Local history buff Marilyn Orr, guest speaker for the Cumberland County Genealogical Society, enlightened an attentive audience of over 40 people at the Ottawa House Museum on Sunday afternoon, July 31.
Using an early map, photographs and other documents, Orr recounted the key developments of the churches and ministers over the past 230 years. The Parish of St. Georges was established by Order in Council in 1786 and at one time had seven churches along the shore from Apple River to Truro.
Surprising to many were the origins of a number of Parrsboro’s well known fixtures: the town hall was built as a Glebe House, the tennis court was an early church initiative, and a section of the current church hall was once part of a girls’ school located on Victoria Street near the first church, which was built in 1788-92. Much of the property of the centre of town was once owned by the church.
The parish has roots in the early settlement at Partridge Island, where in 1786 James Ratchford had a chapel built to meet the need of a growing community. A cairn built in 1967 on the property behind the Ottawa House Museum marks the location of that early chapel.
The talk on the role of the Anglican Church was one of many interesting events and programs featured at Ottawa House By-the Sea this summer. Upcoming special events include a public Sir Charles and Lady Tupper Garden Party on Aug. 6, a photography workshop with Lawrence Nichol on Aug. 13 and a writers’ workshop with Bruce Graham on Oct. 22. For more information on these and other happenings, visit the website at www.parrsboroughshorehistoricalsociety.ca , search Facebook, or call 902-254-2376.