COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Oldest Mountain church celebrates its history

Opinion Oct 05, 2011 Hamilton Mountain News

By Barb Baker

Is it important to celebrate 200 years as a presence on Hamilton’s west Mountain? Yes, because you do not know where you are going until you understand where you have been!

That milestone is being commemorated this year by the congregation of Barton Stone United Church, the little stone church on the corner of Upper James and Stone Church Road. The celebration has focused on looking at the people and events of Barton Township which helped shape the west Mountain community. Names in the church register include Rymal, Hess, Blackstone and Macklem — people who are part of the history of both this church and the city of Hamilton.

Barton Stone Church began in 1811, when William Rymal gave a plot of land for the building of a two-storey wooden meeting house on Mohawk Trail. The only remainder of this history is the cemetery next to Westcliffe Mall close to where the meeting house stood.

During the War of 1812, this building was used as a barracks and hospital for British soldiers. Damage during the war led to the building being condemned and a new stone church was constructed between 1845 to 1847 on the Caledonia Road, (now Upper James), at Stone Church Road. That same building continues to be used each Sunday as a place of worship and community involvement, making it one of the oldest churches in the city.

The first preacher in the new stone church was John Frederick Augustus Sykes Fayette, a young black American and a friend of John Brown the abolitionist. Fayette made it his calling to come to Barton Township to help American slaves in their journey to freedom via the Underground Railroad. He served the congregation from 1845 to 1850. The question of whether or not the Barton Stone church or manse was a stop on the Underground Railroad remains unanswered.

This year, the church produced a series of dramatic historical vignettes to tell our history. We learned that the pioneers of the west Mountain community worked tirelessly to build their church and membership. They constucted and maintained their building, supported and contributed to worthwhile causes, and demanded changes to reflect a changing world. The work of these first settlers is still carried on today by the present congregation.

Our research was made easier because of the hundreds of church documents and photographs that have been preserved in our archives by the late Gordon Allison. Selected pieces from these archives have been on display throughout the year.

On Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m., a dramatic presentation will explore the relationships that link the Mackenzie Rebellion, two 19th-Century church members (Harmanus Smith and excommunicated James Young) and a mother and son and a Hamilton Doors Open volunteer. A luncheon and archival display will follow. Tickets for the luncheon are $20.

The congregation welcomes you to come and experience and remember the past, while looking forward to the future of this community.

Bark Baker is Barton Stone’s archivist.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-523-5800 ext. 335 to discuss your idea.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Oldest Mountain church celebrates its history

Opinion Oct 05, 2011 Hamilton Mountain News

By Barb Baker

Is it important to celebrate 200 years as a presence on Hamilton’s west Mountain? Yes, because you do not know where you are going until you understand where you have been!

That milestone is being commemorated this year by the congregation of Barton Stone United Church, the little stone church on the corner of Upper James and Stone Church Road. The celebration has focused on looking at the people and events of Barton Township which helped shape the west Mountain community. Names in the church register include Rymal, Hess, Blackstone and Macklem — people who are part of the history of both this church and the city of Hamilton.

Barton Stone Church began in 1811, when William Rymal gave a plot of land for the building of a two-storey wooden meeting house on Mohawk Trail. The only remainder of this history is the cemetery next to Westcliffe Mall close to where the meeting house stood.

During the War of 1812, this building was used as a barracks and hospital for British soldiers. Damage during the war led to the building being condemned and a new stone church was constructed between 1845 to 1847 on the Caledonia Road, (now Upper James), at Stone Church Road. That same building continues to be used each Sunday as a place of worship and community involvement, making it one of the oldest churches in the city.

The first preacher in the new stone church was John Frederick Augustus Sykes Fayette, a young black American and a friend of John Brown the abolitionist. Fayette made it his calling to come to Barton Township to help American slaves in their journey to freedom via the Underground Railroad. He served the congregation from 1845 to 1850. The question of whether or not the Barton Stone church or manse was a stop on the Underground Railroad remains unanswered.

This year, the church produced a series of dramatic historical vignettes to tell our history. We learned that the pioneers of the west Mountain community worked tirelessly to build their church and membership. They constucted and maintained their building, supported and contributed to worthwhile causes, and demanded changes to reflect a changing world. The work of these first settlers is still carried on today by the present congregation.

Our research was made easier because of the hundreds of church documents and photographs that have been preserved in our archives by the late Gordon Allison. Selected pieces from these archives have been on display throughout the year.

On Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m., a dramatic presentation will explore the relationships that link the Mackenzie Rebellion, two 19th-Century church members (Harmanus Smith and excommunicated James Young) and a mother and son and a Hamilton Doors Open volunteer. A luncheon and archival display will follow. Tickets for the luncheon are $20.

The congregation welcomes you to come and experience and remember the past, while looking forward to the future of this community.

Bark Baker is Barton Stone’s archivist.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-523-5800 ext. 335 to discuss your idea.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Oldest Mountain church celebrates its history

Opinion Oct 05, 2011 Hamilton Mountain News

By Barb Baker

Is it important to celebrate 200 years as a presence on Hamilton’s west Mountain? Yes, because you do not know where you are going until you understand where you have been!

That milestone is being commemorated this year by the congregation of Barton Stone United Church, the little stone church on the corner of Upper James and Stone Church Road. The celebration has focused on looking at the people and events of Barton Township which helped shape the west Mountain community. Names in the church register include Rymal, Hess, Blackstone and Macklem — people who are part of the history of both this church and the city of Hamilton.

Barton Stone Church began in 1811, when William Rymal gave a plot of land for the building of a two-storey wooden meeting house on Mohawk Trail. The only remainder of this history is the cemetery next to Westcliffe Mall close to where the meeting house stood.

During the War of 1812, this building was used as a barracks and hospital for British soldiers. Damage during the war led to the building being condemned and a new stone church was constructed between 1845 to 1847 on the Caledonia Road, (now Upper James), at Stone Church Road. That same building continues to be used each Sunday as a place of worship and community involvement, making it one of the oldest churches in the city.

The first preacher in the new stone church was John Frederick Augustus Sykes Fayette, a young black American and a friend of John Brown the abolitionist. Fayette made it his calling to come to Barton Township to help American slaves in their journey to freedom via the Underground Railroad. He served the congregation from 1845 to 1850. The question of whether or not the Barton Stone church or manse was a stop on the Underground Railroad remains unanswered.

This year, the church produced a series of dramatic historical vignettes to tell our history. We learned that the pioneers of the west Mountain community worked tirelessly to build their church and membership. They constucted and maintained their building, supported and contributed to worthwhile causes, and demanded changes to reflect a changing world. The work of these first settlers is still carried on today by the present congregation.

Our research was made easier because of the hundreds of church documents and photographs that have been preserved in our archives by the late Gordon Allison. Selected pieces from these archives have been on display throughout the year.

On Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m., a dramatic presentation will explore the relationships that link the Mackenzie Rebellion, two 19th-Century church members (Harmanus Smith and excommunicated James Young) and a mother and son and a Hamilton Doors Open volunteer. A luncheon and archival display will follow. Tickets for the luncheon are $20.

The congregation welcomes you to come and experience and remember the past, while looking forward to the future of this community.

Bark Baker is Barton Stone’s archivist.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-523-5800 ext. 335 to discuss your idea.