Zion United Church

Geographic location: Lot 15, Conc. 1 Stanhope

Current address: 1021 East Rd, Algonquin Highlands

Date range: 1891 to present

Interesting facts: On January 24, 1891 the Stanhope Methodist Mission at its quarterly meeting discussed the erection of the first Methodist church in Stanhope at Brown's Corners "on the north side of Minden road between it and the little lake" on a half-acre donated by Arthur Warner. It was dedicated on September 13, 1891 and still enjoys a lively and dedicated congregation. This photo is from the 1940s.

Susan Wilson, in her book Explore Haliburton, tells this story:
On February 2, 1891, the church Minute Book reports that logs for the rafters and studs were cut in Phoebe Damion's woods (Moorefield Acres) by the men of the congregation and sawn into lumber at the sawmill up at Buckslides. On February 12, trees from Joseph Hopkin's land were felled for foundation timbers and hewn square with broad axes. In May, the men of the community were called away to fight a spate of brush fires and so a carpenter, Louis MacDonald, was hired to finish the building. The men got back in time to put the shingles on the roof. All this time, the women had been holding teas and concerts in order to raise money towards the cost of construction. Everyone's efforts culminated in the dedication of the new church on September 13, 1891.

Naming of the church was a matter of considerable debate, and it was finally agreed that the place of worship be known as "Zion", being a charge of Lindsay district of the Methodist Church. In 1921 the Methodists and Presbyterians united in the area and Zion became part of the Minden Charge. In 1925, it became Minden, Carnarvon and Maple Lake charge, upon the formation of the United Church of Canada. In 2002 the name of the charge was changed to Highland Hills Pastoral Charge.

When  the church was built in 1891, it lacked the distinctive spire over the front entrance. That was added after a fire caused by lightning in 1962. Other additions included a porch in 1958.

Additional property was purchased at the rear of the cemetery for more grave plots in 1962.

Public access: Yes

Current use: United Church

Information source: Stanhope Heritage Driving Tour brochure / Stanhope Museum collection

Photo information & source: