Ontario's Historical Plaques
Learn a little Ontario history as told through its plaques
St. Thomas' Church 1838
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004
Coordinates: N 44 24.651 W 79 34.912
This church is one of the few surviving structures in Ontario built of "rammed earth". This method of construction utilized wet clay mixed with chopped straw, compacted into forms and covered, when dry, with plaster or siding for protection against weather. Built in a plain, somewhat Romanesque style, the church was begun in 1838 and largely completed by 1841, although not officially opened until February 27, 1842. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward O'Brien, leading member of the Shanty Bay settlement, donated the church site and clergyman's residence, and directed the construction of the church. He and his wife, Mary Sophia, are buried in the adjacent cemetery. The Reverend S. B. Ardagh served as rector from 1842 to 1867.
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Posted January 9, 2011
I am a descendant of Mary Campbell ,daughter of Janet McQuaig & John Campbell whose sons were the carpenters of this building along with their brother-in-law Alexander Graham , all parties originally from Islay Scotland. Mary worked as a maid for some one in Shanty Bay at the time of her marriage, possibly Col. O'Brien? My grandfather, Alex Graham 4, Mary Campbell,s grandson claimed that the Campbell Brothers & Alex Graham 1 worked in Barrie building one of the first house. There is an excellent record of the Campbell Clan in Oro prepared by Norman McQuaig Campbell in the archives of the Barrie library.
James A Graham
Posted October 11, 2010
I go to McDonogh School and we are doing stories on someone who went to our school. For this report I am doing Josefa S. Young and I hear her plaque is at St. Thomas Church. Could someone please describe exactly where the spot is and what the surroundings are? Thanks so much
Posted April 22, 2009
According to the book, "The Pioneer Papers" by George Sneath, the church was built by John McCausland of Barrie. I personally cannot confirm the history, but just relaying what I found. If someone else knows for sure, please let us know.
Posted December 9, 2008
I am doing a school project related to family history. I believe this church was built by my great grandfather and his brother and I have a picture of it in my home. The brothers were Campbells, sons of Janet Campbell from Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland. (Alec and Archibald I think.)
Could you corroborate this for me from your records? Thak you , Amy Campbell Knight
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