St. Albans Church was the 3rd Anglican church on the island |
Stella, Ontario, Canada
P.O. Box 283, Bath ON K0H 1G0
THE STORY OF AMHERST ISLAND AND THE CHURCHBy Jean Tugwell
Amherst Island lies two and one half miles off shore from Millhaven on Highway 33. A ferry service connects the Island with the mainland. The Island was formerly a Mohawk reserve, which was given to General Johnston, then stationed in Kingston. Later it was sold to Lord Mount Cashel. In 1871 it became the property of Major R. P. Maxwell, a relative of Lord Cashel, of County Down, Ireland. Another relative, Mr. W. H. Moutray, was sent over from Ireland to manage the estate. In 1871 Mr. Moutray had the Island divided in 50-acre lots. Fourteen families came from Ireland to settle and a like number of Dutch from Pennsylvania and other places. At one time the population on the Island was just over 1200 souls.
Mr. Moutray died February 19th, 1929. He was a devoted churchman. Besides representing the Parish of Amherst Island for 50 years in the Synod, Mr. Moutray also served as a Lay Reader. A son and three daughters of the family still live at Stella and are generous supporters of the Church at that point on the Island. Another family, the Neilsons, have served the Church for three generations and have been supporters since the parish was established.
The Mount Cashels, Maxwells and Moutrays provided the property and most of the money to build St. Alban's Church at Stella. The earliest church on the Island was St. James which was built in 1836 about a half mile west of the village of Stella. Here the pioneer missioner, the Rev. John Langhorn of Bath, conducted the earliest services.
In 1877, Daniel Fowler, a celebrated painter from England, and Mr. Hitchins had a church built at Emerald, four miles west of Stella. The Church was called "Christ Church" and was opened November 20th, 1877. The incumbent at the time was the Rev. I. J. Christie. Ten years earlier the Rev. William Short conducted evening services for the people at the west end of the Island.
After the building of Christ Church at Emerald, it was decided to sell the St. James' property and to build a new church in Stella, on land donated by Lord Mount Cashel. Dr. W. Roberts was the incumbent at that time. St. Albans was opened on February 5th, 1890.
The first rectory was built on a farm halfway between Stella and Emerald. In 1893 when the Rev. Sterne Tighe was the incumbent, this rectory was burned, and a new one was built near St. Alban's in Stella. The farm on which the old rectory had stood and another small farm, both given to the Church by Lord Mount Cashel, were sold for $5,000.00 This sum is held as a trust for the parish by the Synod.
The new rectory was built while the Rev. R.S. Wilkinson was the incumbent. He married Mr. Moutray's daughter, Annie. A second daughter married the Rev. J. E. Lindsay and is now living in Ottawa.
The Incumbents of Amherst Island: Rev. John Rothwell, 1845 -65; The Rev. William Short, 1865 - 69; The Rev. Conway Cartwright, 1869 - 74; The Rev. J.J. Christie, 1875 - 77; The Rev. Canon Roberts, 1878 - 91; The Rev. Sterne Tighe, 1891 - 96.
There does not seem to have been a resident Incumbent from 1896 to 1903 when the Rev. E. S. Wilkinson came and continued to 1906. The Rev. J. E. Lindsay, 1906 - 09; The Rev. J. E. Dixon, 1909 - 24; The Rev. F. O. Ware, 1924 - 26; The Rev. Thomas Leech, 1926 - 37; The Rev. H. C. Secker, 1937 - 41; The Rev. C. C. Brazill, 1941 - 43; The Rev. H. C. Secker, 1943 - 46; The Rev. A. P. Scott, 1946 - 47; The Rev. W. B. Williston, 1947 - 61. The present Incumbent is Mr. Norman Rutter who came to the parish in December 1961.
PriestsFollowing are the names of those who have served as ministers at Christ Church, Emerald and St. Alban’s, Stella
Rev. John Langhorn, Bath 1793-1836
Rev. W.Agar Adamson 1841-1844
Rev. John Rothwell 1845-1865
Rev. William Short 1865-1869
Rev. Conway Cartwright 1869-1874
Rev. J. J. Christie 1875-1877
Rev. Canon Roberts 1878-1891
Rev. Sterne Tighe 1891-1896
Rev. F. Wilkinson 1903-1906
Rev. J.E. Lindsay 1906-1909
Rev. J.E. Dixon 1909-1924
Rev. W.O. Ware 1924-1926
Rev. Thomas Leach 1926-1937
Rev. H. C. Secker 1937-1941
Rev. C.C. Brazil 1941-1943
Rev. H. C. Secker 1943-1946
Rev. A. P. Scott 1946-1947
Rev. W. B. Williston 1947-1961
Rev. Norman Rutter 1961-1965
Rev. Dennis Powell 1965-1967
This information from Jean Tugwell Jan 14 1980 –submitted by St. Bartholomew’s Church.
Following are the names of those how have served as ministers at St. Alban’s Church, Stella. Christ Church, Emerald was closed in 1967.
Rev. Harold Murray 1967-1969
Rev. Douglas Dunning 1969-1971
Rev. Edward Carne 1971-1976
Rev. Robert Hales 1976-1979
Rev. Beverley Lindsey 1979-1980
Rev. Clarence Babcock 1980-1986
Rev. Kenneth Elaber 1987-1994
Rev. Christopher Davis 1995-?
If you have any information on the priests of this church please email me!
I am looking for name, dates of birth, death, ordination and when they served the church. Also photos, and anything else interesting during their pastorate.
Church Links-ST. ALBAN'S CHURCH official site Offsite
See 'Information for Genealogists' link.
- Amherst Island churches page from Amherst Island site-includes photo
- See Chapter VIII of Tales of Amherst Island By H.C. Burleigh, 1980
Sources:Many Thanks to St. Bartholomew's Church who sent me a large package of write ups, articles etc to add to this site.