Eramosa Church Development

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Location: Eramosa Twsp, Wellington Co, Ontario, Canadamap
Surnames/tags: Loghrin Armstrong McCullough
Profile manager: Tom Loghrin private message [send private message]
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Not all of Eramosa Township, particularly the north central area, had been settled by 1850. The hamlets of Speedside and Barrie Hill were not yet identified.

About the year 1826 settlers began to meet at the house of Mrs. McCormack (1) who lived on the west half of lot 17, con. 2, and invited James Black to preach for them. It seems probable that Black was trying to organize a congregation of Disciples; not all these settlers who met at McCormack’s were Presbyterians.[1] In 1830 Rev. A. Bell visited the upper end of Eramosa and found 21 families who wished to be ministered by the Presbyterian Church, promising to contribute from 60 to 75£ for such services. The congregation was organized in 1832 and a frame church structure was erected by volunteer labourers on the southeast corner of lot 21, concession 1 (2). The “First Presbyterian Church in Eramosa” was established by the mid 1830's.[2] In 1834 they found their first minister, Rev. Charles Nichol; however, Rev. Nichol served the congregation for only two years and after that the pulpit was filled irregularly.[3] On June 16th, 1838, the first minutes appear on the record of the Session and the elders requested a Preacher as they had not had any preaching on the Sabbath for the last 7 months. The elders who signed the request were William Armstrong, Thomas Armstrong and William Lochrin [sic].[4] Rev. Wm. Barrie was minister there from 1843 to 1877 and the church became known as the Barrie Hill Church. By 1852 the average attendance for Sunday service was 200. The first manse was built on the 50 acre glebe in 1847 and the stone church was built in 1860.[5]

The Speedside church got its start when James Peters arranged a meeting of the members of the Guelph Congregational Church who lived in Eramosa in 1844. A meeting to organize the church was held at Miss Abigail McCormick’s home on Jan. 11, 1845.[6] Some of the founding members of “The Second Congregational Church in Eramosa” had belonged to the previously established Presbyterian church. They worshipped in the McCormick school house until the first church was finished in 1855. In 1852 William S. Armstrong gave an acre of land on the S.W. corner of lot 26, con. 2 (3) and in 1853 the building committee was formed. The octagonal limestone church was officially opened and their new pastor, Rev. Enoch Baker, was ordained on Oct. 3, 1855.[7] The balance of debt was paid by a legacy from Mrs. William Armstrong in 1868.[8] She was James Loghrin’s mother-in-law. The manse was erected in 1873.[9]

The co-operation and sharing between the two churches culminated in 1924 when the Speedside Church called Rev. John Little, who also served the Barrie Hill Presbyterian Church, as its pastor. With Church Union in 1925 both churches became part of the United Church of Canada.[10]


  1. Frank Day, Here and There in Eramosa, (Guelph: Leaman Printing Co., 1953), p. 89.
  2. Day, p. 85-86.
  3. Deborah Quaile, Eramosa Anecdotes, (Ayton: Wordbird Press, 2007), p. 100-101.
  4. Day, p. 85-86.
  5. Quaile, p. 100-101.
  6. Day, p. 92 - 93
  7. Quaile, p. 130-132.
  8. Day, p. 92 - 93.
  9. Quaile, p. 130-132.
  10. Day, p. 94.


  • Map segment from Frank Day, Here and There in Eramosa, (Guelph: Leaman Printing Co., 1953), p. 42 (Insert).

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