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photos and text by J. Emerson, London Ontario

The early settlers of March Township, mainly adherents of the Church of England, agreed on the need for a place of worship, but there was much controversy over where it should be built. Mr. Hamnet Pinhey finally settled the matter by giving a piece of his land and providing most of the financing for the construction of a stone church.

St. Mary's was built between 1826 and 1829, the first church in March Township, and the oldest church still standing in the Ottawa area. Within ten years of its construction, a crack developed in its foundation and it was considered unsuitable by the Reverend Amos Aynsley, the missionary who had been sent to serve the March area.  (St. John's Anglican Church, 150 Years of Worship). Attempts were made to dismantle it, including a charge of dynamite. However, its sturdy stone construction survived, and today its roofless, ivy-covered walls and historical burial ground overlooking the Ottawa River provide one of the most scenic views in the Ottawa Valley.


page updated by David Hedley    March 19, 2000

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