In years before Hamilton became a city, fire was a constant danger and resulted in the loss of many early buildings. This lead to bylaws being pass around 1846 that encouraged stone or brick construction.
Prior to the late 1840s and early 1850s, almost all buildings were constructed of wood. Allan MacNab’s Dundurn Castle (1833-35) and maybe James Durand’s Belle Vue (1805) were the rare examples of stone or brick buildings in the Hamilton.
When we look at today’s historic churches, we are often looking at a later building that is much larger than the original church. Not only are these buildings later, but they are made out of different building materials.
The Age of Wooden Churches
By the 1820s and early 1830s, the several communities of faith became large enough to support the building of church and graveyard. These early churches were small and made of wood. They were typically surrounded by a small plot of land.
For example, the first church in the future town of Hamilton was the First Methodist Church that was built one acre of land purchased from Robert Hamilton in 1824.