Hamilton cemeteries in the age of wooden churches

St. Stephen's Anglican Church built in 1837.  Photo by @erskinec
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church built in 1837. Photo by @erskinec

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

The Age of Wooden Churches

St. Stephen's Anglican Church yr 1837.  Photo by @erskinec
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church yr 1837. Photo by @erskinec

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.

Soundscapes Hamilton – Crows of St. Andrew’s Church Ancaster Ontario

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – recorded Oct 10th, 2014.

The congregation was founded in 1826 by Rev. George Sheed who came from Scotland. In 1830, Rev. Sheed built a home on the Hermitage property, just a short distance down a country lane from the future church.

The original St. Andrew’s church was a framed building on a stone foundation. Construction started in 1832, but Sheed died before work could be completed. As a result, Rev. Sheed became the first person to be buried in the Church’s cemetery.

The wooden church was replaced by the current stone structure in 1874.