 1825 or 1826, when the first Roman Catholic church was erected.



Methodism found its way also to the settlement. The itinerant missionary, travelling about on horse back or on foot, amid the swamps and rocks of the Bathurst district, and along “gulleys” and bush trails an exhausting and distressing round of duty brought his message “without any authority but the Bible and no distinction save the Cross.” Such was the service of the Rideau Circuit by this denomination, till the later coming of a permanent preacher, Ezra Healey tall and commanding, with “a strong, clear, musical reverberating voice of such great compass that it could as easily command the ears of an assembly of five or six thousand as of half-a-dozen, and who used to say his lungs would last as long as his legs.



The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts did not respond so readily, and the church life of the community was not so carefully cultivated, especially, at least, by the Church of England, as was the declared intention at the outset. The first church services in the settlement were the masses sung by the Rev. Father Macdonnell, and one who came to the soldier settlers with great acceptance. For in 1794 he had raised as a Catholic Corps the “Glengarry Fencible” or, “British Highland Regiment.” Moreover, none better than he knew the hopes and fears of those to whom he carried the church’s message. He had himself been a leader in a pioneer movement in 1803, and was instrumental in having the British government settle in the County of Glengarry the men of the Glengarry Regiment, with their wives and children.

The earliest resident minister of any faith was the Rev. Mr. Glen, a Presbyterian, and in the little cemetery of that church near the village two elm trees mark his resting place. No services of the Established Church were regularly held until the arrival of the Rev. Michael Harris, in Perth, to the autumn of 1819, and he, like Father Macdonnell, became for years the spiritual guide of all the outlying settlements j and hamlets all over the district. He performed the first marriage in the settlement, when Jane Campbell became the bride of Sergeant John Dunbar.

Indeed, the village of Richmond was a rather flourishing town for more than half a dozen years, at least before Bytown, the forerunner of Ottawa, began to take shape at the beginning of the construction of the Rideau Canal in 1826. Richmond was planned upon a generous scale. There were grants of two, four and six acres each for the residence of the clergy, for the church and for the graveyard of each of three “established” churches the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic, no “dissenters” being deemed worthy. Six acres were left for a “park,” and the school was constructed. The town-hall is there today.

You can read more here..

Richmond Roman Catholic priest purchases land from estate of Presbyterian minister


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.


Trip Advisor 1834- Richmond to Perth is the “Road to Ruin”

The Haunted Canoe from the Jock River

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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