... Ecclesiastes 2:26 ...
Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.

TRINITY-St. ALBAN'S HISTORY

All Saints Anglican Church of Canada.
P.O. Box 489, MACTIER, ON
(705) 375-2436

Service 11:15am Holy Eucharist BAS
Except 1st Sunday of the Month is Morning Prayer BAS


The History of All Saints Anglican Church
MacTier, Ontario
Janice (Clinch) Hannaby

Background:

In 1908 when the Canadian Pacific Railway between Toronto and Romford (i.e. Sudbury) was completed, Muskoka Station was made a divisional point where new crews took over from the crews out of Toronto who stayed overnight and returned to Toronto usually the next day. Over time, the roundhouse and boarding house were built.

When Hugh Anderson was looking for a place to build a store, he met some friends who advised him to build it in Muskoka Station. He built a 12’ X 16’ store and opened for business on November 16, 1908. After a time, Mr. Anderson also established the post office in Muskoka Station, but after mail for Muskoka Falls and Muskoka Wharf caused mix-ups, was asked to choose a new name for the town and he chose “MacTier” after A.D. MacTier, General Superintendent of the CPR’s Eastern Division.

Now that there was a thriving townsite, churches began to be built, including a Presbyterian Church and a Roman Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church in MacTier:

In or around 1908, an Anglican Lay Missionary ministered to the men working on the track and, when Muskoka Station came into existence, he began holding services in the boarding house. This was Charles Robert Clerk (1850-1911). He farmed in Freeman near MacTier and Foot’s Bay and built a log house and log chapel. This chapel had a bell which was transferred to the new All Saints Anglican Church built in MacTier in 1912. (Note: This bell was then returned to the Clerk family at a later date. The present bell on All Saints Church was a steam engine bell donated by the C.P.R. in the 1960’s.)

According to anecdotal information, Rev. Clerk baptized many local children, even if they were not children of Anglicans, as he believed that all children should be baptized even if neither they nor their families ever darkened the door of a church again. (Coombe. 1976, Pg. 169-172)

In July 1912 work began on the Anglican Church in MacTier on land donated by Mr. G. McCully. The church was opened and dedicated “All Saints” on November 10, 1912. This was a 40’ X 20’ white wood frame building featuring a steeple and a seating capacity of 70. This building was oriented so that the altar faces due east. When it was first built, the church’s entrance was on the south side and a stone wall surrounded the property. Over time the steeple and wall were removed and the front door now faces west. Also, over time it was found that the church was too hard to heat with the “cathedral” ceiling so a lower false ceiling was added, which accounts for the way the inside of the church looks today.

Mr. Percy Paris was a Lay Missionary who took services in All Saints MacTier from 1912. After he was ordained Rev. Paris became Dean of St. Luke’s Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie. (Warder, 1957, Pg. 124) Rev. Frederick Clayton took over in 1914. There then seems to be a gap in the historical continuity between 1915 and 1918. During this time Rev. Father Roland Palmer, S.S.J.E. (first Superior of the Canadian Cowley Fathers in Bracebridge) took services at All Saints MacTier. In the 1950’s Rev. Palmer returned to MacTier to conduct a week of services during Lent.

In 1918 All Saints MacTier was joined with Bala Church as a mission parish. There were then the following incumbent ministers who were in charge of All Saints up to and including the present date:

Christopher Lord 1918-1924 (with Bala)
George Morley (May-Dec) 1924 (with Bala)
Walter Guyler 1925-1926 (with Bala)
Thomas “TD” Daniel 1929-1931 (with Bala & Moritimer’s Pt.)
John McCausland (summer) 1931 (with Bala & Moritimer’s Pt.)

Bala/MacTier Parish:

John Robinson 1931-1934
Richard Warder 1934-1938
Walter Tindle 1935-1938
Samuel Craymer 1934-1948
Joseph Ditchburn 1949-1959
Peter Park 1959-1966
Ernest Rose 1966-1967
John “Pappy” Watson 1980-1983 (Archdeacon of Muskoka)
Wayne Putman 1980-1983
Gary Boyse 1984-1985
Robert Kelsey 1985-1994
David Hardie, M.D. 1994-present
Margaret Johnston Associate Priest

Lay Readers:

Jock Menzies 1950s-1970s
Fred Ineson 1982-Present
John Marsh 1988
Ted Husband 1990
Lorne Marsh 1993
Carol Hardie 1995

The Club Room/Church Hall:

Beside the church was a small wood frame outbuilding known as the Club Room. This building was divided into a large open area, a cramped kitchen and a storage room. It was heated in the winter with a wood stove in the early years and an oil space heater later on. There was no running water or washroom facilities in the building. The Club Room was built by volunteer community labour and a card tournament was held to raise the funds for the materials.

The Club Room was the centre of church as well as many community activities. The WA or Women’s Auxiliary (now ACW or Anglican Church Women) held meetings, bazaars, bake sales, teas, rummage sales and concerts in the hall. Groups such as Boy Scouts (led in part by H.O. Clinch) and the Girl Guides (led by Miss Agnew, Mrs. Williams and Miss Tracy) were begun in the 1920s. In 1947 the first Lion’s meeting was held in the Club Room with the WA catering.

In the 1950’s, Rev. Ditchburn ran a very well attended Anglican Young People’s group. Other youth groups that met here were the Junior Auxiliary and Girls’ Auxiliary. Volunteers such as Laurette Clinch, Anne Quathamer, Wilma Barr, Eunice Munroe and Doris Clinch led these groups. The Junior Auxiliary was held on and off up to the early 1980’s.

In the 1960’s the Club Room was condemned and a new Church Hall was planned. This building constructed of cement block has a central meeting area, two washrooms, a kitchen and a storage room and is attached to and accessible from the church. (J.F. Green donated this access door.) In 1962 during the time that the new church hall was being built, All Saint’s celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Due to the ongoing construction, the celebration was held in the MacTier United Church hall and catered by the United Church Women. Present at this celebration were Bishop Wm. Wright and Rev. S. Craymer, who was the keynote speaker. Mrs. Park, wife of the incumbent Rev. Peter Park, showed slides of the MacTier and Bala churches and some local scenes.

In order to help pay for the new church hall, it was leased out to the Board of Education for the use of the newly formed local Kindergarten class. They attended here until MacTier Public School had been renovated to accommodate them. Next, classes for special needs students were held in the Church Hall. In the 1970’s the Church Hall was leased as a local doctors’ office until the MacTier Medical Centre was built.

Conclusion:

All Saints has always had a small congregation and today has dwindled down to just a handful. However, there is still an active ACW and services are held weekly. In the 1990’s the Church needed extensive renovations, both to the outside and inside, including some remedial work in the Church Hall. Fortunately, volunteers stepped up and these repairs were made with the help of donations from parishioners, fundraisers, bequests, other MacTier churches and the community at large.

In 2012 All Saints Anglican Church MacTier will celebrate its centennial.


Some of the people who have contributed to

All Saints MacTier in one capacity or another are:

Mr. & Mrs. A. Spinney Mr. & Mrs. H.O. Clinch Mrs. Ola Chapman
Mr. & Mrs. J. Beers Mr. & Mrs. H.B. Clinch Mrs. Doris Madison
Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Beers Mr. & Mrs. V.I. Clinch Mrs. Betty Ineson
Mr. & Mrs. A. Munroe Miss Doris Clinch Mrs. Mary Norrie
Mr. & Mrs. R. Green Miss Janice Clinch Mr. B. Asquith
Mr. & Mrs. J. Green Mr. Evan Clinch Mrs. Ann Quathamer
Mr. & Mrs. J.F. Green Mr. & Mrs. A. Trickey Mrs. Rivett
Wilma Barr Mrs. Bevin Mr. & Mrs. H. Hopkins
Mrs. Lou Corr Mr. & Mrs. P. Eenhoorn Mrs. Mary Boisvert
Miss Caroline Weeks Mrs. Mae Young Mrs. A. Christianson
Mr. & Mrs. Everett Mr. Harry Herrington Mr. & Mrs. S. Florschutz
Mrs. Edith Morgan Mr. Wm. Brannan Mr. & Mrs. J. Grinnell
Mrs. Jessie Schell


¹In 1957 Rev. Richard C. Warder published a book of his memoirs entitled, “Northern Exposure” in which he outlined the various parishes in which he served. He wrote about MacTier/Mortimer’s Point. In an amusing anecdote he wrote about Miss Doris Clinch, owner/operator of Camp Buckeye, who was very active in All Saints for many years up to her death in 1981. This anecdote is as follows:

“Among the faithful few in my day was Miss Doris Clinch who with her brother operated their summer resort – the Buck Eye Inn. Miss Cinch used to come to church by boat in the summer but walked over the frozen lake in the winter; she was our faithful organist. Miss Clinch never missed a service; rough seas or howling blizzards would not hold her back. When in the spring the lake would show signs of breaking up we would anxiously await Doris’s arrival: would she make it?

One Sunday night she was late, quite late. I waited in my vestry, people began to whisper. I had heard the lake rumbling under the spring sun. Had our brave Doris perished, gone through the ice? I went to the church door. I saw her lantern swinging in her hand. Soon she was in the church. Yes, she had gone through the ice, scrambled out and obtained a change of clothes, gulped a cup of hot tea and proceeded to church to play for evensong. Of such material are the men and women who make the Anglican Church of Canada the great church she is.” (Warder, 1957. Pg. 124-125)

According to Miss Clinch, Rev. Warder took quite a bit of poetic licence in writing this account. She was quite incensed and insisted that she had never carried a stable lantern in her life!

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Coombe, Geraldine, 1976, “Muskoka Past and Present”, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Toronto

Warder, The Rev. Richard C., 1957, “Northern Exposure, Tales of the North Country”, Manufactured in the United States of America


All Saints Anglican Church MacTier

1958 Women’s Auxiliary


1. Mae Young 6. Ellen Spinney
2. Doris Clinch 7. Mrs. Rivet
3. Edith Beers 8. Helen Tricky
4. Wilma Barr 9.
5. Mable Beers 10. Laurette Clinch

(Photo taken at Buckeye Boy's Camp.)



Pictures of the Church

Historical Picture - date unknown

All Saints Church outside

All Saints Church intside