Blue Church gets fresh coat of paint and more
PRESCOTT - Prescott's beloved Blue Church has received a much-needed facelift and is bright and blue once again.
The original Blue Church was built in 1790 but was subsequently destroyed by fire. The second church was built in 1809 and unfortunately suffered the same fate. During this recent restoration, however, many pieces of that second church were found among the structure.
"There were always rumours that they had used charred pieces of the second church when they rebuilt. When they got into restoring, they did indeed find charred bits of timber; it was pretty neat to see that little bit of history discovered," said John Harding, Chair of the Blue Church Volunteer Board.
This recent restoration of the church came after more than six years of collecting donations towards the essential project. The maintenance of the Blue Church is handled by a group of volunteers; the church receives no religious or government support or funding.
"People in this community are always so kind with donations. The Blue Church is vey important and holds a special place in many people's hearts. We're very thankful for all donations; big or small," Harding remarked.
The need for a more thorough restoration than previously carried out on the structure arose when the board recently decided it was time to repaint the church.
"When Ben Moulton Carpentry was out here looking at the siding, we realized that the wood was badly worn and rotted in places. We decided the best way forward was to put on completely new siding, complete with a weather barrier," said Harding of the poor state the church exterior had been in.
Ben Moulton Carpentry also completely restored and reinstalled the windows. The door was in too much a state of disrepair to save, so it was decided that a replica door be fashioned from scratch.
The next step in the process was fresh paint. Travis Pickard of Straight Cut Painting was commissioned by the board to complete the exterior project. Aluminum paint was applied to the spire and cross, followed by the bright blue to the siding that the community has come to associate with the little church on the outskirts of town.
"I think the community was very relieved to see it blue again. We've had excellent people who truly seemed to take pride in and enjoy being a part of this restoration process. We couldn't be more pleased," said Harding.
"It really was an honour to have the opportunity to help bring an important piece of local history back to life, it's not something you get to be a part of every day," said Travis Pickard, Owner of Straight Cut Painting.
The Blue Church cemetery is rich in history, containing the graves of many who were prominent in the early days of Upper Canada plus a monument to Barbara Heck, the founder of Methodism in America. To donate to the ongoing upkeep of the church, visit www.Grenvilleanglicans.com and scroll down until you see 'Blue Church", or send a cheque or money order to the Blue Church Volunteer Board at Box 567, Prescott ON K0E 1T0.