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Address: 2332 Church Street
North Gower United Church

Location: Lot 14, Plan 628

Date and Fabric: 1872 frame Church

Known owners: North Gower Methodist Church 1872 - 1925
North Gower United Church 1925 -

photograph 1997

Other photos on file from 1990, 1986,1979 [incl. oversize], 1970 [?], undated pre-1925 including oversize, prewar postcard , several undated apparently recent. Also photograph of the old Presbyterian Church/United Church Hall which stood at 6656 Main Street.

This building was constructed between 1870 and 1872 as the second North Gower Methodist Church. The original Methodist Church had been built around 1859 and its destruction by fire prompted the building of this replacement. After the church union of 1925, this church became the United Church, serving the consolidated congregation. The clock on the tower is painted; the hands record the times of the services. In 1970, they were changed to read 11:15. It is reported that when the old Craig store next door caught fire late in the 19th century, the church was saved only by a heavy snowstorm. In 1947, lightning struck and splintered a beam in the bell tower. The Church sheds, which were used by the congregation for sheltering horses and buggies, were taken down in 1949.

The original North Gower Presbyterian Church was built of stone in 1854 and replaced by a second church in 1885. The second Presbyterian Church was vacant for about eight years after the 1925 union, but re-opened in 1933 as the United Church Hall. It was located on the west side of Main Street south of Stevens Creek at 6656 Main Street on today's numbering. In 1967, it was destroyed by fire; its datestone has been incorporated, in remembrance, in the foundation of the present United Church. [after Peter Davidson, 1986. Sources 3,5 25]

Proposed Designation

Having served for over a century, this church is among the oldest in the Township. It is as well a handsome structure occupying an important site in the Village of North Gower. Although the interior has been considerably altered, the exterior - including the painted clock faces - is original, and is an interesting departure in design from the other churches built in this era in Rideau Township. Designation of the exterior was accordingly recommended, as a step towards the preservation of this historic building.

While much of the paperwork was completed, church officials decided not to proceed with designation.

25 Also pamphlet: A Historical Sketch Of North Gower United Church 1870 - 1970; photocopy on file.

March, 1990

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